Most of the rookie nookie reacharounds I’ve given out so far have been for hitters. But that doesn’t mean all 2009 fantasy baseball rookies will be hitters. Right, David Price? So today there’s Dodgers rookie pitcher, James McDonald, who is in no way related to the smooth-as-a-Mah-Jong-tile, Michael McDonald. On my own… As with the other 2009 rookies, James McDonald is not being talked about today because he should be drafted in the first round of an 8 team league. He’s a rookie that needs to be examined for sleeper and deep league keeper consideration. Can James McDonald compare to Billingsley or Kershaw? Can he help your fantasy baseball team in 2009? Who am I, Ms. Cleo? Do I have a Doctorate in The Voodoo That You Do? Respectively, nope, yup, nope and definitely, but let’s look at James McDonald’s fantasy baseball status anyway, shall we?
In almost 100 games started in his minors career, James McDonald has the stats of a capable starter: 3.41/1.20 and a 9.74 K/9 ratio. He took most of his beatings in Single-A and Rookie Ball. In Double- and Triple-A last year, he had an ERA of 3.26 and a 7-4 record. Then when the NLDS rolled around, McDonald found more than partially hydrogenated soybean oil in his Happy Meal when he was added to the roster by Joe Torre, even if it was just for middle relief. McDonald’s starter status in 2009 will be contingent on offseason free agent signings and the Dodgers are in too big of a market to simply rely on a rookie pitcher. But if they are stuck with McDonald, it might not be such a bad place to be. James McDonald could be a capable fifth starter for the Dodgers, a must grab in NL-Only leagues and a late round mixed league sleeper — recognize!