Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jeff Francis 2009

After an excellent 2007 season (K/9: 7.0, BB/9: 2.7, GB%:44.4) Jeff Francis took a major step back in 2008 as his strikeout rate dropped all the way to 5.7. There was speculation that his shoulder problems were the cause, and that theory was supported when he was shut down for good in mid-September. Unfortunately, Francis' 2008 strikeout rate is much more in line with what he's done the rest of his career, so there's plenty of reason to believe that his 2007 season was the outlier, and that we shouldn't expect a repeat. Francis performance early in 2009 will bear watching, and as always we'll need to be open to changing our opinions based on the latest evidence, but in ranking Francis for drafts, I'd project him for a K/9 rate around 6.0, which makes him a mediocre pitcher. If I'm going to draft a pitcher with his overall stats, I'd rather take a less skilled pitcher who's putting up the same stats in a better pitchers' park. That way I can spot start them when they're at home and in effect get half of a much better pitcher.

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