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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 66: Is Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Jered Weaver an Elite Pitcher?

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

After establishing himself as a first-half pitcher in each of his first four seasons, Jered Weaver dominated all of 2010, posting career-best totals in innings (224 1/3), K/9 (9.35) and BB/9 (2.17).

In fact, the advanced stats suggest Weaver was a completely different pitcher in 2010. Consider the following:

Strikeout Rate

  • 2008: 7.74
  • 2009: 7.42
  • 2010: 9.35

Walk Rate

  • 2008: 2.75
  • 2009: 2.82
  • 2010: 2.17

ERA

  • 2008: 4.33
  • 2009: 3.75
  • 2010: 3.01

WHIP

  • 2008: 1.28
  • 2009: 1.24
  • 2010: 1.07

Batting Average Against

  • 2008: .253
  • 2009: .241
  • 2010: .220

So what was the difference between last year compared to ’08 and ’09? Was it Luck? 

Nope.

  • 2010 BABIP: .276 (career .283)
  • 2010 LOB rate: 75.7 percent (career .75.5 percent)
  • 2010 HR/FB rate: 7.8 percent (career 7.9 percent)

Heck, even Weaver’s FIP (3.06) and xFIP (3.51) suggest his 2010 campaign was legit.

There real difference appears to be in the evolution of his fastball and curveball, checking in at 13.0 and 9.7 runs above average, respectively. When combined with his above-average slider (3.1 runs above average) and changeup (8.4 runs above average), Weaver’s pitching repertoire is one of the most dynamic  in the majors.

This, in turn, led to elite totals in the ‘that’s nasty’ pitching categories:

  • Contact rate: 75.4 percent (6th)
  • Zone contact rate: 79.2 percent (1st)
  • Swinging strike rate: 11.2 percent (4th)
  • O-swing rate: 33.5 percent (7th)

In projecting the 28-year-old Weaver for 2011, it’s difficult to expect him to improve further, so a slight regression could be in the works. Judging by the advance stats, however, there’s nothing to suggest a regression to his ’08/’09 form. Draft with confidence.

  IP W K/9 BB/9 ERA WHIP
2010 stats 224.1 13 9.35 2.17 3.01 1.07
3-year average 201 13 8.22 2.56 3.65 1.19
2011 FBI Forecast 221 15 8.80 2.35 3.30 1.13

 

Image courtesy of: Chris Creamer, Sportslogos.net

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