CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Wo... (10/28)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Ten... (10/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Mat... (10/29)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Mat... (10/29)

October 29, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Sifting Through Second-Half FIPs

by Bret Sayre


As the playoffs are coming to an end in a fashion that seems to get crazier and crazier by the game, we continue to use this opportunity to look back on the 2013 season to see what we can learn going forward. Two of the biggest areas to explore for uncovering undervalued assets are hidden improvements over the course of the previous season and digging beyond the raw stats to the more predictive ones. In this exercise, we’re going to combine the two to see if anything interesting is uncovered when using FIP to determine more of a true performance level after the dust cleared from the All-Star festivities in New York.

There were 12 pitchers who posted a FIP of 2.75 or lower in the second half of the 2013 season. Here they are in reverse order:

Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers (2.73 FIP, 2.87 ERA)
Conventional wisdom that says when a pitcher who is imported from overseas doesn’t have overpowering stuff, the league will catch up to him the second and third time around. And I was guilty of believing this specifically about Ryu. However, after posting a good first half, he turned it up to excellent from mid-July on. Not only did his strikeout rate tick up after the All-Star Game, but also his walk rate dropped from 8.1 percent to 3.3 percent. In fact, in 10 starts between August and September, he nearly had as many wins (five) as walks (seven).

Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants (2.72 FIP, 2.36 ERA)
As with any list like this, there are going to be a fair number of names where your first reaction is going to be “duh”. Bumgarner is one of those guys, although it’s not difficult to be concerned about a second straight season in which he threw his slider more than 37 percent of the time. Over the last two seasons, Bumgarner has thrown the most sliders in baseball—280 more than the next man on the list, Ervin Santana. Many pitchers would be unable to maintain that slider rate without breaking, but maybe Bumgarner just isn’t one of those guys.

David Price, Tampa Bay Rays (2.72 FIP, 2.87 ERA)
There were plenty of owners who bought low on David Price before he returned from the disabled list on July 2 (when he had a 5.24 ERA). All he did from that point on was go 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 102 strikeouts against just 13 walks in 131 2/3 innings. Despite the elite level performance, concerns linger—mostly stemming from the combination of a drop in strikeout rate with a two mile per hour drop in fastball velocity. A trade candidate this off-season, Price could also see his value swing a bit based on where he ends up.

Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates (2.72 FIP, 2.85 ERA)
On one hand, it’s a shame that Cole got that additional exposure during the post-season, as it decreases the chance of getting him at a reasonable price in 2014 drafts. However, if he’s anything like his second half performance, it’s tough to foresee a price that would result in a loss. As he got more comfortable in the majors, his strikeout rate shot up—moving from 15.4 percent in the first half to 25.0 percent in the second. In keeper leagues, Cole should be valued right around where 2013 NL Rookie of the Year candidate Jose Fernandez is.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

8 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Wo... (10/28)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Ten... (10/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Mat... (10/29)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Mat... (10/29)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article The View from the Loge Level: The Alex Jacks...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Power Outage
Premium Article What You Need to Know: September 19, 2014
Premium Article Raising Aces: Carlos in Charge
Notes About Baseball: The Second-Hardest Par...
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Cueto's Quirks
Premium Article Moonshot: Detecting the Best Medicine

MORE FROM OCTOBER 29, 2013
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Five R...
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Five R...
Premium Article Minor League Update: AFL Recap for Games of ...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Matt Adams: First Base Fi...

MORE BY BRET SAYRE
2013-11-06 - Fantasy Team Preview: Seattle Mariners
2013-11-05 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Houston Astros
2013-10-30 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Six Pr...
2013-10-29 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sifting Through Second-Ha...
2013-10-24 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Ten Could-Be Fantasy Aces...
2013-10-23 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game One Pr...
2013-10-17 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: Endgame Sle...
More...

MORE FANTASY FREESTYLE
2013-11-15 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: AFL First Pitch Forums Dr...
2013-10-31 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Scary Shifts in First Bas...
2013-10-29 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Matt Adams: First Base Fi...
2013-10-29 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sifting Through Second-Ha...
2013-10-24 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Ten Could-Be Fantasy Aces...
2013-10-22 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Brandon Phillips' Gradual...
2013-10-21 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Revisiting BABIP for Fant...
More...