Blog Entry

NL Only Player Spot Light- Javier Vazquez

Posted on: April 15, 2009 12:28 am
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Steve walks warily down the street,
With the brim pulled way down low
Ain't no sound but the sound of his feet,
Machine guns ready to go
Are you ready, Are you ready for this
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat
Chorus

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust......

 

If you were born anytime within the last 20 years you'll have surely heard this Queen classic Another One Bites the Dust . To me it's a great anthem, it's a song that ought to be played at all big sporting events (boxing, mixed martial arts, football, basketball, hockey, baseball, curling, bowling you name it) but of all things it should be reserved for ace pitchers, lets take it a step further it should be reserved for strike out artists.

A mocking exit for the hitter and a forboding message for the man on deck....you don't mess with this.

Every time I watch the Atlanta Braves new K-Master Javier Vazquez take the mound, I start singing this song. I just can't help myself. Nothing excites me more then watching a pitcher mow through the lineup whilst picking up 9-12 strike outs in the process. Sure I know that it leads to high pitch counts and early exits yadda yadda, but I can't help it. I'm a slave to the strike out.

That is the one facet of the game that Javy excels in, check these out.

2006- 11-12, 4.84era, 1.29whip, 184k, 56bb, 8.17K/9, 3.29K/BB

2007- 15-8, 3.74era, 1.14whip, 213k, 50bb, 8.85K/9, 4.26K/BB

2008- 12-16, 4.76era, 1.32whip, 200k, 61bb, 8.64K/9, 3.28K/BB

2009- 0-1, 4.50era, 1.25whip, 17k, 5bb, 12.64K/BB, 3.40K/BB

From those stats we can see a few trends thathave true through out Javy's career. A- He's not going to be a huge 20 win starter, or much better then a .500 guy for that matter (127-129 life time), so counting on him for more then 12 wins is a bit much. B- His ERA and Whip, could both be better but's a career spanning stat so expect improvement, and finally, though not displayed a propensity to serve up the long ball. Surrendering  23, 29, 25 in the previous three seasons it at least indicative that he's creative. So with these knocks against why do I like him?

1-K/9 Ratio- Anything higher then 7K/9 amongst starters is a great, 8+K/9 is fantastic. So you know that no matter what you're going to get a bunch of strike outs each outting.

2- Very good control- A base line for starters is a 2/1 K/BB ration, when a guy boasted a career 3.32K/BB ratio you know he's pretty good.

3- A Pitcher Park- After years of pitching in hitters havens Yankees Stadium, Chase Field and US Cellular, Javy is moving into a pitchers park, which should help knock down the 1.19HR/9 ration he's sported over his career.

4- Durability- Not to many pitchers can say that they've averaged 208.2 innings over the last 3 seasons. Combine that with an average of 199 strike outs, and you've got yourself a war horse.

 

In your drafts this year if you took Javier Vazquez as your ace, unfortunately you're going to be disappointed but if you made him your number 2-3 knowing that what you see is what you get then you'll get your money's worth. There may be a new breed of strike out artists on the horizon, but as long as this horse is still over powering hitters, he'll remain a favourite of mine, and on my fantasy rosters.

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