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  1. Hudson is a two pitch guy who is trying to learn/improve his slider while pitching against Major League batters. If you look at PitchFX horizontal and vertical movement graphs, you will see that his slider is really only breaking on one plane, vertically, and has similar movement overall to his changeup while being only 4 MPH faster on average. I think the key to Hudson’s future success (and improved K rate) is improving his slider, but until then I will be staying away.

    Comment by MustBunique — March 1, 2012 @ 8:33 am

  2. Wilson’s career K/9 is 8.1. His career SwStr% is 8.2%. This is over 700 innings, a majority of which were as a starter. Is it that hard to believe he keeps it up?

    Comment by Ralph — March 1, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  3. With regards to Stras. As you mentioned, innings limit is his biggest hurdle. However, I would not pay much attention to the velocity drop. Not only is it regular for young starting pitchers (see Lincecum), but in Stras’ case its intentional. During his return last year, he and nats pitching coach McCatty discussed taking a touch of velocity off for the sake of accuracy and pitching to contact. While his K’s were not as high as before, he was a more effective pitcher (albeit in a limited sample size). Also, when he felt the need to throw heat, he was still capable of hitting 98/99.

    Comment by John — March 1, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  4. I love Stras in this season’s draft. In addition to factoring in replacement value, you also have to factor in trade value optionality. If he happens to get off to a good start (which is at least as likely as him getting off to a bad start, ex ante) there will undoubtedly be someone in your league who is starved for pitching and focused a lot more on the help Strasburg can provide in June and July than what he’ll cost in August and September. If that scenario plays out, you can probably get a lot more for him in trade 1/4 of the way through the season than is warranted. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s a nice upside scenario to go with his actual expected performance.

    Comment by mcbrown — March 1, 2012 @ 9:34 am

  5. I’d be curious to see who are some of your most undervalued pitchers then. Someone has to jump up if you bump these guys down right?

    BTW, I’d love to play in a league where Romero is the #46 pitcher & CJ is the #32…

    Comment by Shane-O — March 1, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  6. Everyone is down on CJ Wilson this year, due to the low SwStk% (8.3%), which I understand is heavily correlated with strikeouts and does cause some worry.

    What I don’t understand is why no one is mentioning that David Price had a nearly identical SwStk% of 8.4%, and citing this as a concern for his strikeouts.

    Is everyone just biased because Price was a former #1 overall pick and CJ was a reliver who somehow became one of the best starters in the game?

    Comment by AndrewFSummers — March 1, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  7. Undervalueds coming up next. What are you projecting for Romero and Wilson?

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — March 1, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  8. Good article. Those top 4 are definitely guys I’m skeptical of. I think Strasburg can have a lot of value in cap IP roto leagues. Those last 40ip can come from a good MR.

    One question: where did you get the called strike% and foul ball% from?

    Comment by Josh — March 1, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  9. Can you post how you come to your Dollar amounts, or what projections you are using to make them?

    These articles are great if we wanted to read about pitchers that YOU undervalue… but that’s not exactly useful for anyone else.

    Comment by BoKnows — March 1, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  10. You can’t tell me that these 4 pitchers, who you are only valuing 1 round off of their ADP are actually the “overvalued” pitchers in the league… they ar ejust 4 pitchers you decided to write about. Don’t mislead with the title.

    Comment by BoKnows — March 1, 2012 @ 10:06 am

  11. I believe you are confused. The ADP in this piece is stating where the specific pitcher is being taken in order of the top 24 SP. Or as Pod more eloquently states, “in the position.” Therefore the assumption of 1 round being the difference, for example, between Wilson’s ADP of 21 and Pod’s rank of 32 is incorrect.

    Comment by MustBunique — March 1, 2012 @ 10:35 am

  12. Yeah all I can say is I’m excited to read your underrated pitchers list. While I agree some of these guys are overrated moving someone like Kennedy down into the 30s means quite a few guys I’m not a huge fan of must be in your top 30.

