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Fantasy Baseball: Is LIMA A False Prophet?

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Is the LIMA plan a false prophet?

In his "Hit Rate Observer" column at The Hardball Times, John Burnson provides data that suggests it is.

This is ground-breaking information because LIMA has become the default thinking on how to evaluate pitchers. At draft time, there are very few players who have the high Ks, low walks and low HR rates of the ideal LIMA pitcher who go undrafted.

The issue Mr. Burnson looked at was how those who qualify for LIMA perform in the future. It is not how the did in the past, and the past is what fantasy baseball players use to determine who to draft!

How about this: After these 131 pitchers put up their first LIMA-caliber season, what fraction of subsequent seasons were LIMA-caliber (and in at least 100 IP)?

A: So far, these pitchers have produced 481 subsequent seasons (of any length). Of those seasons, only 35% were LIMA-caliber in 100 IP. Nineteen pitchers were responsible for half of those seasons; collectively, they had a repeat rate of 73%. If you banked on one of the other 112 pitchers, though, your hit rate was just 23%.