Brandon Beachy: Stud Muffin

During draft season this year, Brandon Beachy was a late-round flier in mixed leagues due to his spring training battle with Mike Minor. After Beachy beat out Minor, owners were still skeptical thanks to underwhelming scouting reports and fear of somewhat of an unsecure role in the Braves rotation. Next season, Beachy certainly won’t be considered a flier if he keeps up his torrid start to the 2011 season.

If I used the word “stud” to describe Beachy, odds are most owners would be surprised and argumentative. A stud they may have never heard of? Ridiculous. If you don’t want to believe that Beachy has been ever so studly, you should look at where he ranks amongst NL starters in key pitching categories. Better yet, let me look at those numbers for you, the busy reader, and break them down in an easily digestible fashion.

Strikeouts and Walks
When it comes to strikeouts, we can’t just look at raw totals when evaluating Beachy since he missed time with an oblique injury. Using K/9 instead of raw strikeouts, we can see that Beachy ranks second in the NL, behind only the magnificent Zack Greinke. You read that right, America, Beachy ranks ahead of aces like Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, and the Braves’ own Tommy Hanson.

Just like we did above, it makes more sense to use a rate stat like BB/9 to gauge Beachy’s place among pitchers in the National League. If my fifth-grade counting skills are still intact, Beachy has the 26th best BB/9 in the NL, which doesn’t seem all that impressive until you remember his strikeout totals. His walk rate is good enough to land him in fifth place in K/BB, behind the aforementioned Greinke, along with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee.

Putting his strikeouts, walks, and home runs together, we see that Beachy has a top-20 FIP in the NL. Why so low on the list? Well, Beachy likes to pitch up in the zone, resulting in a good deal of fly balls and thus, homers.

It’s far too late to grab Beachy off the wire if you’re in a mixed or NL-only league, thanks to his two great starts on his return from the DL. But, if you’re in a very shallow league, you may be able to swoop in and take advantage of other owner’s ignorance. Beachy is certainly a trade target if you want a young starter with high strikeout rates and a pretty solid team behind him and if you decide to rebuild in a keeper league and wish to deal an ace, Beachy is definitely someone you should ask for in return,

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

16 Responses to “Brandon Beachy: Stud Muffin”

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  1. AL says:

    Do you think the Braves will limit his IP towards the end of the season? Worth trading Kimbrel or Heath Bell for him?

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    • jeffrey gross says:

      why would they limit his innings? If he pitches a full load ROS, he’ll be under any substantial jump thanks to the 6 week DL stint. Plus the Braves are in a playoff hunt.

      As to the second question, I would trade Kimbrell for him, and greatly consider Bell as well (Tho I’d ask for an ENR like Adams back too…)

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    • Temo says:

      They probably won’t have to limit his IP, because right now 6 innings a game seems to be the max they can expect him to go. He gets so many swings and misses and off-balance hacking foul balls that his pitch counts often get unwieldy. Somehow has good control but rarely gets the quick out.

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  2. Boston Fan says:

    I think that the oblique injury kind of artificially already did that for him… I definitely agree with the stud label!

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  3. bballer319 says:

    I really like the fact that despite good control and great k-rate, he has a LD% under 20…..unlike Greinke….

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    • BLloyd says:

      Forgive my possible ignorance – did you mean to use “despite” there? Is there evidence that pitchers with high K/9 and Zone% tend to have elevated line drive rates as well?

      I can rationalize why Zone% and LD% might be correlated but would be curious to see the numbers.

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  4. V says:

    Insert me whining about trading him straight up for Brandon Belt after his first start.

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  5. trade? says:

    would you rather have hanson and ogando or beachy and marcum?

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    • sgolder06 says:


      Ogando seems like a pretty good candidate to both regress and get shut down.

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  6. AL says:

    Well I have this posted on a different article too, but curious if I get some more reactions on this one:

    Traded my Kimbrel and Beltran for his Beachy and Stanton.

    He desperately needed saves and I was looking for an upgrade in HR.

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    • GoA's says:

      Looks like a good deal for you-I like Kimbrel (talk about impressive K/9!) but you got two players at the top of their positions.

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  7. OzzieGuillen says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why scouts didn’t really like Beachy that much until recently. His 2010 numbers were outstanding.

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    • Josh says:

      All four of his pitches might be above-average, but none of them are really plus pitches. He uses control and probably deception to get so many K’s, which isn’t exceptionally appealing to scouts without great stuff. Keith Law is still convinced he’s not much better than a back-of-the-rotation starter.

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  8. alan says:

    yes you did

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