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Sunday, January 8, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: RICK PORCELLO SP BOSTON RED SOX

If we were to have given you 25 or even 50 picks at the start of the 2016 fantasy baseball season and asked who would be the first pitcher to win 20 games and the AL Cy Young, it would be a guarantee that Boston Red Sox veteran starter Rick Porcello would not have been mentioned.  After all Porcello was coming off a truly putrid 2015 campaign where he registered a 4.92 ERA after seemingly making the stupid decision to sign into the AL East despite having a career K/9 rate that was way below average at 6.04.  Talk about a bad matchup of stuff and division.  Well Porcello got the last laugh by winning 22 games against just 4 losses.  Porcello also showed he was not just a product of good run support as he registered a 3.15 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.  It was a spectacular season no matter how you cut it and all from a guy who rightly went undrafted in many leagues.  As we do with any surprising season, a trip into the advanced numbers is required to see if there was any “fluke” to what Porcello accomplished.  It was there where you could see that Porcello got a fair amount of BABIP help with a lucky .269 mark.  As a result, the FIP ERA for Porcello comes in a bit higher at 3.40 and his XFIP even more elevated at 3.90.  Those are still good ERA’s but are more indicative of what Porcello really was performance-wise last season.  Now as far as the strikeouts are concerned, pitching in the AL East mean that a K/9 over 8.00 is almost a requirement and obviously this is not Porcello’s strength.  He did post a career-best 189 K’s last season but that number was helped by the massive 223-inning Porcello posted.  Still Porcello does have some of the best control in the majors as his 1.35 BB/9 shows and that helps overcome some of the strikeout shortcomings. Even though he won 22 games, the narrative should not change much here in terms of Porcello being a guy who is at BEST an SP 4 in mixers and more ideally an SP 5.  Remember that wins are a fickle stat that should not even be a category in fantasy baseball 5 x 5 formats in my opinion given the luck involved there (remember Kent Bottenfield?) but give Porcello his due for getting there anyway.

2017 PROJECTION:  16-8 3.77 ERA 1.14 WHIP 165 K


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