This is ridiculous.Â Brandon Morrow has been a sleeper for me going on three years.Â I realize this.Â Hence my pointing-it-out’ing.Â Here’s what I have to ask myself.Â Is he just another Ricky Nolasco?Â A guy that consistently has an ERA higher than his xFIP and you should just ignore?Â Nolasco had a 5.06 ERA in 2009 and a 3.23 xFIP.Â Pegged by everyone and their monkey’s uncle to be a breakout candidate in 2010.Â Monkey’s Uncle, “Actually, I liked Mat Latos.”Â Then in 2010, Nolasco flopped again — 4.51 ERA vs. a 3.37 xFIP.Â At that point, I gave up hope for Nolasco because his K-rate started falling.Â In 2011, Nolasco once again gave fantasy owners false hope with a 4.67 ERA vs. a 3.55 xFIP.Â But now his K-rate is has gone from falling star to Vampires in Brooklyn bad.Â RN needs exactly that to nurse his ERA back to respectability.Â I don’t think Morrow does.Â I think the sun will come out for Morrow.Â So what can we expect of Brandon Morrow of 2012 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Big difference between Nolasco and Morrow is a terrific K-rate — 10+ in 2011.Â OH, GREY, IT’S JUST A K-RATE AGAIN, ISN’T IT?Â I understand your frustration, Mr. Al Caps.Â Morrow’s BABIP was about right at .299, but everything you want of a solid pitcher was a bit lacking.Â He didn’t leave men on base (65.5%), balls in parks (10.4% HR/FB) and he walks hitters (3.46).Â But — and like J. Lo this is a big but — his walk rate last year, always a huge issue for him, was the best of his career.Â Great sign!Â (Sorry for the non-sarcastic exclamation mark, but Morrow gets me excited.)Â The month of June last year is exactly what we want from Morrow over the course of a season.Â It wasn’t a particularly lucky or unlucky month.Â He gave up a few homers (3), struck out hitters (9.87), didn’t walk a whole lot (3.19) and left baserunners on (69%).Â His BABIP of .284 was a tad lucky, but not bonkers.Â All doable numbers.Â That month he had a 3.77 ERA.Â If you have a guy striking out almost 10 batters per nine, a 3.77 ERA is a thing of beauty.Â For next year, I’ll give him 13-9/3.85/1.28/210.Â I love Morrow!* (*If Morrow fails to live up to expectations in 2012, he’s dead to me.Â This will be our last dance.)