If you do like moi (That’s French. Face it, I’m cultured like yogurt.), you’ll avoid top level starters at your 2009 fantasy baseball draft and you’ll try to find value later on. Hey, I really like Roy Oswalt! And I like Wandy Rodriguez, what’s it to ya, random italicized voice? Last season, Wandy Rodriguez finally put together a season that hinted at his respectable minor league numbers and suggested he might be someone to look at late. To stick with the French theme, let’s take out a scalpel and dissect this frog. So could Wandy Rodriguez be a 2009 fantasy sleeper?
Last year, Wandy Rodriguez put up a very solid ERA of 3.54. But, as some of us may know, you can put the value of ERA by itself as a predictor of future performance in one hand and crap in the other hand and tell me which one is heavier. Better still Wandy’s FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) was 3.62, which was actually better than Oswalt’s. Without sabering you to death as you try to understand what FIP means, it’s basically pitchers’ stats minus fielders. Another great sign, Wandy’s K/9 ratios keep going up every year. Last year, those rates were 8.58. Also, he finally got his BB/9 below 3. Then there’s the hitter’s park he plays his home games in that he’s completely neutralized with some serious home schooling. The one drawback on Wandy Rodriguez and why he may be falling in some drafts, he showed himself to be a bit injury prone last year as he battled a groin injury (ouch!) and an oblique injury (vague!). But, really, that shouldn’t matter. Wandy’s being drafted around some schmohawks as Armando Galarraga (blech!), Joe Blanton (blah!) and Jamie Moyer (barf!). At that price, Wandy Rodriguez is a 2009 fantasy sleeper.