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ZiPS vs. the Fans vs. Brett, Round 14: Blake Beavan

April 5, 2013

KFC

Stats Primer

Previous entries:

Hitters

Jesus Montero
Justin Smoak
Dustin Ackley
Kyle Seager
Brendan Ryan
Michael Morse
Franklin Gutierrez
Michael Saunders
Kendrys Morales

Pitchers

Felix Hernandez
Hisashi Iwakuma
Joe Saunders
Brandon Maurer

Brandon Maurer didn’t look too hot yesterday. Sure, he managed to get through six innings, but when he was hit, he was hit hard. True to billing, he didn’t really walk anyone, but he only managed one strikeout as well. All told, he pitched like I expected Blake Beavan to pitch.

So, that will tell you how I feel about Blake Beavan. He has awful stuff, paired with great control, which gets him hit hard, and often. He’s also among the league’s worst at getting strikeouts. Why the Mariners seem to really like him is a mystery to me, but he will likely continue to suck and fall out of favor. Let’s see just how much everyone expects Beavan to suck!

*Keep in mind that my projections are simply my opinion, based on the players’ previous performance, how I’ve personally scouted them, and their age. It’s my interpretation of their career-arc, and is not based on some hidden formula I’ve come up with.

System W L IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 HBP BABIP LOB% WP ERA FIP WAR
ZiPS 8 14 181.1 4.05 1.81 1.17 10 .294 66.9 9 4.69 4.59 1.3
Fans 8 9 149.0 4.47 1.45 1.21 2 .294 69.8 - 4.37 4.38 1.4
Brett 5 9 105.0 3.95 1.60 1.30 5 .290 68.0 6 4.65 4.70 0.5

Finally a player I am the most pessimistic on! ZiPS also is not a fan, predicting Beavan will begin to walk more betters than ever before. As an awful strikeout pitcher, ZiPS has also heavily regressed Beavan’s high LOB% from years past. This is a full season projection for Beavan despite the innings count–these numbers are over 31 starts in ZiPS’ projections. 1.3 WAR for a full season is bad, even for a #5 starter.

This grip is for the "suck" pitch. It's my favorite to throw!

This grip is for the “suck” pitch. It’s my favorite to throw!

For some reason, the fans believe Beavan will improve, raising his strikeout rate over a half of a strikeout per game. This coming without the expense of walking any more hitters. They also expect him to to improve his home run rate. Despite having a career FIP of 4.70 in 249.1 career innings, the fans expect significant improvement, dropping all the way to a 4.38 mark that is much better than anything he’s done in the past.

I, on the other hand, am not a believer in Beavan at all. I believe he is what he is, and that’s a fine sixth or seventh starter to have stashed in the minor leagues as depth, but not someone you should count on to give you reliable innings to start the season. For all the fuss made about Beavan’s “great” second half in 2012, well, it wasn’t that great. In the second half, Beavan’s strikeout rate actually got worse, falling to an absolutely terrible 3.70 K/9.

The biggest change that led in a lower FIP (still a pretty bad 4.43) was an abnormally low .270 BABIP. Beavan has shown some ability in the past to have a lower BABIP than average, so I gave him some credit for that in my projection. It’s mostly because of a high infield flyball percentage, which we’re starting to believe may be more of a skill than we once thought.

Still, his stuff is bad, and very hittable. That he changed his arm angle doesn’t change that the stuff sucks. It just comes from another spot now. Beavan is not a good pitcher, and that will show over the first month or so of the season. Expect him to be the first guy to lose his rotation spot, with Danny Hultzen, Jeremy Bonderman, or Erasmo Ramirez being the one to take it from him. Don’t get too attached to Blake.

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