There are many different effective strategies when it comes to drafting starting pitchers. Some will hoard the top talents in the year after the year of the pitcher, while others will rely on weekly spot-starts. Both approaches work, but I have employed a much different scheme in recent seasons:
Ideally, you own just one or two reliable starters. They must maintain a consistently low ERA (preferably no higher than 3.50—3.75) and WHIP (Carl Pavano was a great example last year). Strikeouts aren't important...
The Verducci Effect has become a popular phenomenon within baseball circles in recent seasons. While young hurlers such as Tim Lincecum and Felix Hernandez have bucked this trend in recent years, its worth noting the risk and effect it may have on pitchers in 2011.
More than 10 years ago under the advice of former pitching coach Rick Peterson, Tom Verducci developed this rule of thumb: 25-and-younger pitchers should not increase their workload by 30 innings or more from one season to the next. Pitchers who are pushed past this limit are subject to an injury or regression in the following season.
Not surprisingly, the results have generally supported this theory...
Over the past few weeks, we’ve announced the top 70 players on our 2011 big board. Click on each player’s name for a more in-depth analysis, including 2011 projections!
In 2009, Baseball America raved about Mat Latos’ “ridiculously good raw stuff,” and they weren’t lying. Latos flashed a devastating fastball/slider combo in 2010, which led to some of the best plate discipline stats in the majors:
◦O-swing rate: 33.9 percent (6th)
◦Contact rate: 76.1 percent (7th)
◦Swinging strike rate: 11.0 percent (5th)
During a 15-start stretch from June into September, Latos allowed one run or fewer 10 times, and yielded exactly two runs in the other fives starts. During this streak, Latos posted an eye-popping 1.50 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 10.65 K/9, 2.24 BB/9 in 96 1/3 innings...
Padres’ hurler Mat Latos tossed a one-hit shutout against the Giants Thursday night, picking up his second win in as many starts. In his last 17 innings, the 22-year-old has allowed no runs on just three hits and zero walks.
In other words, he’s been flat out dominant. This sparks the question fantasy managers are asking today: Is Latos really this good?
The 2006 11th rounder signed as a draft-and-follow in the spring of ‘07. His right arm ranked as one of the best available in the ‘06 draft, but signability concerns and character issues allowed the San Diego Padres to nab him..