Results tagged ‘ Texas Rangers ’

Fantasy Baseball Players Getting a Shot: Brown, Olt, Holland, Wallace, and Sanchez

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses five players who are getting a chance to play in the majors and how valuable they may be to fantasy managers.

 

Domonic Brown, OF, Phillies

With a couple of outfielders on the move, Dominic Brown has returned to the Phillies. The former top prospect hit .310 with 20 doubles in just 65 games in the minor leagues this season. A month shy of his 25th birthday, Brown’s window of opportunity is closing, so it makes a lot of sense for the Phillies to give him a shot. If you are in need of some offensive support, Brown should be able to offer a decent average and respectable on base percentage, though the power and speed have not developed the way we thought they would so far.

 

Mike Olt, 1B, Rangers

A late first-round pick in 2010, Olt is a big-time power hitter who slammed 28 home runs with 82 RBI in 95 games at Double-A this season. He was desired by all teams when it came to blockbuster deals at the trade deadline, but instead the Rangers plan to have him contribute in the big leagues now. This is bad news for Mitch Moreland, who offers great power but has not been given much of a shot to play everyday.

 

Greg Holland, RP, Royals

A 27-year-old right-hander who throws hard but does not surrender many long balls, Greg Holland picked up his first save on Wednesday night with a 1-2-3 inning. Holland can still get wild at times and is not nearly as dominant as he was a season ago, but the Royals are at least providing him with the opportunity to succeed in the high pressure role of closer.

 

Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros

It took Brett Wallace more than 330 at-bats to rack up five home runs last year. He already has four this year in fewer than 50 at-bats after blasting two in his last start. Though his plate discipline is lacking, Wallace did offer some power at Triple-A this season while offering a .300 average. The soon-to-be 26-year-old will have every shot to contribute for the remainder of the season with the Astros in what could be his last chance at being an everyday player.

 

Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Pirates

The Marlins found no more use for the struggling Gaby Sanchez while the Pirates are eager to give him an opportunity. Sanchez has a .200 average with just three home runs this season, but this is a player who hit 19 home runs in back-to-back seasons and was batting .302 with five home runs in 34 games at Triple-A. With Casey McGehee dealt to the Yankees, Sanchez has first base to himself in Pittsburgh.

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Ballpark Figures Trade Deadline Wrap Up

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw break down the moves made at the trade deadline and the implications for your fantasy team.

 

Reds Trade for Jonathan Broxton

For the Reds, Jonathan Broxton simply provides depth and some closer experience. However, he is destined for a middle relief role with the club in front of Aroldis Chapman. The Royals get two quality arms in return and Greg Holland becomes the closer in Kansas City.

 

Rangers Acquire Ryan Dempster

With the Angels breathing down their necks, the Rangers had to do something before the trade deadline, especially with Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz lost for the season. Ryan Dempster had already been traded to the Braves but he rejected the move last week. He did, however, welcome a trade to the Rangers mere hours before the trade deadline. This is a move that will help Dempster quite a bit when you consider that he has won just five of his 16 starts despite a 2.25 ERA. His ERA is likely to rise in Texas, but I’m sure fantasy managers will welcome it with the additional wins due to the Rangers run support.

 

Shane Victorino Traded to the Dodgers

One of the better offensive outfielders in baseball, Shane Victorino ends his career with the Phillies now that he has been traded to the Dodgers. He gets plenty of steals, has some pop and reaches base often. However, in Los Angeles, he will likely lose some of that pop, which could keep his average down a tad. Originally drafted by the Dodgers in 1999, Victorino owns a .357 average at Dodgers Stadium and will benefit from having Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the lineup.

 

Hunter Pence Traded to the Giants

This is the big surprise, as Hunter Pence is 29 years old and clearly in his prime. Though Pence has lost some of his speed this season, he does have some pop and is a line drive hitter.  A move to the Giants could cost him some home runs, but at least he will play some meaningful baseball this fall. Regardless, overall the move hurts Pence’s fantasy value.

 

Yankees Acquire Casey McGehee

For a second straight season, Casey McGehee has struggled at the plate but he is a fine Ty Wigginton type player who can contribute in big moments. What this acquisition does is hurt the fantasy value of Eric Chavez, as three is now a crowd with Jayson Nix also taking some at-bats away while filling in for the injured Alex Rodriguez.

