Baseball Forecaster is available for only 15 bucks on a digital download. Here y'go amigo.
We can't, and shouldn't, paste in copywrited info. The latent ideas are another matter. There's nothing wrong with Blog Y writing, "Dr. Detecto says that Yovani Gallardo blows chunks and Dr. D thinks that about any junkballer who walks five guys a game. Dr. D is cracked because Gallardo used to win twelve games." Not only is there nothing wrong with that, there's everything right with it. :- )
Forecaster is interested in home runs this year. Remember, they're primarily a fantasy baseball site. They want to know, Who will get lots of homers this year? (Answer: Nick Franklin. Yep.) And they want to know, how can you make roto $ by being aware of pitchers who prevent them?
So right up front to start the whole shebang, they point out James Paxton (and Joe Ross and Tanner Roark) as hidden gems because of their low HR/9 rates, quite apart from any strikeouts or 100-MPH fastballs or anything else. One thing that had never occurred to me: low-homer SP's enjoy excellent Strand Rates, meaning that only 25-27% of their runners might score as opposed to the usual 30%. This of course creates lower ERA's.
Here I'd thought it had just been a straight-up Groundball-per-wOBA issue.... thanks HQ! :- )
On the player page, HQ hedges its bets for health reasons but cheerfully acknowledges Paxton's upside -- that being a 3.00 ERA, which is HQ-speak for a 2.14 ERA. Well, you know. :- ) From a roto standpoint they were especially impressed by his strikeout "growth" which packed with it a swing-and-miss rate to support.
In fairness, we'll add that Paxton's miniscule 2.1 walk rate wasn't completely justified by his first-pitch strike percentage. But this used to be true of Randy Johnson too: he could get himself into trouble and simply HEAVE his way back out of it.
We enjoy reminding the Denizens that James Paxton led the American League in Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), and by a long way. FIP predicts ERA better than ERA predicts itself, and Paxton's 2.80 FIP was easily better than Corey Kluber's at 3.26. But that will happen when you walk 2.1 guys and never give up any homers.
We do have some guys who relish these cold-winter video replays. Move Tab to New Window, eh hoser. Here's one from June, with Paxton burning down the Indians' house despite the fact that he didn't have his top-shelf breaking stuff. Hey, man, we don' sweat those Indians!
1) Foshball thrown into a low-and-away teacup for strike three on a RH
2) 100 MPH at the knees. Doubt anybody is going to raise Paxton's HR rates on that pitch
3) 97 MPH looks like he's having a catch with his son
4) Back door foshball catches RH looking
5) LOOGY-type slider draws a garbage swing from a lefty
6) Half-slider half-foshball blows away Napoli despite meh break - gorgeous "frame" by Zunino even though Napoli fished
7) 100 MPH with another completely superfluous pitch frame
8) 99 MPH fastball, way low, and it is quite clear the batter did not SEE the ball, quite literally
9) 98 MPH check swing (when they start checking their swings against 97-100 MPH it is time to just bask in the revelry)
10) 100 MPH on the knee, frozen strike three
11) 98 MPH off the plate, total arm swing, still nuttin'
12) Back-foot slider for the tenth strikeout
It's going on twenty years since the Mariners broke my heart by flushing Randy Johnson's outrageous 3/$27M contract request. James Paxton may offer Dr. D the balm of Gilead.