2011 Fantasy Baseball Profile: Can Rick Porcello Bounce Back?

Feb 9, 2011

Rick Porcello went 14-9 as a rookie with a 3.96 ERA, which was good enough for him to finish third (behind Andrew Bailey and Elvis Andrus) in Rookie of the Year voting. There was some cause for concern though.
Namely his ridiculous K/BB ratio of 1.71. With just 89 strikeouts and 52 walks in 170-2/3 innings. He also gave up a ton of hits, more than one per inning, which led to a fairly high WHIP of 1.34. His ERA was a shade below four, he did not record many strikeouts, and his WHIP wasn’t good. All he had to hang his hat on were those 14 wins. We know how fickle that category can be.
Last year he struggled mightily going 10-12 with a 4.92 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP, and just 84 strikeouts in 162-2/3 innings. He improved his control by walking just 38 batters, but he allowed 12 more hits in eight fewer innings.
Both seasons Porcello got off to slow starts. In 2009 he was 1-3 in April with a 6.23 ERA. Last year he was 2-2 with a 8.03 ERA in April. In his two seasons he’s been terrible three of the first four months and then solid down the stretch.
April:  3-5, 7.19 ERA, .333 BAA
May:  7-3, 2.34 ERA, .240 BAA
June:  2-4, 6.15 ERA, .338 BAA
July:  1-4, 5.55 ERA, .259 BAA
August:  5-3, 3.86 ERA, .240 BAA
September:  6-1, 3.62 ERA, .260 BAA
October:  0-1, 2.25 ERA, .327 BAA
He’s certainly capable of bouncing back, but Porcello is not a pitcher that fantasy owners should be worrying about on draft day. For starters, his WHIP is too high and his strikeouts to low. That really puts you in a bind in those categories.
Plus, his track record of starting slow should be enough to scare you off, at least initially. Perhaps he can figure things out sooner. If he does, be ready to pounce on him, because he’ll likely go undrafted.
What’s your take on Rick Porcello? Is he worth owning at some point in 2011?

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