When I heard that the San Francisco Giants had signed Barry Zito to a $128 million, I'm not sure what processed first: the stupidity of the signing or the excitment that it was the Giants - and not my Mets - that had done the signing. After it had registered, I couldn't help doing a little dance in excitment. While my Mets are still missing an Ace Starting Pitcher, Barry Zito was not this Ace.
Barry Zito, due to his great 2002 Cy Young season, his well-known 12-6 curveball, and his rock star image has become one of the most well-known pitchers in baseball. With Matsuzaka quickly scooped up the the Red Sox, Zito - to the common fan - appeared to be the best option left on the market. For whatever reason, the San Francisco Giants decided it was a wise move to sign him to the largest contract ever tendered a pitcher in major league history. The large sum was partially influenced by marketing opportunies for the team, but Zito still will not be worth it. Here's why.
To start with, his luck dependent numbers have never been that great, with the exception of 2002. His ERA has always been around 4.00. His K/9 is only around 6.25 - a huge drawback for fantasy purposes. His command is terrible, between 3.5 and 4.0 BB/9 over the past 4 years. In that timespan, his K/BB has gone above 2.00 just once - and it barely made it. The last reason I dislike Barry Zito is that his GB Percentage has gone above 40% just once in his career.
Please heed my warning. Do not take Barry Zito this year. He is not a good pitcher, and will rely heavily on luck if he is to have anymore than a #3 starter's season.