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Sunday, January 13, 2013

2013 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: JERED WEAVER SP LOS ANGELES ANGELS

Time to once again check out the prime 2013 fantasy baseball draft busts with leagues forming in only a few short weeks.  As always when we discuss drafts busts, we are predicting a player whose performance in the upcoming season will fall short of expectations and the draft spot it took to secure his services.  That leads us out west where Los Angeles Angels ace SP Jered Weaver lies in wait to potentially put a hurting on his fantasy baseball owners this season.  Without further delay let's get right to the reasons why.

As far as Jered Weaver the pitcher is concerned, I will start out by saying that there is no doubt the man has been one of the very best starters in all of baseball the last four seasons.  Let's take a closer look at the numbers during this time period in order to truly appreciate the guy and all the nice work he had put together.

2009:  16-8 3.75 ERA 1.24 WHIP 174 K in 211 IP
2010:  13-12 3.01 ERA 1.07 WHIP 233 K in 224.1 IP
2011:  18-8 2.41 ERA 1.01 WHIP 198 K in 235.2 IP
2012:  20-5 2.81 ERA 1.02 WHIP 142 K in 188.2 IP 

Looking at those numbers as a whole, you can't help but be very impressed by what Weaver has been able to accomplish.  From striking out 233 batters in one season, to putting up WHIP's almost under 1.00, to winning 20 games, Weaver has done it all and is still only 31.  However looking under the hood at these stats and in Weaver's advanced profile, one could quickly find reason for concern and thus be wary of his outlook for the 2013 season.

First let's get to Weaver and his stuff itself.  Ever since 2010 when Weaver had those 233 strikeouts, his fastball velocity has taken a more than noticeable dip.  Once able to chuck the fastball upwards of 95-mph, Weaver struggled to hit 90 in 2012 which accounted for the major dip in strikeouts (only 142 in 188.2 innings).  And really the drop in K's is stark as Weaver has done from those 233 in 2010 to 198 the following season to the 142.  That kind of trend in the American League is not good and things get more dicey when you look at Weaver's advanced stats.

When it comes to BABIP, Weaver was one of the luckiest pitchers in all of baseball in 2012.  When his ERA gets adjusted when removing the luck on the batted ball, Weaver's XFIP ERA stands at a shaky 4.18.  That represents one of the biggest differences in the game and it shows you just how beneficial Weaver got when it comes to his luck.  When that number regulates itself in 2013 since there is now way it could stay that high two seasons in a row, Weaver's ERA will be headed for a spike along with his WHIP.  When combined with his drop in strikeouts, we now could be looking at a clear low end SP 2 based on the numbers and not the ace he will be drafted as.  Based on early mocks, Weaver is being drafted as the sixth starting pitcher overall and is going on average in round 4.  That is a very high slot to pick a pitcher who has the kind of questionable profile that Weaver is carrying around.  Guys who are slotted in his tier such as Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke, Cliff Lee, and Matt Cain are all much better and stable investments than Weaver will be.

All in all, Jered Weaver is a guy we all loved in the past but whose murky immediate outlook makes him one to move away from.  As much good as Weaver has done for us in the past, the fact of the matter is that we must look forward when projecting players and based on that aspect, this is one fantasy baseball stock that has red flags painted all over it.

2013 PROJECTION:  17-8 3.52 ERA 1.11 WHIP 167 K


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