    Comment by Ender — March 1, 2012 @ 11:02 am

  13. Mike, this is off-topic, but is there an article or resource where I can see how to turn your Pod prediction fundamentals into ERA/WHIP? I’ve been doing my own similar type of thing but pitchers get tough. For one, things like DPs, CS, errors come into play, and two is LOB% is all runs, not just earned runs.

    I’ve been loving those. I hope you create more of them.

    Comment by Josh — March 1, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  14. I disagree with you on stras. I actually have him higher than his ADP in 5×5 mixed roto. Here’s why:

    Let’s pencil in strasburg at a rough approx of his projections:
    160 IP/2.50 ERA/185 Ks

    What kind of streamed starters do you need for the next 50 IP to equal his rough ADP mates David Price or Matt Cain?
    David Price rough projection:
    210 IP/3.25 ERA/198 Ks

    Matt Cain rough projection:
    215 IP/3.00 ERA/176 Ks

    so, to equal Price’s projection, you need to find:
    50 IP/5.58 ERA/8 Ks
    for Cain:
    55 IP/4.42 ERA/ 0 Ks

    what about for the tier 2 elites?
    King Felix Projection:
    230 IP/3.00 ERA/215 Ks
    70 IP/4.11 ERA/30 Ks

    Tim Lincecum:
    220 IP/3.00 ERA/232 Ks
    60 IP/4.35 ERA/47 Ks

    Sign me up!

    Comment by jcxy — March 1, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  15. I disagree on Wilson. Although his F-Srike% and SwStr% may be low, they were a decent improvement vs. 2010. This leads me to believe he is adjusting well to being a starter, and will more likely than not improve on those stats this season.

    So with improved BB & K rates, a move out of the oven in Texas while staying in the AL west, and a prime pitching age I could see Wilson finishing as a top 15 pitcher this year.

    Comment by jcam — March 1, 2012 @ 11:54 am

  16. Good obersvation. Price actually just missed the list himself. While most point to him being near elite because he increased his strikeout rate, I rarely see mention that the K/9 rate itself is probably unsustainable because of the mediocre SwStk%. And yes, your last sentence certainly has a lot to do with it.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — March 1, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

  17. They also give you the league average marks broken down between SP and RP, which is awesome.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — March 1, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  18. The dollar values and projections are mine

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — March 1, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  19. Thanks Josh. My spreadsheet can accurately be described as a mess! I project a bunch of the underlying peripherals, and then have a ton of other formulas set up to calculate balls in play, fly balls/line drives/ground balls, home runs allowed, hits allows, etc etc. All these numbers than get thrown into various ERA estimator formulas, such as FIP, SIERA and xERA (from Baseball HQ, and the formula I use for my official ERA projection). Setting up all the formulas are a lot of work, especially trying to avoid circular references.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — March 1, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

  20. Hudson’s reliance on his slider is what scares me away. Tommy John within the next 2 seasons is a real possibility.

    Comment by hifilofi — March 1, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  21. Yes I see that now, thank you. A bit hasty this morning :)

    Still confused as to why we care, or anyone else for that matter, the difference between his personal projections and their ADP’s…. shouldn’t he be writing about the difference between ADP and popular projection systems that everyone that reads this site would actually use?

    Comment by BoKnows — March 1, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

  22. Are they publicly available somewhere so we can know if they are worth considering?

    Comment by BoKnows — March 1, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  23. I think the move for C.J. will beneficial, but don’t forget that he gets to square off against his former team at least a few times a year now, which is scary.

    Comment by Smallball — March 1, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  24. Completely disagreee on CJ Wilson. He’s in for his best season yet in 2012 in just his 3rd season as a starter… away from Arlington in LA. Here’s what I project for him –
    ERA – 2.95
    WHIP – 1.16
    K/9 – 8.3

    Comment by Dave — March 1, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  25. My point being that it does us no good if you are “surprised” that a certain player is getting drafted differently than you projected him to if we don’t know what that or the other projections actually are.

    Your “pitcher rank” vs the ADP rank is pretty meaningless if we don’t know what it’s based on.

