Jim Henderson's 2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
The Milwaukee Brewers have put together a team that, on paper, has a chance to succeed. The onetime face of the franchise, Ryan Braun, needs to repair his reputation, while veteran starting pitcher Matt Garza joins Kyle Lohse and Yovani Gallardo atop the rotation. They will try to compete in the National League Central with the likes of the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals and playoff teams Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. Can their closer, Jim Henderson, be counted on to finish off potential wins?
Henderson, 31, got the job briefly in 2012 but was given the role full-time early in the 2013 season after then-closer John Axford struggled. In the 2013 season, Jim Henderson had 28 saves in 32 opportunities. He pitched to a 2.70 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP. He struck out 75 over 60 innings, which is 11.3 K/9.
The righty from Canada uses two pitches, a mid-90s fastball and a mid-80s slider. He averages about three strikeouts for every walk so that can loosely translate to a messy save but a save is a save. There are some positives to his game but there is also room for him to improve too.
|Pitches in the strike zone||43.2%||44.7%|
|First pitch strikes||48.6%||60.3%|
The walks could minimize if he could start at-bats with a first-pitch strike. Clearly missing the first pitch hasn’t affected his swing-and-miss abilities as he is better than the league average. Another part of his game that could be a cause for concern is the type of outs he gets when the opponent makes contact.
Fly balls can usually translate to home runs too. In the case of Henderson, he has a home run-to-fly ball ratio of 12.5%. Not a good statistic for someone you want to shut down the game for you.
While Jim Henderson is not a closer you really want to count on, he may be the best option in the Brewers bullpen. Brandon Kintzler is a strong member of the bullpen but he doesn’t seem suited for a closer role. Until another pitcher emerges with dominant stuff, Jim Henderson is a pitcher the Milwaukee Brewers can count on. He needs to get ahead of batters and minimize the fly ball so that there are less chances for a home run to turn three outs from a save to 300 feet fly balls over the outfield walls. He's going off the board as the 23rd closer taken, which is appropriate, but don't be surprised if he gives up his share of big blown saves via the long ball.