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Buy or Sell: Don’t Let Scott Kazmir’s Sparkling June Fool You

Tue, Jun 22, 2010

Buy or Sell?

While Angels’ southpaw Scott Kazmir struggled with a 7.20 and 5.97 ERA in April and May respectively, the 26-year-old has seemingly salvaged his season with a deceiving June.

In 23 innings (four starts) this month, Kazmir is 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA. What most fail to see is his 1.35 WHIP and 13/15 K/BB ratio, both of which raise red flags.

Fantasy managers have been gushing over Kazmir’s stuff since he was seemingly stolen from the Mets in the 2004 Victor Zambrano trade. The then Tampa Bay pitcher made his major-league debut later that season, and has disappointed ever since.

In 943 career innings, the 2002 first-round pick owns a walk rate of 4.09. After showing signs of improvement in recent years, Kazmir has left fantasy managers disgruntled once again, posting a 4.58 BB/9 in 72 2/3 innings this season.

Further, Kazmir’s career WHIP is a whopping 1.39, a number that will continue to hamper the Texas native. His Kyle Davis-like WHIP of 1.51 this season makes him useless in most leagues.

Kazmir’s high strikeout totals, which used to be a strength, have now become a weakness. After topping out with a 10.41 K/9 in 2007, Kazmir’s strikeout rate has dropped to 9.81 and 7.15 in recent years, before plummeting to a below-league-average 6.07 in 2010.

As if that’s not enough to scare fantasy managers away, Kazmir’s xFIP (5.37) and declining average fastball velocity suggest his fantasy value should be no greater than Felipe Paulino’s.

With five-plus major-league seasons under his belt, (only two of which he’s topped 160 innings) it’s safe to say Scott Kazmir is one of the most overrated players in fantasy baseball. If you’ve been the unfortunate owner of the former pitching prodigy, deal him away for the freshest mound of cow pies you can find. They won’t win you any games, but at least this pile of dung won’t send your ERA and WHIP through the roof.

Image courtesy of: Jamie Wisner

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