2011 Fantasy Baseball Profile: Is Josh Beckett Done?

Feb 1, 2011

josh-beckett-pitching
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Josh Beckett was a train wreck last year. He’s been alternating great and decent years since 2004.
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2004:  9-9, 3.79 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
2005:  15-8, 3.38 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
2006:  16-11, 5.01 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
2007:  20-7, 3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
2008:  12-10, 4.03 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
2009:  17-6, 3.86 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
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Following that trend, he was due for down year, and did he ever.
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Beckett went 6-6 in 21 starts with a ridiculous 5.78 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. He entered the year with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. After last year’s debacle, those numbers are up to 3.96 and 1.24, which is crazy considering he’s pitched 1528-2/3 innings.
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Beckett turned 30 last year (he’ll be 31 in May), and wouldn’t be the first star pitcher to flame out early. Dwight Gooden went downhill when he turned 29. Fernando Valenzuela at 27. Barry Zito at 29. Carlos Zambrano hasn’t been the same since he was 27.
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I’m not quite ready to write him off, but there definitely is cause for concern. He finished off 2009 going 5-2, but he posted a 4.60 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. That gives him an ERA of 5.34 in his past 204 innings.
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It’s not all doom and gloom for Beckett though. He has a track record of bouncing back after down years. Plus, just because he’ll turn 31 in May doesn’t mean he’s used goods. After all, he’s not a running back.
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He also isn’t as big of a risk in 2011 for the simple fact that he’ll be going much later in fantasy drafts than usual. Having your number one or two fantasy starter struggle is hard to overcome. If it’s your third or fourth though, it’s not nearly as devastating.
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Health will obviously be an issue with Beckett, but when the improvements the Red Sox made on offense, he could easily win 15 games, even if his peripherals aren’t what you came to expect from Beckett prior to last year.
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Do you think Beckett is done or do you think last year was just a fluke?
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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Rotoprofessor
    February 1st, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    I don’t think you can really compare Beckett to a lot of the pitchers you did. Gooden had a lot of other factors involved in his decline.

    Zito is a completely different type of pitcher.

    Zambrano is a head case.

    Nice job, though. I do agree that where he is going to be available he is an absolute steal and well worth the risk.

  2. LestersLegends
    February 1st, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    I know, each one had their own reasons for their decline. I think Beckett’s a good enough pitcher to adjust his style to stay healthy.

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