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Against Greinke

February 4, 2016

3796.jpg     The man himself, still in Dodger blue.

I’m not against him per se. He’s a good pitcher and by all accounts a decent human being. But he shouldn’t be going top-50 in drafts when NFBC has Sonny Gray #64, Danny Salazar #80, and Marcus Stroman #98. Greinkw fits that continuum somewhere, but isn’t better.

Yahoo half gets it, putting his preseason rank #34 despite:

Zack Greinke, 2015: 19-3, 1.66 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 5.00 K/BB

Those numbers are awesome, but they were lucky. For starters, his BABIP was a very low .232. Greinke’s five prior seasons, going backward: .312, .284, .310, .328, .284. So in 2015, magically, about 20% fewer balls fell in. That stat trends toward .300 (and Greinke’s does too, as the five prior years attest). Greinke was very fortunate last year.

But wait, there’s more! Greinke had an 84% strand-rate last year. That’s the fifth best mark in baseball… for all qualifying pitchers… since 1881. Seriously. 1881. And strand-rate not only depends on your luck, but the luck of the guy who relieves you.

Greinke’s xERA last year was 3.15. FIP, which doesn’t factor in park factors, was 2.76.

So yes, there’s more! Greinke is moving from a pitchers’ park in Chavez Ravine to a hitters’ park in Arizona.

Last, Greinke suffers from depression. On a take-it-from-me basis, depression fucking sucks. Yeah he has the big new deal, but all that is, is pressure: before signing, Greinke already had more money than he’d ever spend. And of course he could have taken less to play wherever he was most comfortable.

And that’s the thing with Greinke: his best years have always comne when he wasn’t expected to be the clear-cut #1. Well, that’s the expectation, and the pressure, now. I hope his mental health is strong enough to handle all that.

Even if it is, he’s a sixth-round pick. A very good pitcher–but by no means elite, surface stats be damned.

 

 

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