 

Pirates Acquire Gaby Sanchez

The Pirates had nothing to lose and now hope that a change of scenery will do some good for Gaby Sanchez. After two straight seasons with 572 at-bats and 19 home runs, Sanchez struggled mightily this season with just three home runs and a .202 average before being relegated to the minor leagues. The 28-year-old moves to a more hitter-friendly ballpark and a surprisingly better lineup to resurrect his career.

 

Cardinals Acquire Edward Mujica

Last year the Cardinals brought in relief help including Octavio Dotel and it worked out well for them. This year, the Cardinals have a bit more work to do but they will not let the bullpen be the team’s unraveling.  On Tuesday, the Cards acquired Edward Mujica, a hard-thrower with solid control. He does surrender some home runs but is another quality arm to help bridge the gap to Jason Motte.

 

Pirates Acquire Travis Snider

Another cheap pickup for the Pirates, Travis Snider has some serious potential, but it just did not work out in Toronto. On the other hand, Pittsburgh is a fine place for him to establish himself and at 24 years old, he has some time to reach his potential. I see Snider as a potential 30-homer guy with more than 10 steals and a respectable average. He is the big bat that the Pirates would love to team up with Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen.

 

Blue Jays Trade Steve Delabar for Eric Thames

A feel good story in Seattle, Steve Delabar went from a coach to a player in a little over a year and has averaged well over a strikeout per inning this season. He provides the Blue Jays with the power arm that they expected to have in the injured Sergio Santos. His value takes a minor decline since he moves from the pitcher’s haven Safeco Field to the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre.

Eric Thames makes the reverse move from Toronto to Seattle. There won’t be many complaints from Thames since he will likely get a crack at playing everyday with the Mariners. He has some power but really struggles when it comes to the strikeout-to-walk ratio.

 

Braves Acquire Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm

A .300 hitter for a second straight year, Reed Johnson is very much a utility player with no fantasy value. On the other hand, Paul Maholm has enjoyed his time in Chicago with a 9-6 record and a solid 3.74 ERA. He has surrendered a run or fewer in each of his last six starts. Maholm also boasts a 1.69 ERA in five career starts at Turner Field. Though the Braves only made this deal since Ryan Dempster rejected the trade to Atlanta, I do think this is a nice fit with Maholm as hot as any pitcher in baseball right now.

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Top Headlines: Ichiro Suzuki, Colby Lewis, Anibal Sanchez, and Ryan Dempster

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down four of the major stories in baseball right now that could impact your fantasy team.

 

Ichiro Suzuki Traded to the Yankees for Two Minor Leaguers 

The Yankees added another legend to the fold in the form of right-fielder Ichiro Suzuki.  The future Hall of Famer is in the midst of his second disappointing season, as his average dipped from .272 a year ago to .261 entering last night.  He also isn’t drawing many walks, which explains the .288 on-base percentage.

The Yankees are hoping a move out of Safeco will do some good for Ichiro, who is hitting .297 on the road this season. Ichiro has also been great in his career at Yankee Stadium, with a .333 batting average and a.492 slugging percentage.  The move is an absolute boon for fantasy managers.

 

Colby Lewis Out for the Season 

The Rangers are in first place this season, which has as much to say about their pitching as their hitting. One of their top hurlers is Colby Lewis, who owns nearly a 7-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.  However, that ratio will not change as Lewis has been placed on the DL with an elbow injury and is lost for the season.

The loss of Lewis is a big blow, as he has been a star in the postseason with a 4-1 record and 2.34 ERA. The only good news is that Rangers fans will get a chance to see their top prospect Martin Perez again, but really, this is an injury that could force the Rangers hand to make a big deal.

 

Anibal Sanchez Going to Detroit 

And just like that the Marlins are sellers again.  Anibal Sanchez is just 28 years old, ranks among the top strikeout leaders and has really improved his control over the years. Regardless, the Marlins are not in the mood to pay him big this offseason, even though it did not stop them from acquiring Heath Bell last season.

A move to the American League is typically bad news for pitchers, but with the Tigers, Sanchez will have a lot of run support and play for a contender. Also dealt was Omar Infante, who offers some pop and speed from second base. Jacob Turner was moved to Miami but he is very much unproven, similar to a pitcher by the name of Andrew Miller, who never quite lived up to his hype despite being acquired for Miguel Cabrera from the Tigers several years ago.

