During my 2nd 2009 fantasy baseball draft — mock! — I said something like, “I’m going to end up with Javier Vazquez on a bunch of teams in 2009.” And that’s me paraphrasing me! Well, lookie-lookie. Someone in the Braves brass (prolly Cox) reads Razzball and liked the idea of having Vazquez on their team in 2009 because they just acquired him from the White Sox for three top prospects. (Or maybe three top prospects and a fourth not-so-top prospect. I’m not sure as I write this; the deal’s not finalized. I’ll cover the other guys in a future post, but right now this is the news and I’m Boogaloo Shrimp up in here breakin’ it.) So what’s so exciting about Javier Vazquez in 2009 for fantasy baseball?
Now stay with me here, because these numbers are about to become Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift-style. 200 Ks in 208 1/3 IP in 2008. In 2007, 213 Ks in 216 2/3 IP. In 2006, 184 Ks. 2005 — 192 Ks. As Moses said in the desert, are you following me here? Dooode strikes out people and throws a ton of innings. Now he moves to the NL (though a decent hitting NL division) and gets to pitch in a park that slightly favored hitters in 2008, but is a pretty neutral park overall, unlike Cellular Field that simply favors hitters. Me likey. Before the trade, Bill James projected a 3.80/1.24/195 in 214 innings for 2009. I think those were generous projections before the trade, but now I think they’re right in line with what you should expect. (Did Bill James get a hold of Biff Tannen’s sports book? Food for thought.) The only thing that kinda dulls the finish on this trade is, “The Mazzone Shine.”
For seventeen years Mazzone did such wonders with the Braves pitchers that people still overrate them, even though Mazzone hasn’t been there in years. This want to applaud the Bravos pitchers is “The Mazzone Shine.” (Tell me Jo-Jo Reyes or Jorge Campillo would have been as owned in 2008 if not for The Mazzone Shine. FYI, that’s a rhetorical “Tell me.” I’m not really asking you.) Unfortunately, The Mazzone Shine will now help people locate Javier Vazquez on their 2009 fantasy radars. Prior to the trade, Vazquez was a sleeper with upside, as evidenced by my 15th and 17th round mock draft picks. Now The Shine may lift him from underrated to rated.