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.

1 comment:

Schruender said...

I guess a close comparison for Pelfrey would be Armando Galarraga given the strikeout rate and age. I think Galarraga is a safe bet to stay on his course next year too.