Thursday, January 1, 2009
Johnny Cueto 2009
What should we expect from Johnny Cueto in 2009? The answer is...there is no answer. He's the first player I've reviewed where I'm just not sure what to expect. Overall his numbers in 2008 were decent, but not great. 8.0 strikouts per nine innings, 3.4 walks per nine innings, and a 38.6% groundball rate. He's still only 22 years olds, so there's lots of potential for breakthrough improvement. On the other hand, he threw a lot of pitches last year, and that always raises the concern for injuries in young pitchers. He's good enough that he could be an asset with the right match-up in games like Rotohog, Fantasy Sports Live, and Snapdraft...except his home park will ensure that his match-ups are rarely favorable enough to warrant using him in those games. His strikeout and walk rates by month don't help us much either...his worst months by far were June and September. Maybe the weak September shows that he was wearing down at the end of the season...but is that cause for optimism (he'll bounce back now that he's had the offseason to rest) or concern (all that wear on his young arm could cause injuries). Cueto definitely has the potential for a breakout season. He's a player worth watching in the pre-season and in April. If his K/9 rate makes it above 9 and his BB/9 goes below 3, then strongly consider using him. Until then, he's only worth taking in the late rounds of drafts, and probably not worth using in most daily contest games.