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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

What about... Dice-K, Papelbon, and Wainwright

I was recently asked where Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jonathan Papelbon, and Adam Wainwright would rank had a included them in my projections.

Daisuke Matsuzaka isn't on my list because we weren't able to find batted ball stats for him, so his projection was incomplete. What stats we did have were very impressive though. He had a 5.8 K/BB, 9.6 K/9, and 1.6 BB/9. It's very difficult to tell how these stats will translate to America, but I would bet he becomes a fairly good pitcher over here. If he posts a 7.5 K/9, a 3 K/BB, and even a Groundball Percentage of 40%, he would be ranked around #35-40. He could just easily best those numbers as he could do worse. I haven't down very much research into how Japanese pitching stats translate to America. There are enough safer options available that I would say to ignore Dice-K, at least to start the year. If I can get some Spring Training batted ball stats on him I'll post more on him towards the end of the month.

Wainwright and Papelbon are very different players. Papelbon is more of a boom or bust type, while Wainwright is a little safer. Papelbon had lots of Ks and a K/BB near 6, but his GB Percentage was a terrible 37%. He could be decent if he can keep his K/BB near 3 and his K/9 about 7.5, but there is no guarantee on this. Wainwright has a better GB Percentage - 47.5% - but a worse K/BB - 3.27. His K/9 is also lower, 8.64, which may be difficult to keep above 7 as a starter.

We're all about reducing risk at the Saberoticians, and these three guys could be good, but could just as easily be average. We prefer safer options. Draft Curt Schilling instead of Matsuzaka, A.J. Burnett over Papelbon, and Kelvim Escobar, Javier Vazquez, or Dave Bush instead of Wainwright. You'll be happy you did.

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