One of the things I will do this season is validate performance. Usually I will do so with more of a sample size, but let’s look at a starter today that many are finally catching onto (he’s finally owned in more than 50% of leagues according to Yahoo Sports as of this morning):
Hisashi Iwakuma: In Iwakuma’s first start, he went 6 IP with 7K and 0BB with no earned runs. He gave up 5 Groundballs (GB) and 7 Flyballs (FB) and only 1 Line Drive (LD). Iwakuma was a stud last year after transitioning to the rotation. Simply looking at his 1st and 2nd Half Splits on Fangraphs, his K/BB jumped from 1.5 to 2.96. His HR/9 dropped from 1.78 to an even 1.00 and his weighted on base average dropped from .342 to .302. It’s for these reasons, I drafted him in our unique dynasty league in round 24 which utilizes K/9, BB/9, HR/9 and (K-B)/PA in addition to RAA (Runs allowed average).
While Iwakuma’s first start was impressive it didn’t truly depict the type of pitcher he was last year. Albeit a small sample size, his GB/FB line yesterday was 38.5/53.8% or a .71 GB/FB ratio. We should expect closer to 1.5+ throughout the season, which should bode well for run prevention. If he could keep his K/BB near 3.00 we’re talking an elite option here.
Last year only 19 SP’s with 120+ IP had a better GB/FB ratio than Iwakuma. Of those who I would consider draftable this year, the list in order includes:
Alex Cobb (2.77)
Trevor Cahill (2.69)
Lucas Harrell in deep leagues (2.54)
Rick Porcello (2.36)
AJ Burnett (2.35)
Tim Hudson (2.2)
Jaime Garcia (2.07)
David Price (1.97)
Adam Wainwright (1.93)
and Doug Fister (1.91)
If you would like for me to qualify anyone’s performance to date at any time, please send me a request!