Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Clay Buchholz 2009

Clay Buchholz is an almost perfect fit for my strategy for the last few rounds of fantasy baseball drafts. His 6.75 ERA and questions about whether he'll be in Boston's rotation to start the season will make him go very late in most drafts. That said, he's got tremendous upside. The awful ERA from last season does a good job of hiding the fact that he still struck out almost a batter per inning. If he can improve his control in 2009, he'll go back to being a very effective pitcher. In fact, if he repeats his 47.7% groundball rate, he stands a chance of being effective even with poor control. He's 24 years old, so there's lots of time for improvement. And other teams are trying to trade for him, which could give him a spot in a rotation and have the added bonus of removing him from a terrible pitchers' park. Overall, Buchholz is a great low risk/high reward player, and a great late round draft pick. If he gets a spot in a rotation (whether in Boston or elsewhere), I'd consider him one of the very best fantasy sleepers for 2009.


Dave said...

Poor walk rates are hard for me to overlook. It makes the margin for error that much smaller.

Alex said...

True, but in a young guy that can sometimes improve pretty quickly. And it doesn't need to improve that much for him to be a very good pitcher.