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2010 Sleepers: Colby Lewis

The more I hear about Rangers starter Colby Lewis, the more I like him as a 2010 fantasy option.  His career MLB work is ugly: a 6.71 ERA and 1.81 WHIP in 217.3 innings.  Fantasy owners don't care about him; he's not being drafted among the top 389 picks according to Mock Draft Central.  So why is he a quality sleeper?

Lewis spent the last two years in Japan, and he was awesome there.  His 2009 performance: 2.96 ERA, 9.49 K/9, and a 0.7 BB/9.  That's a 9.79 K/BB ratio.  In 2008 it was a 2.68 ERA, 9.25 K/9, 1.37 BB/9, and a 6.78 K/BB.

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian has a great article explaining Lewis' transformation in Japan.  He gained a new mindset, delivery, and cutter in his time there, and this winter a dozen MLB teams were dialing up his agent.  It's not common for an American player to return from Japan and get $5MM.  Lewis is still only 30 years old.

How do the projection systems feel about Lewis?

  • CHONE: 3.99 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 8.08 K/9, 2.05 BB/9
  • ZiPS: 4.39 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 6.53 K/9, 2.60 BB/9
  • PECOTA: 3.89 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 8.04 K/9, 2.36 BB/9
  • HQ: 4.52 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 6.71 K/9, 3.19 BB/9

Quite a range, with two of the four projection systems suggesting Lewis could be quite valuable in any league.  As is the case with most mixed league sleepers, you've got little to lose.

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