Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ESPN says Wandy could be this year's Cliff Lee (meaning next year's Buddy Carlisle)

Christopher Harris, of ESPN's Fantasy Baseball team, gets a lot of questions about fantasy baseball. Which is strange, because that means he's getting paid - presumably well - to answer questions about make-believe. Anyhow, he was basically asked to find the next breakout pitcher before he breaks out. Who's on the list? Your boy Wandy.

Rodriguez is 30 now, so he's not exactly a bonus baby. He has broken a lot of fantasy hearts in his day. But his strikeouts per nine innings rate has increased from 5.6 in 2005 to 6.5 in '06 to 7.78 in '07 to 8.58 in '08. And even more significant, his walks per nine innings rate has decreased the past three seasons. He has trended positively toward forcing more ground balls, and he's actually good at that Minute Maid bandbox. His problems? He has been bad on the road, and he was hurt last season. But there's some pretty big upside here.