Wandy Rodriguez: Houston, we have a Fantasy Baseball Sleeper
Since 2009, Wandy has the 17th most K’s, is tied for 27th in ERA and for 31st in wins and is 52nd in WHIP. However, Wandy appears to be barely inside the top 50 SPs this season for most and is going behind the likes of Jeremy Hellickson, Jordan Zimmermann, Adam Wainwright, Matt Moore, and others.
While, last season, Wandy’s K/9 rate dipped below 8.00 for the first time and his walk rate increased for the third consecutive season, there’s no reason for concern. For one, he induced the same amount of ground balls and line drives with the only batted ball spike coming in his HR/FB rate. After being between 9 – 9.9% the previous three seasons, his HR/FB rate was 13%, which seems to be an outlier (his career HR/FB rate is 11%). Expect that to come down and his ratios with it.
In addition, Wandy didn’t lose any velocity or change his approach: he threw his fastball and curve about as often as he normally does. He posted a swinging strike rate above his career average, got ahead in the count more than he ever had before and got a little bit more contact (however it wasn’t better contact, just a few fly balls that cleared the fence). Lastly, his swinging percentages were all normal, with batters chasing balls out of the zone as much as they use to.
Wandy is an easy below 4.00 ERA guy with upside to 3.55. He should post a 1.30 WHIP, 8 K’s per nine innings (so upside to 180 K’s) and double digit wins. He is the type of pitcher who can fill out your staff cheaply. He’ll really bring you great returns on K’s and ERA, while not killing you in WHIP. There’s also a chance he ends up getting traded to a team that can win, which will greatly improve his win and fantasy outlook.
For these reasons and his sublime nickname, Wandy Rodriguez is a 2012 fantasy baseball sleeper.
Written by Albert Lang exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
Follow Albert on Twitter @h2h_corner
(September 25, 2011 – Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images North America)