Much Matt Cain in Johnny Cueto, minus respect, even in fantasy baseball
November 9, 2012 @ 12:57:37 PDT
It sounds dirtier than it is.
Matt Cain is in the prime of his career. He has transitioned from "one of the most talented pitchers in baseball" to "one of the best pitchers in baseball." Whether he remains in that class depends on how he adapts as his body ages and what he learns from the vast experience he has yet to gain, among other things.
The San Francisco Giants' hurler has, accordingly, become one of the better fantasy investments. For the past couple of seasons, his auction price and draft position have reflected the community's faith in the right-hander's skills development.
A few years ago, mild concern arose about the dip in his rate of strikeouts per nine innings, but we quickly learned that such worry was unwarranted. He's made a concerted effort to improve his control, and he dialed back the strikeouts a little to help him get there - to put it simply (and overly so).
Cain's labor is evident in his increased efficiency. In 2012, he threw roughly two pitches per inning fewer than he did in his first full season. This evolution has allowed him to maintain his potency and enjoy longer outings, naturally.
For good rotisserie measure, it appears that Cain reintroduced in 2012 a greater rate of strikeouts to his dossier.
What's interesting, at least to me, is that Johnny Cueto, in his career, seems to have made similar progress, yet he's not received near the attention ... or fantasy interest. A month ago, Christina Kahrl conveyed her appall, justifiably, about the fuzzy-chinned righty's early elimination from NL Cy Young Award contention. This past spring, for the second year in a row, his price point was approximately half of Cain's.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570. Follow @NicholasMinnix
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