Key stats: One of the best fantasy sleepers in 2009, Wandy Rodriguez started off very slowly in 2010 registering a 5.30 ERA & 1.59 WHIP over the first 3 months of the season (16 starts) and found himself off many fantasy rosters in the process. If you were able to snag him of your Waiver Wire or free agent pool, you made a heist as he pitched brilliantly in the 2nd half and that’s an understatement.
Over the last 3 months of the season, he had a 2.19 ERA & 1.03 WHIP over 16 starts with a 9.9 K/9 rate over those starts. These numbers helped make him in the top 5 most valuable starters in the 2nd half of 2010 with the likes of Felix Hernandez, Daniel Hudson and Cole Hamels.
Skeptics Say: In looking at Wandy Rodriguez for 2011, you need to take a look at the underlying numbers behind his awful start and fantastic end of the 2010 season. Here are some numbers that are important in comparison:
K/9: 6.13 in 1st Half; 9.9 in 2nd Half (2007-2009 average: 8.27)
K/BB: 1.71 in 1st Half; 4.04 in 2nd Half (2007-2009 average: 2.86)
BABip: .342 in 1st Half; .263 in 2nd Half (2007-2009 average: .305)
The big question you have to ask with Wandy is which pitcher is he going to be. The first half dud or the second half stud? When you look at the numbers, I have to believe more of the latter. While his BABip was low for his standards the more important stats, his ability to miss bats and more refined control contributed most to his 2nd half success. I would bet on continued good performance but you need to be a little wary of another slow start in 2010.
Peer Comparison: While I compared Brett Myers with Wandy in a previous post, I want to compare Wandy with another 2nd half lefty stud from 2010 in Cole Hamels. In looking at their 2nd half stats, we see a lot of similarities:
Rodriguez: 2.19 ERA 1.03 WHIP 9.9 K/9
Hamels: 2.23 ERA 1.00 WHIP 9.7 K/9
Their numbers were almost identical and both pitchers are ones to watch in 2011. As far as which SP I’d rather have for 2011, I’d go with Hamels by a nose. He’s younger at 27 for next season (Rodriguez will be 32), he pitches for one of the better lineups in the NL which should get him wins (the Astros ranked 28th in MLB) and he was overall just more consistent in 2010. But keep an eye on Rodriguez as he might go a round or two after the sexier Hamels. If so, jump on him.
Lineup Outlook: As I said with Myers, the Astros offer the 28th best offense in terms of runsto form one of the worst offenses in all of baseball. The bad news is that it probably won’t get much better in 2011 unless young hitters like Hunter Pence, Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace take big leaps next year because they lack any type of reliable presence in their line-up (I don’t count Carlos Lee.)
Projection: Wandy Rodriguez will give you 8th round value with a pick in the 10th or 11th round. Don’t expect wins but his ratios should be great as a 3 or 4 on your staff.
11 Wins 3.39 ERA 1.23 WHIP 188 K’s
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