 

Ryan Dempster Rumors

With a 2.11 ERA, Ryan Dempster is considered by many to be the best hired arm on the trading block. However, Dempster seems to enjoy Chicago and as a 10-5 player, he has the option of rejecting any trade. The Braves, meanwhile, see an opportunity to win an NL Wild Card spot and hope to acquire the veteran hurler. In the deal, Randall Delgado, who has mixed results, would be sent to Chicago. If Dempster does move to Atlanta, he is bound to do better than his current 5-4 record, while Delgado will see his value decrease even more.

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com. 

Ballpark Figures All-Star Interviews: Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, and Mark Trumbo

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses the best teams in baseball right now and checks in with some of their top players at the All-Star Game.

Coming into the season it seemed like everyone was high on the Angels and Tigers, two of the more active teams in the off-season.  It turns out that the Yankees are the best in baseball and the Nationals are not far behind.

The All-Star break provided a chance to check in with some of the top players from contending teams, and one player we got to chat with was Ian Kinsler, the 42nd-best fantasy player accoring to Bloomberg Sports with 65 runs, 10 home runs and 15 steals. He was one of eight All-Stars from the Rangers, a franchise that has made it to back-to-back World Series.

“It was a good first half,” Kinsler said. “I think as a team we played well. We went through a lot more ups and downs than we wanted to but we played well and we’re in first place right now. And we have eight guys here at the All-Star Game, so we’re happy.”

Another team expected to contend for the title is the Detroit Tigers. Prince Fielder was the major off-season acquisition, but this is Miguel Cabrera’s team. Cabrera is enjoying an MVP-caliber season and right now ranks as the seventh-best fantasy player. He made it clear that the start to the second half will be big.

“We feel okay, you know. We want to feel more comfortable at the end of the season, like win the division, get into first place,” Cabrera said. “I think we’re in good position. I think we’re feeling good right now. We want to start good in the second half, start to be more aggressive and win more games.”

Finally, the Angels are putting some heat on the Tigers. Jered Weaver has pitched like an ace and Albert Pujols has turned things around. While everyone is talking about the superstar rookie Mike Trout, it’s the second-year star Mark Trumbo who ranks as the top surprise. He’s batting .305 with 26 home runs and 65 RBI.

“It’s been really special,” Trumbo said. “The first month of the season is probably forgettable. We were out there competing, just the results weren’t coming in. Sometimes that happens. But since then we’ve been rolling pretty well. People are playing to their capabilities and we’ve had a lot more wins to show for it.”

The Tigers, Angels and Rangers were supposed to be the teams competing for an AL pennant this season and so far they have. If the season ended today, all three would advance to the postseason thanks to the multiple Wild Card spots.  However, there is still a lot of baseball to play and several surprise teams are still out there, including the A’s, White Sox and Indians.  A big move at the trade deadline or even a key promotion could make the difference.

For more insight, visit BloombergSports.com. 

Fantasy Baseball Weekend Recap: Perez, Young, Thome, Davis, Alvarez, and Hosmer

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down the weekend in baseball and how it affects your fantasy team.

 

Martin Perez, SP, Rangers

Perez made his major league debut Saturday night against Oakland. The 21-year-old southpaw had five strikeouts and gave up six hits, one walk and two earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched. He had struggled in the minor leagues this season with a 1.29 K/BB ratio at AAA. However, he has been better in the past and there is reason to be excited about his future.

 

Chris Young, SP, Mets

Young has only started 13 games since 2010, but his numbers during that stretch are among the best in baseball. He has a 2.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, compared to Roy Halladay’s 2.60 ERA and 1.05 WHIP and Cliff Lee’s 3.00 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. This season, he has started five games, his greatest workload since 2009. The last time he made 20 starts was in 2007.

 

Jim Thome, Orioles

Thome spent his first 12 seasons with the Cleveland Indians and has since been on seven teams over the last 10 years. Moving to Baltimore allows him to play more regularly as a designated hitter. He has had 40 home runs in 553 at-bats over the last two years and could bring some power to the Orioles’ lineup and your fantasy team.

 

 

Shaw also discusses three players whose slumps have ended and who are putting up big numbers in recent weeks. First is Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who has six home runs, 24 RBI and a .333 average in 19 games since June 9th. Second, Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has seven home runs, 19 RBI and a .377 average in 15 games since June 16th. Finally, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has a .423 average, one home run and three RBI in his last seven games.

