Greinke's fantasy baseball
Expecting a repeat of '09 levels is insane. Look deeper, though. In each year
since Greinke missed almost all of '06, his ERA and control rate have declined
while his dominance has climbed. It's a trend, not a fluke.
Zack Attack will be back
- Hard to bank on another 16 wins, also, but he should still post a respectable
victory tally. Greinke has developed the stamina and efficiency to pitch deep
into games, helped by regaining his slider and showing annual increases in
first-strike percentage since '06.
- Felix Hernandez has posted four straight seasons with 190-plus innings.
He'll be 24 in April. Sure, Felix's K/9 is solid, too, but Hernandez hasn't
yet shown what Greinke has in dominance and still pitches a bit more to contact.
Plus, it's not like another 19-win season is a lock for a Mariners pitcher.
- Many rave about Safeco Field's pitcher-friendly environment. Kauffman Stadium
is far from a bandbox. You can't look at environment alone, but using a favorable
pitching ambience as a complement to elite skills doesn't hurt.
- Greinke, 26, is a more seasoned major leaguer who already has experienced
massive ups and downs. On and off the field, he has matured and made adjustments
since recovering from depression and social anxiety disorder. Don't ignore
the mental development of a young arm.
Closing argument: In a keeper league, I'd tab King Felix. In a 2010 draft, I side with Greinke: more dominance and a fresher arm in recent seasons. Though his ERA will likely top 3.00 again, he boasts roto ace skills that would ease a return to earth.
Cory J. Bonini
Hernandez's fantasy baseball player profile
Zack Greinke will command ridiculous value
based on one big year; his homer and strand rates are much better than his
averages; Hernandez has shown stability while growing into an ace in the last
King Felix will reign
- Keeps the ball in the park: Hernandez's HR/FB percentage has dropped three
straight years, and his top-notch GB/FB rate in 2008 held up after his banner
'09 year (1.77, 1.79). It used to be much higher, but it's still at league-leading
levels; he added some dominance to that, so it's a productive trade-off.
- King Felix's HR/9 dropped to 0.57, his lowest in a full season. A strong
BABIP (.289) marked another major improvement and falls in line with his elite
ability to keep the ball on the ground.
- Over the past two seasons, Hernandez has been better on the road than at
home. He also split his stats pretty evenly before and after the break, so
you shouldn't expect to experience a rollercoaster performance.
- He set a career high with 19 wins last year. While counting on that kind
of production is very risky, the Mariners have
improved - in theory - as a team and already possess an elite defense, so
suggesting a huge drop-off in the W column seems unfounded.
: After years of being lauded as the next elite pitcher, it looks like Hernandez finally made that jump. Drafters should be aware of a chance for regression since he posted such lofty figures last year, but most signs point this royal righty finally being ready (turns 24 April 8) to preside over the kingdom.
KFFL staff verdict
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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