Coming into my 2009 drafts, I found a very interesting article over at www.thebaseballanalysts.com which categorized pitchers by their K/9 and GB ratios. The importance of this for roto/fantasy owners is knowing how your pitchers get guys out. Pitchers with high K/9 and high GB ratios usually provide owners with very good win, ERA and WHIP stats, and they are the ones to target come draft day. The reason is they are getting guys out via the strikeout and inducing a high percentage of ground balls which more often than not results in an out. And ground balls don't leave the ballpark.
With that said, I provide you with the top 25 K/9 pitchers in 2009 with their corresponding GB ratios, along with some other advanced pitching stats, courtesy of www.fangraphs.com, after the jump:
|Jorge de la Rosa||9.39||4.04||2.33||44.70%||0.97||0.248||1.38||0.316||71.60%||4.38|
A couple takeaways from this analysis for me is that Jonathan Sanchez may be due for a breakout year in 2010 if he can continue pitching like he did in the seond half of 2009.
Another takeaway is I would be very afraid of drafting Johan_Santana in 2010 because you will have to spend a high draft pick or $25+ in roto leagues for a guy whose peripheral stats are taking a turn for the worse. His K/9 have decreased in each of the last 2 years, and his BB/9 and HR/9 have increased in the last 2 years.
A couple of Colorado Rockie pitchers broke out in 2009, and I am not sure we have seen the best of Ubaldo_Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa yet. Both strikeout more than 8 batters per 9 innings, and induce ground balls at a pretty high rate in the case for Jiminez, and JDLR's GB ratio isn't that bad either. If they can increase their LOB% in 2010, they will make fantasy owners real happy.
Finally, I have already wrote about Ricky Nolasco, so I will move onto another pitcher whose peripherals scream that he could come cheap in 2010 drafts. That name is Max Scherzer, and he is an intriguing name, as he struck out more than 9 batters per 9 innings, and induced ground balls at a 42% clip in 2009. His LOB% was pretty low in 2009, so I expect a very solid season from Scherzer in 2010.