 

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Preview: Edwin Jackson, Erik Bedard, and Yu Darvish

 

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

Edwin Jackson is young, durable, and has been a winner with 10-plus wins in each of the last four seasons.  The solid track record begs the question why did so many teams pass on him.

 

The 28-year-old hurler is now on his seventh Major League team and he hasn’t played for losers either.  He went 5-2 down the stretch for the Cardinals last season, playing a role in the team’s World Series Championship.

 

One of the hardest throwing hurlers in baseball, Jackson has improved his control over the years.  His greatest weakness recently is that he is just too hittable.  Even in his successful run with the Cardinals the opposition hit .300 against him.  The good news is that he keeps the ball in the yards, but for fantasy managers looking for a low WHIP, Jackson is not a solution.

 

The move to Washington means he’ll now don the jersey for his sixth team over the last four years.  However, Bloomberg Sports likes his fantasy value.  The larger ballpark and National League setting should translate to 170 strikeouts, double-digit wins, and a 4.21 ERA.

 

Jackson is a fine low-risk, high ceiling option in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.  After all, it was just a few years back that he threw a no-hitter while pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Let’s see if he can finally sustain such dominance over a full season.

 

Once one of the hurlers in the most demand in the Major Leagues, Erik Bedard hopes to build on his improvement from last season while joining the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

Bedard was a disaster in Seattle.  Because of injuries, he never lived up to the hype and while the Mariners traded away top prospect Adam Jones to the Orioles for him, they ended up letting him go for very little in return last season to the Red Sox.

 

The good news is that Bedard showed that even after all of the injury-ravaged seasons, he still has some potential right now.  He offered fine control last season and fanned a batter per inning throughout the year.

 

A move to Pittsburgh should lead to some good results for Bedard’s fantasy managers.  Pittsburgh’s ballpark plays neutral and he will no longer have to deal with designated hitters in the majority of his starts.  Most importantly, he has sustained his health, which is the key to his performance.

 

BloombergSports.com projects a solid 3.74 ERA and 1 .30 WHIP from the veteran hurler this season, and with some luck he could reach double-digit wins for the first time in five years.

 

The loss of CJ Wilson could be crushing to the Texas Rangers.  Just a year removed from a second World Series, the Rangers lost their ace for a second time.  First it was Cliff Lee who bolted to rejoin the Phillies.  Now it’s Wilson, and while he may not be as dominant as Lee, the fact that he joins the rival LA Angels of Anaheim makes matters worse.

 

The Rangers were desperate to respond and without many proven stars on the market they had to compete with teams including the Toronto Blue Jays to land Yu Darvish, an ace from Japan.  With an enormous bid, the Rangers land the hard-throwing hurler who will enjoy the loftiest expectations by a free agent to join the Rangers perhaps since Alex Rodriguez signed his now infamous $252 million deal.

 

As far as realistic projections for Darvish, BloombergSports.com offers a 13-8 record, 185 strikeouts, and a 3.63 ERA for the hard-throwing hurler.   That makes him the 16th best starting pitcher, and a top-50 fantasy talent.

 

Despite the lofty projections, there is still a great deal of risk for fantasy managers.  After all, Darvish is new to America and will have to adapt culturally to Major League Baseball, plus he calls home to one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league.  He will not get away with many mistakes and the media will be hounding him all season long.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com.

Aces on the Move: CJ Wilson, Heath Bell, and Joe Nathan

 

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

CJ Wilson may have been the top arm on the market this off-season, but the pressure is certainly not as intense on the hurler as it is on Albert Pujols.  The reason is very simple, while Pujols is the best hitter in the world Wilson isn’t even the best arm on the Angels.

 

Wilson’s struggles in the postseason may have left a bad taste in the mouth of Rangers fans, but the hurler is actually in a much better situation now that he flees the hitter-friendly Ballpark at Arlington.  Putting the 2011 playoffs aside, the year as whole brough great improvement for Wilson.  His strikeouts went up while his walks went down.

 

Another factor for Wilson this season will be his run support.  Typically leaving the Rangers, who are loaded with sluggers, will result in a decline of run support.  However, that is not the case since Pujols will also join the Angels who already have some former first basemen who know something about providing big bats.

 

The Angels will be fun to watch for many reasons, and after falling to Pujols and the Cardinals in the postseason last season, Wilson should enjoy the shot at winning with Pujols as his teammate manning first base.

