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September 23, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

What's Gotten Into Rick Porcello?

by Craig Goldstein


As a fan of Rick Porcello out of the draft and through his one season in the minor leagues, it shocked me as it did most others when he was promoted straight to the majors in 2009. While he managed quite well that season, for a 20-year-old with relatively scant professional experience, it only served to whet the appetites of fantasy owners. We all thought he could continue to build on his rookie season, learning to mix the strikeout ability he showed as a prep schooler with the ground-ball tendencies he’d developed as a professional. Unfortunately, 2009 has served as Porcello’s banner season to date, at least as far as surface stats go, as he posted his best full-season ERA (3.96) and WHIP (1.34). The underlying stats though, were not so exciting, as Porcello had failed to crack 14 percent with his strikeout rate, though he did keep the walks in check, never exceeding six percent after that initial season. So when Porcello received hype once again this offseason, I was wary. We’d heard it all before and been disappointed time and again. This season appears to be much of the same… or is it?

History is great and all of that, but fantasy is a “what have you done for me lately?” type of game, so it’s worth noting that Porcello is on pace to have his best season since his rookie campaign. What piqued my interest in Porcello were his two most recent starts, where he totaled 19 (!) strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings, walking only two batters. Those 19 strikeouts represent the most that Porcello has totaled over a two start span in his entire career. Upon further investigation, there wasn’t a drastic change for Porcello over his last two starts, as his release point was largely consistent with previous outings, and the pitch usage was inconsistent between the two starts. So while there might not be a trend to note that caused the change over these last two starts (at least as of yet), we can look at Porcello’s season as a whole and see what cha

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Related Content:  Fantasy,  Rick Porcello

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<< Previous Article
The Week in Quotes: Se... (09/23)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Eig... (09/18)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Tou... (10/01)
Next Article >>
The Prospectus Hit Lis... (09/23)

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