I have plenty of fantasy baseball advice to give and today its about starting pitching. I'm not going to go crazy here but just a quick peek and a thought to some cheap options I like for 2013. Not a lot of stat crunching going on here so make sure you do your own research. I'm a hunch/opinion guy as many of you already know. Just throwing some names out there for you to recognize....
Felix Doubront, BOS - 167 K in 161 IP is all you need to know. Most drafters may look at his ERA and WHIP (4.86/1.45) and shy away but I feel there could be some real value here. He's only 25, should improve a bit in his second year and should still be pretty cheap. If you choose SP wisely earlier in the draft, you can afford to grab Doubront and load up on K's at the back end.
Alex Cobb, TB - Pitched to a 3.16 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in the last two months of the season. He pitched poorly when first called up which contributes to the season numbers you see. Hope that others look at those season long numbers and move on. Cobb will produce value. He gets K's and has control, a combination that is hard to come by late in the draft.
Mike Minor, ATL - Minor's second half in 2012 - 7-4/2.21ERA/0.86 WHIP and a sweet K rate in 15 starts. Maybe he's put it together? He makes this list because he was an abomination the first half of the season, so there's a chance you get some value here past the naysayers. Minor is talented and the numbers will likely even out a bit, but I'd say he'll shy more towards the second half than last years first half.
Phil Hughes - Perennial bust and started off 2012 Mike Minor style. But from June on, Hughes was solid. In the playoffs, he was solid while the offense wasn't. Here's a guy, on a top hitting team, a few years experience, he's 26, and still has the upside we've been waiting for. Yes, I am a Yankee fan but no, I don't believe we've seen his ceiling yet. I'm not a homer in this case, but drafters will pass over this guy round by round and you can scoop him up late and laugh your way to a championship. Is he a 2.70 ERA guy? No. Will he win 18 games? Probably not. Can he finally deliver an ERA under 3.90? I believe so. Can he get you a 1.25 or less WHIP? Yes (1.26 in 2012). Can he win 12-15 games as a #4 starter? Yes. Only issue, has a back issue setting him back in spring training.
Other considerable mentions of late rounders I like who most of your fellow managers will likely by pass. These SP's all have one thing in common.... they all have knock out type stuff. Whether its injuries, being a head case, having a down year, these guys all have top of the rotation type stuff but either stuck at the bottom or fellow drafters just don't care....
Lance Lynn, Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero, AJ Burnett, Michael Pineda (if deemed healthy), Rick Porcello (former #1 pick), Gavin Floyd, Chris Tillman, Francisco Liriano, Dillon Gee
Pitchers with real talent and potential to crack the rotation out of spring training or later in the season that could offer some real value....
Franklin Morales, BOS - in 2013 pitched 76 innings with 76 K as a starter and in relief. Toss in a 3.77 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP and you have yourself a stash candidate that doesn't appear will be making the starting rotation at this point in the spring.
Patrick Corbin, ARI - I heard someone on the MLB Network mention Corbin and the word "special" in the same sentence. I'm holding onto that, seriously. Take out two bad starts at the end of September and you have someone to keep on stash burner. Granted you have Randall Delgado andTyler Skaggs deal with but Corbin is someone to stash for the second half. he posted a 3.65 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in August 2012 in his first stint in the majors.
Late in drafts I like to select pitchers that offer something extra in any one category. I'm not big on just grabbing someone serviceable. I'd rather take a third closer and a hot reliever with closer potential to stash. A pitcher that puts up a 4.00 ERA, 120K, 1.30 WHIP, 5-6 Innings a game just won't help you move up the standings in most normal leagues. Fantasy baseball league averages usually range in the areas of 3.40-3.60ERA/1.20-1.25 WHIP with K's and Wins usually inconsistent from year to year. I'm sure some of these guys are useful in AL and NL only leagues but give me someone with someone with some potential for more at any one category. Sorry, but I'm done with.....
I can probably go on and on here but this is pretty much my SP strategy in 2013 towards the end of the draft. I'm not saying its awesome and I've probably left off some guys a little more hyped but based on my own research, this is what I like late in the draft. Recognize....
The Fantasy Man