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Fantasy Baseball: The Hardball Times Annual-AL Edition

The second of the four baseball/stathead books I decided to read this year-The Hardball Times Annual- came in the mail this week, and here are a few nuggets of information that could be helpful to fantasy/roto players in 2009:

  • Daisuke Matsuzaka  FIP OF 4.11 (a better measure, than ERA, of how well a pitcher performs, regardless of how well his infielders performs) was 1.21 higher than his ERA-2.90. Can the infield continue to bail out al those walks?
  • Grady Sizemore led the AL with 122 Base Runs (a measure of runs created adjusted for Avg. with RISP and ballpark). You know who led the NL.
  • Armondo Galarraga's FIP-4.95 was > a run higher than his ERA-3.73.
  • Carlos Gomez had a .223 GPA in 614 PAs. Is the speed and defense worth it? To fantasy players-YES.
  • Derek Jeter hit more ground balls than anyone in baseball-58% of his PAs.
  • Andy Pettite's FIP-3.74 was much better than his ERA-4.54. Did you know that Ned?
  • Mike Napoli struck out 25% of his plate appearances, but he walked 15% of them, and hit a fly ball on 52% of his batted balls, where 255 of them resulted in a HR. Will this continue? Bill James seems to think so.
  • Jack Cust walked or struck out in 52% of his PAs, and 31% of his outfiled flys resulted in a HR.
  • Brad Zeigler's FIP-3.67 was >2 1/2 runs higher than his ERA-1.06. He benefited from 23 double plays in his 60 innings pitched.
  • Grant Balfour struck out 37% of the hitters he faced-by far the highest in the majors. Why isn't he the Rays closer?
  • The Rays D may be better than the Buccaneers D! The following Tampa relievers had FIPs of at least a run higher than their ERA-Grant Balfour, Jay Howell, Dan Wheeler, and Troy Percival.
  • Milton Bradley led the AL with a .327 GPA. No wonder the Cubs wants him so much.
  • Shaun Marcum's FIP-4.52 was > 1 run higher than his ERA-3.39.