I was a little late to the R.A. Dickey party, but it's better to be late than never here. Dickey may be a knuckle baller, but this is not some Tim Wakefield reincarnation. His 6.38 K/9 is slightly below average (7.01 K/9), but Dickey makes up for it with a good walk rate (2.50 BB/9), he doesn't allow batters to make a lot of solid contact and he induces a lot of ground balls. His 1.94 GB/FB ratio is the ninth highest in the league. Dickey's knuckleball is pretty fast for knuckleball standards. It has been climbing in speed as he refined the pitch during the past five seasons. It's up to 76.2 MPH now, which is 10 mph faster than Wakefield's. You can tell he is gaining confidence in the pitch because he has increased it's usage each year. He throws that sucker 82 percent of the time now and it's valued at 4.2 runs above average. Because he uses the knucklball almost exclusively and the pitch is much improved, I believe it is safe to ignore the knuckle baller stigma and join the R.A. Dickey bandwagon. His fastball has improved in value also... so he's got that going for him. Oh yeah, he doesn't have an ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. Apparently he was born without one and the Tommy John operation for someone without one has never been done, so they left it alone. Just throwing that out there.
more MLB notes after the jump...
Here is a bad idea: buy a bottle of Evan Williams sour mash and talk shit. If you were into the cold, calculated nerd talk from the recent string of sabre stat, luck based posts, bad news: it's about to get funky up here. Get me on the sour mash and listening to old ass Eazy E youtube vids and it's on! Meet me after the jump, if you dare.
We discussed the positional players and Starting Pitchers who have experienced some bad luck in baseball's first half. Now let's get into some good luck. There are a lot of variables we can look at when labeling a player unlucky/lucky, but we'll continue down the BABIP/LD% path. We'll take a quick look at a few Sell High targets and others who should just see a little regression in their Batting Average. Enough small talk...
On Thursday night, I participated in a mock draft for FantasyGuru.com. Unfortunately, the full results and review are not available for the public eye. The full results are not important, because I won the mock draft and my team is all the results you need to see. I was drafting from the 9 spot and my first decision was choosing between Ryan Mathews and Rashard Mendenhall. no comments
Running with the BABIP/LD% theme, we'll take a look at Starting Pitchers who have experienced some bad luck in baseball's first half. We're looking for pitchers who have a high BABIP with a low Line Drive percentage. Pitchers who are giving up a lot of hits, but are not allowing batters to make a lot of solid contact. Guys like Wandy Rodríguez, James Shields, Jason Hammel, Aaron Harang and Randy Wells will not be found here. They are the starting rotation for the Aaron Hill All-Stars. Instead we have pitchers who are not creating their own back luck, but are victims to the randomness that is life. Some of them make for good Buy Low targets and some of them have just had some bad luck.
The All-Star Break is here and it's time to celebrate by assembling a team of players from across the league who have disappointed us all. And by us all, I mean you, because I didn't draft any of these chumps (ed. I did draft Beckham. One time). We're looking for players who have the league's worst BABIP and no excuses for their sorry play. We're talking bad Batting Average of Balls In Play numbers, low Line Drive Percentages and ginormous Fly Ball Percentages. Tales of big slumps and even bigger slumpbusters. Close your eyes and swing baby, welcome to the Aaron Hill All Stars!
When we talk about unlucky BABIP numbers, we should only be talking about players who have truly been unlucky. Those who have made solid contact, posting good Line Drive Percentages, but get saddled with a bad Batting Average. There are plenty of players out there who have bad BABIP accompanied by a bad Line Drive Percentage and a sky high Fly Ball Percentage. The following list is comprised of the league's hitters who have experienced the worst luck in terms of BABIP and Batting Average. Players who have a good Line Drive Percentage, but a bad Batting Average of Balls In Play.
Jake Peavy is injured and his season is over (and if you believe everything you read, he will be part starting pitcher, part crime fighting robot next year). The White Sox will call up Dan Hudson from Charlotte for Sunday's tilt versus Kansas City and we need a rest-of-season forecast. Without forecasts we have chaos and I can't sit back and allow the world to go to shit with people making random, uneducated guesses. Oh the humanity. Let me bust out the magic 8 ball, tarot cards, crystal ball and get Miss Cleo on the line. It's forecast time!