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Sunday, January 10, 2010
Brett Myers: Help! I’m trapped in a launching pad, again.Posted by Josh Shepardson at 9:23pm
When Brett Myers became a free agent this off-season, and it became clear he wouldn't return to the Phillies, one almost had to believe he'd be moving to a better home ballpark for supressing home runs. Apparantly that won't be the case for Myers in 2010 though, as he's inked a one year contract with the Houston Astros. After Myers signed his one year deal, I immediately dove into The 2010 Bill James Handbook to take a peek at the park indices portion. After taking a look at the index for Houston's Minute Maid Park and Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park it became evident that Myers was essentially moving to a carbon copy of his former employer's home ballpark. Both ballparks are significantly more favorable to right-handed power hitters than neutral ballparks are, and each allows more home runs on the whole than a neutral ballpark. Surprisingly, both ballparks do reduce home runs to left-handed batters in comparison to neutral ballparks. What does this mean for Myers? Well unfortunately for him it probably means he'll continue to post a home run per flyball ratio (HR/FB) above the league average, which will in turn likely hurt his ERA.
The good news for Myers is that he appears to understand the perils of allowing fly balls, and thus has pitched predominantly to groundball contact (Myers' career ground ball ratio (GB%) is 47.7 percent, while his flyball ratio (FB%) stands at 32.2 percent for his career). Myers has also historically helped his own cause by posting a solid strikeout rate at 7.50 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) for his career, and limiting the free passes with a 3.14 walks per nine innings (BB/9) for his career. One thing working against Myers is that his strikeout rate does appear to be dropping, though it is hard to gauge exactly how significantly coming off an injury smeared 2009 campaign, and a 2007 season in which he spent much of the year closing. In Myers last healthy season as a starter, 2008, he posted a K/9 of 7.72, a drop-off from his 2006 season's K/9 of 8.59. A relatively safe projection for Myers 2010 K/9 is likely something just north of 7.0, but not much higher until he shows reason to believe otherwise.
Those preparing to project Myers production for the 2010 season should have an easy go of it, as it will probably fall in line with his most recent seasons with the Phillies. The ease of projecting Myers 2010 production is likely bad news for those hoping to draft a talented pitcher at a reduced rate this season. Myers appears likely to post an ERA significantly north of his true pitching skills, which will at least in part likely be illustrated once again by a large gap in his ERA and xFIP (xFIP is explained thoroughly here ). The likelihood of Myers striking out 150+ hitters if he eclipses 190 innings pitched makes him someone worth drafting after 60 or so starting pitchers go off the board, but his poor ERA and only serviceable WHIP will likely mean he shouldn't be drafted higher than that. If Myers is able to stay healthy all season, and continues to post numbers he has control of in line with his career norms, his free agent status and where he ultimately signs will be of interest going into 2011. Until then though, he appears to be a talented starting pitcher who will be held hostage by a launching pad home ballpark.
Feel free to reach me at my e-mail, JoshShep50 AT Yahoo DOT com with any questions, feedback, or any other general inquiries.
Jacob Rothberg said...
Beats his wife. Who cares about anything else to do with this bum.
Posted 01/11 at 08:05 PM
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