 

It made perfect sense for the Miami Marlins to sign Heath Bell.  The veteran hurler has three straight seasons with 40-plus saves and while the Marlins have had some success in their bullpen in recent years, it has not been as dominant as what the Padres enjoyed.  There is just one problem with bringing in Bell and expecting everything to run smoothly.  There are signs that the 34-year-old may be losing his effectiveness.

 

A late bloomer with the Mets, Bell broke out in San Diego, where he had the benefit of little media attention and one of the most favorable ballparks for pitchers.  In fact his 2.88 ERA on the road last season was not as dominant as the 2.15 ERA he posted at PETCO Park.

 

Bell also regressed as a strikeout hurler.  His 11 K/9 dropped to 7 K/9, as his whiff rate fell by 9%.  This is not just a matter of Bell losing velocity, in fact, the main issue has been a loss of effectiveness in his curveball.  In 2010, the opposition hit just .141 against that pitch, and last season it spiked two-fold to .282.  The out-pitch is not recording as many outs.

 

Bell should enjoy plenty of save opportunities since the Marlins did improve their starting rotation and offense, but there should be less heralded hurlers in fantasy leagues who can end up posting better numbers this season.

 

At first glance, last year was a disaster for long-time Twins closer Joe Nathan.  His ERA doubled, his strikeouts declined, and his saves were cut drastically.  Of course, Nathan was also returning to the mound after missing all of the 2010 with a major arm injury.

 

On that note, Nathan’s statistics should be measured differently.  Rather than focus on the full season, we should pay greater attention to the end of the season when he finally shed all of his rust.  From June 25th on, Nathan was his usual dominant self.  His WHIP was a dominant 0.90 from that point forward, which suggests that even in his late 30s, Nathan still possesses the ability to dominate.

 

Nathan now joins the Texas Rangers, and while he will throw the ball in a much more hitter-friendly ballpark, he joins a better club that will likely result in more save opportunities.  The ERA may take a slight uptick, but overall he will enjoy more saves and have more value assuming he can stay healthy.  It also allows some of the younger hurlers to take on larger roles in the starting rotation.

Adrian Beltre, Texas Ranger

by Eno Sarris // 

Look at the career statistics for Adrian Beltre, and you might be surprised to see how much money he’s made. After going to Texas and signing his newest five-year, $80 million contract (with a $16 million vesting option), Beltre will have earned close to $200 million (at least) by the time his career ends. And yet right now, his career batting average is a mere .275 and he’s averaged about 23 home runs per full year.

The truth is, he’s probably been worth the money (if not high fantasy picks most seasons) for two reasons: his glove and the offense-suppressing ballparks that have made his numbers look worse than they’d be most elsewhere. R.J. Anderson will take a look at the value of Beltre’s excellent glove later this week. For now, let’s take a look at Beltre and his relationship to his home parks over his career.

AdrianBeltre-300x243.jpgBeltre didn’t like hitting in Safeco field. He’s a right-handed pull hitter and the park factor for home runs by a right-hander in that park is just 84 (100 is average). That kept him to a .253/.307/.409 line in 363 games in Seattle – 1406 at-bats that helped suppress his overall value in fantasy leagues. That modest work came after 489 games and a .253/.316/.423 line in spacious Dodger Stadium (which had a 92 park factor for right-handed home runs last year).

What happens to his overall numbers when you take out those 3076 at-bats? Away from Safeco and Dodger Stadium, Beltre has hit .293 with 26 home runs per 600 at-bats. And, as he showed with his .325 batting average and 28 home runs in Fenway, Beltre can be even better if given an extra boost by his home park.

Fenway had a 95 park factor for right-handed home runs – and a 130 park factor for right-handed doubles. That helped Beltre put together his second-best batting average and clear his previous high in doubles by eight in a great year for the Red Sox. His new stadium in Arlington has a 105 park factor for right-handed home runs (105 for doubles), and Beltre will surely enjoy calling such a park home.

The .331 batting average on balls in play in 2010, in the face of his career .294 BABIP, probably means that his batting average will fall in 2011. His new park won’t allow him to pepper the Green Monster with doubles any more. But while the batting average falls, the power might surge. A home park that is 10% friendlier for home runs will help his case.

Bill James projects a .283 batting average and 24 home runs for Beltre in 2011. Up the home run total since his new home stadium is now determined, and that looks about right. Take Beltre in the early rounds of your draft (especially given the position scarcity at third base) and profit off owners that put too much credence in his overall career numbers.

