Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rich Hill 2009

On the surface, Rich Hill looks like a good high risk, high reward pick to make in the late rounds of fantasy baseball drafts in 2009. But once you look a little deeper, it becomes apparent that this isn't the case. At his best, Hill offers strikeouts. Lots of them. The problem is, that's about all he offers. His control was never terrific. He's an extreme flyball pitcher. He'll be 29 years old on opening day, so he's at the point in his career where players don't tend to make dramatic overnight improvements. Then consider his 2008 season, where he completely lost the ability to throw the ball over home plate. Pitching at four different levels (including rookie ball), Hill averaged almost a walk per inning. When pitchers suffer such a complete loss of control (often refered to as 'Steve Blass Disease') it tends to be mental rather than physical, and also tends to be very hard to overcome. Hill is someone I would stay away from, no matter how good a "bargain" he appears to be, until he is able to string together three or four consecutive starts in the major leagues with low walk totals.


BillyB said...

For another view on Rich Hill:

I agree with your thought to steer clear of him until he shows otherwise.

Whether it was the chicken or the egg, imo he had a mechanical issue lead to mental issues, or vice versa. If he can show he's over it, I'll be pouncing even if he winds up in the AL East.

Anonymous said...

Bad post. Did you completely miss 2007, when he put up one of the better fantasy seasons? If you can get him off the waiver wire and stash him on the DL, why not?

Anonymous said...

In 2007 he posted a very good 2.91 BB/9 along with a sparkling 1.19 WHIP. He never had good control?

Alex said...

I said 'never terrific', not 'bad'. 2.91 BB/9 isn't bad, but it's also not exceptional. I view that as the potential upside for his control, and given his current situation he's very unlikely to achieve it. If you have a deep bench or DL where you can stash him, that's fine, but there are better uses of your bench in most formats.