Monday, January 5, 2009
Mike Pelfrey 2009
Mike Pelfrey has always been pretty good at keeping the ball on the ground, with a career average right around a 49% groundball rate. Unfortunately, until 2008, he wasn't very good at striking batters out or avoiding walking them. In 2008 his control took a step forward, as he walked 'only' 2.9 per nine innings. With a 5.0 K/9 rate, and his ability to avoid flyballs (and hence homeruns), that's good enough control to be effective. The question of course is whether that improvement was a true change in ability, or merely random variance. In general, when a player shows a large change in one of their component rate stats that is consistent with what would be expected at their age, I'm a believer that it's for real. So improving control in young players, or decreasing strikeout rates in old players, I generally believe are a lot more likely to be repeated than other changes. If that's the case, Pelfrey should be a solid (but not spectacular) member of the Mets rotation in 2009.