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Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER BRANDON BEACHY SP ATLANTA BRAVES

                                                             Brandon Beachy

For those who have been with me for years, you will remember how I shouted to the rafters heading into the 2012 fantasy baseball season the terrific idea of reaching for emerging Atlanta Braves SP Brandon Beachy.  I thought the sky was the limit for Beachy who had some of the best stuff I had seen in awhile from a young pitcher.  Blessed with tremendous movement on his pitches to go with a fastball that could touch 95, Beachy was destined for big things.  That is exactly what we saw early on that 2012 season as Beachy was arguably the best pitcher in the game that April and for the early part of the year overall.  In his first 81 innings that season, Beachy had a miniscule 2.00 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with 68 K's.  However Beachy would not throw any more innings that season as he elbow soon began barking a very bad sound.  The result was Tommy John surgery which would keep Beachy out until the end of the following July.  As with almost all pitchers coming off Tommy John, Beachy had to fight through rust and being able to trust his stuff again.  After getting bombed in his one July start, Beachy proceeded to reel off a 2.73 ERA and 0.84 WHIP August in four additional starts before the team shut him down so as not to overwork him too much and get him ready for 2014.  So with 2014 fast approaching, Beachy has pronounced himself 100 percent healthy and ready to turn back into an ace in training. 

Getting back to who Brandon Beachy the pitcher is, before the surgery his ability to miss bats and generate outs should be back in full force now that he has put almost two full seasons since the surgery in the rearview mirror.  We all saw how terrific Adam Wainwright was in his Cy Young worthy season in 2013 when he himself had two full years beyond Tommy John surgery to get an idea of how potent Beachy could be.  Keep in mind with regards to strikeouts that Beachy punched out a crazy 169 batters in only 141.2 innings in 2011 before he tailed that number back a bit in 2012 by pitching more to contact.  In addition Beachy's hit rate has consistently been top notch since coming into the majors which will drastically push down the ERA and WHIP to potentially very low levels.  The walk rate is not exceptional but that is just because of the rapid movement on his pitches. 
The only issue to worry about other than health is Beachy's ability to stay solid the whole season as he could be screaming or oxygen when August gets underway. 

All in all, Brandon Beachy is a tremendous sleeper pitcher to target in drafts due to the massive upside and top notch stuff he has in the arsenal.  Beachy has ace-like ability which he showed before he underwent the Tommy John surgery.  I was a fan before and am a fan again. 

2014 PROJECTION:  12-7 3.34 ERA 1.14 WHIP 167 K

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