    Comment by BoKnows — March 1, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

  26. Well, aren’t all these fantasy articles based on the author’s personal opinion?! Unless I calculated dollar values for every single set of projections, it would be impossible to determine who is being over and undervalued. I only calculate values using my own projections, so that’s the data I have to compare with.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — March 1, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

  27. Maybe I’m just a perpetual pessimist but I’ve been waiting for 2013 since we drafted Bauer. I’m not as down on Hudson though, think they’ll have a good rotation if Skaggs and Bauer can contribute in 2013.

    Comment by Dave — March 1, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  28. Good article. If I did the same list, it would definitely include Romero, Kennedy, and Wilson. I’m a bit more touch-and-go on Hudson and Strasburg, and I probably would have had Jered Weaver replace one of the two, but I can’t fault the methodology here at all.

    Comment by MH — March 2, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  29. To continue that thought, I think its very easy to be bullish on a lot of pitchers this year. Part of our brains still wants to live in the run environment of four years ago, but the truth is a 3.50 ERA and 7.5 K/9 just don’t carry the same weight that they used to. There are so many pitcher who project in that range, but its easy to ignore the scope of the position and simply put that tag on guys and justify drafting them before the 10th round. I tend to argue that precision is our enemy in drafts, but SP is the one exception in the current run environment. The differences between the guys in the 20-40 range are so incremental that its important to consider the differences more thoroughly that we have in the past.

    Comment by MH — March 2, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  30. How does Hudson rely on his slider too much? He threw it a whopping 16.3 percent of the time last season. Less than his change up. Other young starters like Pineda and Bumgarner threw their sliders about twice as often as Hudson did. So if you’re worried about elbow problems, focus on those guys.

    Comment by Matt — March 23, 2012 @ 3:00 am

  31. Gotta say, I disagree quite a bit on Dan Hudson. You make note of his career flyball percentage, but career numbers aren’t nearly as important as which way a guy is trending. In all three seasons that he’s pitched at the big league level, he has lowered his flyball rate. Albeit he only had a cup of coffee in 2009. Still, his flyball rate was at a career low 39 percent last year. Not coincidentally, his groundball rate is rising, while his line drive rate is obviously staying the same.

    In addition, 2011 saw an uptick in his fastball velocity.

    I actually view last season as a sophmore slump of sorts for Hudson, and expect a true break out this season where he will meet or exceed his 2nd half of 2010.

    Comment by Matt — March 23, 2012 @ 3:20 am

  32. Also I’d like to note that his SwStk pct wasn’t far behind the likes of Zack Greinke in 2011.

    I think an improving slider while continuing to lower his flyball rate allows him to take a big step forward in 2012.

    Comment by Matt — March 23, 2012 @ 3:39 am

  33. ???

    Wouldn’t that really just mean 1 extra SP moves into top 30 whom you might not like?

    The others would be there anyway whether you liked them or not?

    OR did you just mean there are more than you’d expect to pass Kennedy?

    Comment by TheUncool — March 26, 2012 @ 8:36 am

  34. If you just want to know ADP vs whatever popular projection systems, you can always figure that out yourself given what’s listed, no? You can just do your own homework and see if you agree w/ the popular systems or if you think the writer might really be onto something and/or most FBB players are ignoring whatever in overrating these pitchers.

    Clearly, the writer, especially for FBB purposes, believes that his own system/opinion to be (however much) better than what’s popular or commonly used at least for specific cases, if not in general. Afterall, isn’t that partly why we play FBB at all?

    Comment by TheUncool — March 26, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  35. Don’t that moving from Arlington helps him any. I don’t have actual numbers in front of me now, but my impression has been that Arlington plays a bit like the old Yankees Stadium and favors lefty bats while maybe being neutral for righty bats — old Yankees Stadium actually (more or less) killed righty pull ABs and favored lefty pitchers. If so, then CJ being lefty w/ nasty FB/slider combo would likely neutralize any favor that lefty bats get from that park.

    Comment by TheUncool — March 26, 2012 @ 8:53 am

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