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Key Stats: In just under 2500 career innings Javier Vazquez has a WHIP of 1.24. He doesn’t walk anyone and yet still gets basically a strikeout per inning. Most of the talk in New York is that he will be an upgrade as the number four starter in the rotation, but that 1.24 career WHIP has A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte crushed. Vazquez is in fact the second best starting pitcher on the staff if he pitches like he did last season.

Skeptics Say: That’s a big if. The last time Vazquez was in the American League was 2008. He came out of that year ranked 660th by Yahoo. Last year he was ranked 9th. Needless to say, it’s the biggest jump of anyone that finished in the top ten last year and gravity will take it’s course in 2010. Just how far down he goes is the only question. In 2007, Vazquez was very good as well so chances are he won’t fall that far. Still, age becomes a factor as does the pressure of playing in New York – something Vazquez didn’t do so well with back in 2004 after a fantastic season in the NL East the season before.

Peer Comparison: There are four starting pitchers that can be considered top 20 at their position that are switching teams: Cliff Lee, John Lackey, Roy Halladay and Vazquez. Of the four no player will be more questionable to match his optimum performance than Vazquez.

Lee is just two years removed from his Cy Young Award winning season with Cleveland. While he did dominate in the National League last season, he demonstrated in his performances against the Yankees that his dominance probably wasn’t just an NL vs. AL issue. Compared to what Lee had with the Indians, he could be in for his best season yet in Seattle with a big ballpark and an improved offense to give him run support.

Lackey is moving from a perennial AL playoff team to a perennial AL playoff team. I’d fully expect the same type of person and results in Boston.

Halladay is the most likely to see a bump in his numbers this season with his new team and new league. It’s not just that Halladay gets rid of the DH, but he gets rid of the Red Sox 19 times per season, the Yankees 19 times per season and the Rays 19 times per season.

Team Outlook: Despite throwing less innings to lefties in 2009, Vazquez gave up more than twice as many home runs to them. Pitching in Yankee Stadium with it’s short porch in right field and the wind to boot, it will be a test for Vazquez to pitch at home.

What They’re Saying: CBS Sportsline: #14 Starting Pitcher; ESPN.com: #67 Overall; Yahoo: #16 Starting Pitcher and #76 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #60 Overall; Couch Managers: #80 Overall ; FB 365: #18 Starting Pitcher

Projection: Setting a career high in ERA last year was a terrific bonus for his owners, but chances are that he will go back toward his 4.19 career ERA with the move back over to the AL.
18 wins 3.49 ERA 1.21 WHIP 198 K in 194 innings

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2 Responses to Javier Vazquez Player Projection No. 66

  1. MLB Fantasy Rankings says:

    Jiminez has flown up the draft board. I got this guy in round 12 last season and now he's a top 15 pitcher. I wish I could grab him this year at last year's value!

  2. Schruender says:

    Yeah I guess Vazquez isn't being regarded as the #4 starter by fantasy people.

    I'm thinking Rick Porcello might be the guy we're saying that about next year at this time. Everything improved in the 2nd half for Porcello and we haven't seen his best stuff in terms of strikeouts just like his teammate Verlander at a young age.

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