Is Brandon Webb Rosterable?

By R.J. Anderson //

Brandon Webb averaged 33 starts a season from 2003 until the 2009 season. He’s made one start since (on Opening Day of the 2009 season), as a shoulder injury sidelined him for the duration of the 2010 season. After 199 appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks, number 200 and beyond will come as a member of the Texas Rangers. Webb signed a one-year deal with Texas, heavy on incentives, over the holiday weekend.

Webb threw for scouts late last season, and the reported velocity readings were disappointing. Webb has never been someone to toss fireballs at batters – his fastball has sat around 87-89 for his career – but low-to-mid 80s is a whole other beast. Webb has been one of the most extreme groundball pitchers in the game throughout his career, which could lead you to wonder if he could, in fact, get by with a fastball of 85 mph or lower. If he does, he’ll be in rarefied air. Below is a list of right-handed pitchers with velocities under 86 miles per hour on their fastballs last season, along with the usage rate and their ERA:

R.A. Dickey (83.9 MPH, 16.1% usage): 2.84 ERA

Livan Hernandez (84.3 MPH, 61.4% usage): 3.66 ERA

The accompanying peripherals suggest both Dickey and Hernandez weren’t as good as their ERA suggests. Next, comparing Webb to Dickey is a bit ridiculous. Dickey lives and dies with his knuckler – which makes him odd. Even odder is that he lacks a UCL in his throwing arm – i.e. the ligament operated on in Tommy John surgery. Comparing Webb to Hernandez is imperfect as well. Hernandez is notorious for his pacing and relative lack of stuff, getting by for years on guile and durability.

That Webb fits into his own category isn’t surprising. What that means, though, is that he should be approached carefully. Depending on spring reports, he could become borderline rosterable in deep AL-only leagues,. But for now Webb is not a suitable fantasy option, until proven otherwise.

MLB Season In Review: Texas Rangers Pitchers

By Tommy Rancel //

Biggest Surprise(s): C.J. Wilson & Colby Lewis

In one of the first articles at Bloomberg Sports, we wondered if Wilson could physically handle the transition from reliever to starter, and more importantly, if his stellar stats would follow. Wilson answered those questions by tossing 203 innings and going 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA in 33 starts. Wilson did lead the league in walks allowed. Still, he allowed just 10 homers all year and showed great durability. The move was certainly a success for the straight edge racer and the Rangers.

After spending 2008 and 2009 away from the major leagues, Lewis returned in a big way in 2010. Although he finished with a 12-13 record, his 3.72 ERA in 201 innings amounted to one of baseball’s biggest surprises. With nearly a strikeout per inning and less than three walks per nine, Lewis’ success was no fluke. He won’t surprise anyone next year, so plan accordingly.

Biggest Bust: Scott Feldman

Feldman enjoyed a breakout season in 2009, going 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 31 starts. He came crashing down to earth in 2010 as he went 7-11 with a 5.48 ERA in 22 starts. Feldman’s strikeout rate was poor in 2009 (5.36 K/9), but was even worse in 2010 (4.78).  Although he might see some positive regression in 2011, it shouldn’t be much.

2011 Keeper Alert: Neftali Feliz

Feliz completed the opposite transition of C.J. Wilson, as the one-time starting pitching prospect became one of the AL’s best closers. The 22-year-old saved 40 games in 43 opportunities. His strikeout rate dropped from double digits in 2009, but was still better than league average (9.22 K/9). He did a stellar job of limiting walks (2.34 BB/9) and kept the ball in the yard (0.65 HR/9) despite his home stadium. There are talks of him one day resuming his starting role, but regardless of role, his live arm is worth keeping around.

2011 Regression Alert: Tommy Hunter

With a record of 13-4 and an ERA of 3.73, Hunter definitely caught some people’s attention. But really, Hunter is another Scott Feldman waiting to happen given the two pitchers’ very similar peripherals. In fact, Hunter posted an identical strikeout rate of 4.78 Ks per nine innings. He did post a nice walk rate, but gave up nearly 1.5 home runs per nine. In addition to BABIP regression, Hunter also stranded 80.7% of batters. The league average is 72.2%. Let someone else in your league deal with all that regression in 2011.

For more on C.J. Wilson and the Texas Rangers’ rotation checkout Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Kits.

 

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