To continue the analysis of the Top 20 starting pitchers in the NL for 2009, based on their 2008 Command ratio (K-BB)/9, I give you the Bill James projections for 2009.
1. Rich Harden-11 Wins-3.02 ERA-10.8 WHIP-151 K's-should he stay healthy, he could be one of the best in the NL.
2. Tim Lincecum-17-3.02-10.9-272-wow-can he get to 300 K's? Back to back CY's?
3. Dan Haren-14-3.59-11.1-174-solid starting pitcher.
4. Randy Johnson-12-3.40-10.7-178-will his back hold up in 2009?
5. Ricky Nolasco-12-3.98-11.8-176-was 2008 a fluke?
6. Wandy Rodriguez-7-4.45-13.1-110-James not too high on Wandy, eh? The guys over at FantasyPros911.com beg to differ.
7. Cole Hamels-16-3.24-10.2-214-possible Cy Young candidate in 2009
8. Jake Peavy-14-3.26-10.9-202- his number may come down a bit if he is traded away from the best pitchers park in the majors.
9. Johan Santana-18-3.01-9.8-234-will he reach 20 wins in 2009 with the improved bullpen?
10. Chad Billingsley-12-3.69-12.3-189-can he recover from the broken leg? MLB.com reports he is on schedule. Waiting on a Buster Olney rumor.
11. Ted Lilly-12-3.95-11.9-176-not bad for a 3rd starter in the Cubs rotation.
12. Edison Volquez-11-4.08-13.2-191-will all the pitches he threw in 2008 take a toll in 2009?
13. Josh Johnson-8-3.92-12.9-119-these seem low, he should be healthy in 2009.
14. Roy Oswalt-16-3.50-11.3-170-the best pitcher without the hype.
15. Ben Sheets-13-3.39-10.7-159-can he stay healthy for a full season?
16. Aaron Harang-10-4.11-12.1-155-he's a bounceback candidate in 2009.
17. Ryan Dempster-12-3.89-12.9-166-he was smart to sign early, huh? can he repeat his 2008 performance?
18. Brandon Webb-15-3.37-11.5-176-another CY candidate year in and year out. Does he get dealt in 2009?
19. Jonathon Sanchez-7-3.90-13.2-140-is 2009 his breakout year?
20. Johnny Cueto-8-4.56-12.9-151-Dusty has a way with young starters, doesn't he?
Now here are a few starting pitchers that probably will be ranked in the top 20 in 2009:
Matt Cain-13-3.57-12.0-192-another breakout candidate in 2009.
Yovani Gallardo-13-3.61-11.8-201-should be healthy in 2009, and the Brewers need him badly.
Derek Lowe-14-3.60-11.6-132-steady-Eddie-should solidify the Braves rotation along with Javier Vasquez.
Javier Vasquez-13-3.80-11.5-195-James thinks he can improve upon his 2008 season.