By Brent Hershey
Zimmermann: Under-the-radar ace? … As long as he's on the same team as a healthy Stephen Strasburg (RHP, WAS), Jordan Zimmermann (RHP, WAS) is not likely to be called an "ace." But let the numbers since his Tommy John surgery in 2010 make their case:
Year IP ERA xERA Ctl Dom Cmd H% S% G/L/F BPV
==== === ==== ==== === === === == == ======== ===
2011 161 3.18 3.75 1.7 6.9 4.0 30 74 39/19/42 95
2012 196 2.94 3.78 2.0 7.0 3.6 30 78 43/23/33 94
Among the arguments:
Zimmermann is still just 26 years old; he's still a year or two from his prime.
Pence, Bay Area don't agree?
He's shown excellent base skills from the start, and has maintained his Ctl/Dom numbers throughout his 58 post-surgery starts.
His G/L/F tilted toward a ground-ball profile, especially over the first half of 2012 (50%).
He's done it with a bit of S% fortune, but nothing extravagant.
Back-to-back mid-90s BPV seasons attest to his broad skill set.
To be fair, his ERA the past two seasons was at least a half-run better than it should have been. But at his age and experience, a step up in xERA would not be a surprise. He won't be cheap once he wins 15 or so games, but Zimmerman's a current low risk/high reward pick.
Kubel becomes a power force … It appears Jason Kubel (OF, ARI) likes Arizona. Whether is was mainly the ballpark switch -- Chase Field just might be Target Field's polar opposite -- a blossoming skill set, or something else, the question is: Can it be repeated?
Year AB BA xBA bb% ct% h% G/L/F PX hr/f HR
==== === ==== ==== === === == ======== === ==== ==
2009 514 .300 .292 10 79 33 39/20/42 151 16% 28
2010 518 .249 .256 10 78 28 38/19/43 117 12% 21
2011 366 .273 .250 8 77 33 35/21/43 117 10% 12
2012 506 .253 .265 10 70 30 33/23/44 176 19% 30
There are enough holes in this profile to make us skeptical:
Though the overall HR spike was impressive, Kubel's Headley-like second half (19 HR on 26% hr/f) seems more like a fluke.
When Kubel approached 30 HR before in 2009, his contact rate yielded a much higher xBA. Since then, xBA says about .270 is the best one can hope for.
He still has trouble with lefties (.736 OPS).
The mix of a poor contact rate, strong FB% and the near-doubling of hr/f seems to indicate that although Kubel may have some value hitting home runs, his thirties will be filled with quite a bit of all-or-nothing swings. With a contact rate this low, getting to 30 HR again will be a chore. Except his power to flatten out in 2013.
As for Mike Minor, Hunter Pence, James McDonald?
Ron Shandler began publishing statistical reports for baseball analysts and fantasy leaguers in 1986. Since then, his enterprise has grown into one of the largest information providers in the industry, producing quality products continuously and over a longer period than any other fantasy baseball company.
Our writers and analysts are paid professionals, not weekend hobbyists or corporate staffers. While other information services seek out professional journalists who play fantasy baseball, we seek out successful fantasy players with innovative ideas who know how to write. That's our difference, and it's a huge one.
Don't miss these great reports....