Question Submitted to RotoBaller >>
Fantasy Baseball Question: What are your predictions for Jake Peavy? Will he have the same success in 2013 that he had in 2012?
Player Pool: Mixed
# of Teams: 11-13
League Info and Categories: Standard plus OBP and Quality Starts
Roster Positions: Standard
League Host: Yahoo!
RotoBaller Detailed Analysis >>
Thanks for your question. Let's get into it, shall we?
Ahhh, Jake Peavy, how I loved thee last year... sigh. Now I know Fernando Rodney was straight-nasty all year, but in my mind Jake Peavy was easily the AL's Comeback Player of the Year in 2012. He didn't win it because he managed 111 IP in 2011, so I'm guessing perhaps he didn't technically qualify, but forget that. Peavy hadn't thrown 200+ IP or exceeded 170K since 2007-- his comeback was five years in the making. Anyone who owned Peavy last year reaped some of the best value for any single player in Fantasy Baseball (though Peavy himself likely reaped the most value with his $29M two-year deal). His final line of 219 IP, 3.37 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, with 11 W and 194K was good for the 17th best SP and 64th overall (according to Baseball Monster). Considering he was a late round flier (probably undrafted in many leagues), that's about as good as anyone could have hoped for.
But I digress... you asked about his 2013, not for what you already know about 2012. Simply put, Peavy will go as far in 2013 as his health will carry him. And his health is looking pretty good so far this winter. If he stays healthy and spring training reports are positive, I can most definitely assure you his ADP (currently 188) will climb. How high it climbs will determine whether or not you should draft him. Currently, he's going in the 15-16 round range. For a guy who can give you 190 IP, 3.6 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 170 K with 11-13 W, that is a STEAL. That line would give him roughly 9th-10th round value, and obviously picking that up in the 15th round is a good deal.
Here's my advice with Peavy: make a projection for him, and don't factor in his injury history in this projection. Injuries are extraordinarily difficult to predict, and if we realistically took Peavy's last five years into account, we'd have to chop our projections in half if we considered all his injuries. So, make a projection for a healthy Peavy, and identify what type of return he'll give you based on that projection. When draft day comes, and his ADP is more stable, see how much room you have to work with. If your projection of Peavy is for 10th round value (like mine), and he's going in the 12th, it's not worth it. If your projection is for 8th round value, and he's going in the 14th, that's a gamble worth taking in the 12th or 13th round. It's all about ROI-- it's all contextual.
Back to 2012 for a second - Peavy consistently got ahead of batters and was able to induce a career high % of swings at bad pitches. He was a great pitcher last year. However he also had a career high Fly Ball % of 44% (10 percentage points above the league average), which does not bode well at the Cell. The Southside has a great home-run hitters park, and Peavy was hurt by the long ball (27 HR). Nevertheless, he still dominated, mostly because no one was ever on base when he gave up the HR, and he got timely strikeouts when he did let on base runners. All in all, it paints the picture of a very effective pitcher who may find it hard to improve on his 2012 campaign because of his fly ball tendencies.
YOUR ANSWER! >>
In summary, Peavy can definitely repeat most of his performance from 2012, and at the price he's currently being drafted at, that would be one of the best draft-day bargains. However, Peavy's HR issues could hold back further improvement, and a little bad luck could lead to an ERA in the 3.8/3.9 range. Pay attention to where he's being drafted, and make sure you're getting a good enough deal to warrant drafting this reborn but injury-prone pitcher. If everything plays out right, you could have yourself a really solid #3 SP in the 14th-15th round.
Hope this was helpful and thanks for your submission!
- The RotoBaller Staff