2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2013 Fantasy Baseball, Week 10 Mailbag: Wheeler, Gausman or Wacha?

Welcome to the Fix’s week 10 fantasy baseball mailbag. We’re going to skip the fluffy introduction and fast forward to the meat-and-potatoes:


Let’s see what the Fix staff has to say about this:

Gerard Martin (@gerardowrites) – Step one: Fangraphs comparison.

Hmm, that’s odd, where’s Zack Wheeler? Oh right, he’s in Vegas, posting a 4.30 FIP at AAA. He’s got the skill to whiff a batter per inning in the Majors, but the Mets aren’t in a hurry to call him up, and Shaun Marcum‘s renaissance isn’t making that any easier. He’s third for me.

Kevin Gausman’s fastball velocity ranks first among starters. Wooo!

Gausman’s fastball effectiveness, based on PitchF/X values, ranks 104th. Ewww!

It’s a tiny sample size, but if a guy’s got such an electric fastball, it should show right away, right? Even when he was effective in his start against Detroit, he never looked overpowering. I think he needs more seasoning, which he might just get when Wei-Yin Chen comes off the DL.

That leaves Wacha as my pretty clear first choice. He’s the most polished of the three and has the best team behind him.

Scott Barzilla (@SBarzilla) – Personally, I like Wheeler the rest of the way. It has little to do with a talent difference as they are all fairly equal. The NL East is an easier division than the Central or AL East and Citi Field is the best pitchers park amongst the three. Wacha will probably win more often because the Cardinals are the best team of the three, but Wheeler will likely put up slightly better numbers.

John Hoey (@johnnycrashmlb) – For me it’s Zack Wheeler.  Wacha has a publicly vocalized innings cap that has him only throwing around 85+/- more innings which means he wont impact fantasy teams for their playoffs runs, so he’s out.  See my article here. Gausman was torched by Toronto and Washington, but did show an impressive performance against Detroit.  However, Wheeler (8th overall ranked prospect) is ranked higher than Gausman for a reason, and will have opportunities to face more anemic NL lineups, whereas Gausman is subjected to the brutal task of facing AL East hitters on a regular basis. So in the end, although we haven’t seen him debut, which should be soon, it is Zack Wheeler ROS out of these three in my opinion.

Alan Harrison (@TheFantasyFix) – This is a great question. And as you know, prospects are very near and dear to my heart, so this developed into quite the internal conflict.

With that said, each arm reeks of upside and deserves fantasy baseballer’s attention in all relative formats.

Of the three hurlers, Michael Wacha seemed to be the one left off of most top-50 prospect lists headed into the twenty-thirteen campaign. But Wacha dazzled in Spring Training — yea, I said it, Spring Training — to the tune of a 0.00 ERA with a 15:1 K/BB in 11.2 IP, leaving the Cardinals’ brass, fans and fantasy owners yearning for more.  He’s made just two starts for the Cards and boasts a 2.73 FIP and a 7.71 K/9. Not a bad start for the kid, and like Gerard said, he’s probably on the best ball club of the three rookie hurlers, but he’s not my pick for fantasy just yet.

Kevin Gausman is an insane pitching prospect with multiple plus pitches in his arsenal and a blinding bright future. But since getting the call, the rookie has failed to notch his first win and sports a 6.80 FIP with a 5.40 K/9. This doesn’t mean he won’t be successful down the road, it just mean he’s not the guy I want right now of the three.

Finally, Zack Wheeler. He’s the guy I want on my fantasy team for the rest of the season. First, and most important, he’ll go from pitching in not-so-pitcher-friendly Pacific Coast League to the not-so-heavy-hitting National League East. Secondly, he’s been fine in the PCL — 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA and 23.7% K% — although his 9.6% BB% could use some polish. Wheeler is expected to make his MLB debut next Friday, so go ahead and make the add with confidence in all relative formats. Look for him get some “on the job” training with respect to his polish.

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1 Comment

  1. Tj Wilson
    June 7, 2013 at 11:23 am — Reply

    For me Gausman has a combination of good situation, great stuff (Including one of the best fastballs I’ve seen) and stick-ability. The orioles are a good team that produce a lot of runs, an ideal situation for a pitcher to pick up wins, even with a bad outing. His fastball is outstanding, and he has several other plus pitches he will continue to develop. The orioles figure to be in the thick of the al east division title race this September, and with a weak pitching staff as it is, he should most likely pitch in the rotation all year, improving along the way.

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