2011 Fantasy Baseball Profile: Can You Trust John Axford?
John Axford came out of nowhere to save 24 games for the Brewers last year. He also sported a8-2 record with a 2.48 WHIP and a 1.19 ERA. He also recorded 76 strikeouts in 58 innings for a rock solid 11.8 strikeout per nine innings ratio.
Axford was good before the All-Star Break going 5-1 with ten saves, a 3.12 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, and a .232 BAA. He was brilliant afterwards though as he went 3-1 with 14 saves, a 1.97 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and a .180 BAA.
When you consider that Axford split time with Trevor Hoffman, who recorded ten saves of his own last year, the potential is even greater in his first full season with the closer gig. Especially when you factor in the improvements made to their pitching staff with the acquisition of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum.
So is John Axford ready to become an elite closer? Maybe, but I would be a little cautious with him. For starters, he does have control issues. He walked 27 batters in 58 innings, or 4.2 per nine innings. His 1.19 WHIP was solid last year, but he posted a 1.43 WHIP to start the year for Triple-A Nashville, which matched his WHIP in his cup of coffee with the Brewers in 2009. His 1.30 WHIP for Double-A Huntsville and 1.27 for Triple-A Nashville in 2009 are far from dominating.
At the root of his high WHIP totals is his control. He sported a 6.06 BB/9 ratio in his minor league career. He even struggled with it at the collegiate level, walking 118 batters in 144 innings (7.4 BB/9) for Notre Dame. If he continues to walk batters at an alarming rate, he could find himself out of the closer job, especially with LaTroy Hawkins (87 career saves) and Takashi Saito (84 career saves) waiting in the wings.
I don’t mean to be all doom and gloom with Axford. He does have some serious potential. I just want to make sure you see the whole picture before selecting him on draft day.
What are your thoughts on John Axford?
Also check out:
- 2011 Fantasy Baseball Profiles
- 2011 Fantasy First Basemen Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Second Basemen Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Third Basemen Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Catcher Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Outfielder Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Closer Rankings