So yes, this is an overrated post but since I’m not Grey and Grey ain’t me, you don’t see the word ‘Schmohawk’ in the title.  If I had, it would’ve been seen as a weak and watered down version of a Schmohawk piece.  Mayhap you would’ve gone so far as to say it was a ‘Faux hawk’ which is really the worst thing ever.  A faux hawk says to me you want to look like an edgy bad boy but you also listen to Nick Jonas which is just another way of saying ‘My parents are well off and I spend a lot of time at the mall complaining about them’.  First off, not getting the car for the weekend because you got a ‘C’ in Math isn’t ‘abusive’ and secondly, that kid who dumped his orange julius on you after walking out of Hot Topic?  Yeah, that would’ve been me from 20 years ago.  Go full hawk or no hawk, you poser!  But enough about my goth teen years, we’re here to talk about Doug Fister and so we shall.  Let’s see what kind of players put up similar 2014 lines who are going cheaper than Doug for 2015 Fantasy Baseball Drafts…

On the surface, Doug Fister had what many would call a stellar year for fantasy purposes.  Among qualifying starters, he finished the year 6th best in ERA at 2.41, tied for tenth best WHIP at 1.08, and tied for 10th in wins with 16.  Kinda nice when a pitcher finishes top ten in three of the four categories that starting pitchers are owned for but that’s where the bloom on the rose begins to wilt.  But hey, let’s take this from a different approach.  Let’s say you, your friends, and your wife love a good Fister on draft day (tee hee).  Considering his consensus rank right now of SP37 and pick number 150, it’s obvious you’re not over spending in the classic sense especially when you consider he finished 21st for starting pitchers on the Razzball Player Rater in 2014.  But let’s go down the path of matching skill sets and players who can comp to Doug’s ability to see why even in round 12 you’re overpaying.

Now that we’re on to the underlying skills that pay the fantasy bills, let’s talk about a skill set that’s big for pitchers in general: GB%.  Fister finished with a 48.9% ground ball rate in 2014.  That number isn’t elite (26th best among qualifying starters) but it’s also in good company as Corey Kluber finished with a 48% rate himself.  So let’s make 48% or greater ground ball rate the starting cutoff point for evaluation.  That trims our comp pool down to 29.  Next, let’s make sure all of our ERAs are sub-4 cuz that’s just how we do.  Not a huge difference as we only lowered the bar to 23.  Next, let’s look at Fister’s ability to not walk many batters and say the BB/9 has to be less than 2 per.  Ooooh, now we’re down to 10…we’re getting somewhere!  But finally, let’s realize the major flaw in Fister’s game is the K/9 and remove anyone with a K/9 over 6 per.  Perfect!  We now have just four players to evaluate.  Instead of naming them, let’s just bask in the glory of their mediocrity in table format and their not so correlative rankings, shall we?

Pitcher Rank Overall Rank Razzball Player Rater 2014 W K/9 BB/9 BABIP LOB% GB% ERA FIP xFIP
SP37 150 SP21 16 5.38 1.32 0.262 83.10% 48.90% 2.41 3.93 3.85
SP62 225 SP51 15 5.67 1.8 0.298 72.40% 49.00% 3.43 3.67 3.68
SP76 267 SP52 12 5.34 1.59 0.304 79.30% 53.80% 2.65 3.58 3.57
SP98 345 SP90 9 5.7 1.62 0.3 70.30% 53.10% 3.57 3.54 3.57

First off, I had to remove some stats like GS, HR/FB%, Ls, etc.  Trust me, I wanted to leave them on there, but internet pages only go so wide before you need two monitors to view it all.  Secondly, if you’ve actually been reading you already know who Fister is so if this were a test, you already have 25% correct.  Congrats!  If not, well you failed on so many levels it’s not worth talking about so let’s just get our comp on.  For the fantasy novice, let’s make clear three numbers that hugely identify a pitcher being lucky.  Firstly, BABIP.  League average luck in this stat would put you at or around .300.  Cool, that’s pretty much exactly what the other three pitchers are but Fister?  His career BABIP is .292 but had an extremely low .262 in 2014.  That’s what we like to call in fantasy circles ‘an outlier’.  Next up, let’s look at that LOB%.  Neutral luck should net you around 70%.  Fister actually led all qualifying starters in 2014 with his 83.1% and for his career sits at 73.7%.  Let’s put that down as outlier numero deuce.  And finally, xFIP.  There is no real league average here that matters.  That xFIP just tells you what most likely would’ve been their ERA given neutral luck.  Of the four pitchers listed, Fister has the largest discrepancy between ERA and xFIP and also has the highest xFIP of the group.  All in all, that ERA could’ve been around 3.50 given neutral luck which would’ve affected wins but also his overall performance in your eyes as an owner.  So all things considered, on draft day you could get a similar player nearly 100 to 200 picks later in your draft.  Oh, you wanna know who these strangers are?  Well, SP62 is Rick Porcello, SP76 is Henderson Alvarez, and SP98 is Tim Hudson and more importantly, you now know how to get a Fister from a stranger.  See how the title and the end match up?  It’s like I planned it that way!  Oh and if it isn’t clear, if you’re drafting Doug, you’re doing it wrong.  Peace!