Monday, December 22, 2008

John Lannan 2009

John Lannan is a pretty good example of why you should always be prepared for young pitchers to improve. When he reached the majors for part of 2007 (at the age of 22), he was so bad that I would look for hitters who were opposing him that day. In 34.2 innings, he struck out only 10, and walked 17 batters. It doesn't get much worse than that. Even with a 50% groundball rate, he was a truly terrible pitcher. His minor league numbers weren't much better once adjusted for the weaker competition. Actually, even his college numbers were awful, other than his final season. However, he apparently figured things out in 2008, and put up respectable numbers. In 182 innings, he struck out 117 batter and walked 72. That's not great, but with a 54% groundball rate, and pitching in a good pitchers park, he's now a perfectly ok major league pitcher, and no longer worth targeting in daily transactions leagues. He'll be 24 years old until the last few days of the 2009 season, so there's still a lot of room (and time) for further improvement.

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