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8 Pitchers Whose WHIPs Should Fall Next Year

We still like pointing out BABIP anomalies, call us old-fashioned.  Here are a few to watch for 2011 on the high side.

  • James Shields - .354 BABIP.  I was going to do a post on how Shields is the new Javier Vazquez, always underperforming in ERA compared to his peripherals.  But then I realized there really isn't any such trend.  SIERA says 3.57 for Shields this year, way below his actual 5.18 ERA.  His 1.46 WHIP should scare off bidders as well.  He should be the best 187-strikeout bargain around in 2011 drafts, perhaps rounds 13-16.
  • Manny Parra - .352 BABIP.  One of the hardest-throwing lefty starters, Parra will probably be tendered a contract by the Brewers on the strength of his 9.52 K/9.  SIERA says 3.82 as opposed to his 5.02 ERA, but Parra's control is an issue.  So while his WHIP will come down from 1.62, it still won't be good.
  • Josh Beckett - .349 BABIP.  He had a 3.84 SIERA against a scary 5.78 ERA and an uncharacteristic 1.54 WHIP.  There's no reason we can't get the Beckett of '09 next year.  His poor season should push him toward the 10th round.
  • Brandon Morrow - .348 BABIP.  He whiffed 178 in just 146.3 innings, but still had a 1.38 WHIP.  His walk rate will keep that WHIP at an unhelpful level, but his 8.36 hits per nine rate could actually come down.  Certainly an intriguing name for 2011 drafts, with his 17-strikeout one-hitter fresh in our minds.
  • Zach Duke - .347 BABIP.  A 4.58 SIERA says he could have some uses in real baseball for a new club, but he's not a mixed league option.
  • Aaron Harang - .346 BABIP.  His SIERA was only 4.44; Harang is definitely slipping.  Even if his WHIP comes down from 1.59 it will still hurt.  In the right ballpark, very late in the draft, I'd still consider him.
  • Yovani Gallardo - .340 BABIP.  He cut down on the walks but still had a career-worst 1.37 WHIP.  On the plus side he struck out 200 for the second year in a row.  Maybe next year he puts it all together and takes a leap in value.  Sound investment around the 8th round.
  • Francisco Liriano - .340 BABIP.  His 1.26 WHIP could have been even lower.  His 3.02 SIERA against his 3.62 ERA shows there's room for more here.  However, Liriano won't be drafted in the 19th round on average this time around.
  • Honorable mentions to Jason Hammel (.337) and Jonathon Niese (.335).

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