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Madison Bumgarner: Fantasy Ace

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Madison Bumgarner turned in another stellar performance in 2012. A look ahead to 2013 shows a pitcher, not only capable of being talked about with Cain and Hamels, but someone who needs to be considered for the long haul in dynasty and keeper leagues, as well.

Doug Pensinger

Madison Bumgarner turned in another stellar performance in 2012. This 23 year old southpaw is quickly becoming a must-own fantasy starter and it is easy to see why. Mr. Bumgarner has had three straight seasons of double-digit wins and two straight seasons of 191 strikeouts. A look ahead to 2013 shows a pitcher, not only capable of being talked about with Cain and Hamels, but someone who needs to be considered for the long haul in dynasty and keeper leagues, as well.

Madison Bumgarner was one of the pitchers I targeted in my 2012 draft, but when I did not get him, I just moved on to someone else. I may reach slightly in 2013, and take better care to get him, especially in the start-up dynasty league that drafts in February. Madison has now thrown at least 200 innings in each of the last two seasons, and been effective enough to rack up a K/9 of 8.4 and 8.3 and a bb/9 of 2.0 and 2.1 in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These are enviable ratios. Generally, I look for pitchers who can post K/9 of at least 7.0 and a bb/9 of no more than 3.0. Mr. Bumgarner passes both tests with flying colors.

Madison's ratios should continue to be among the elite, as well. In his four seasons of major league pitching, his ERA has never been above 3.37 and his WHIP has only been above 1.21 once. Beginning with his 91 mph fastball, Madison is effective enough with his pitches to keep those ratios consistent enough to allow fantasy owners to plug him in their rotations, and just enjoy. His lack of walks-allowed and high strike out rates keeps his WHIP down. The combination of 48% ground balls and 33% fly balls in 2012, along with pitching in the pitcher-friendly confines of AT & T Park (as well as pitching in other such NL West venues like Dodger Stadium and PETCO Park) will keep his ERA low, as well.

For 2013 I think Bumgarner owners can look forward to another fine season. I think Madison will have an ERA of 3.31 and a WHIP of 1.19, fan 182, and since the Giants should contend for another playoff spot, I think 17 wins are in the offing. Overall, I think this young left-hander has the ability to continue his dominance of opposing batters in 2013 and for the foreseeable future.