We often see how bad luck could play a factor in a pitcher having a bad year after a successful season. Two perfect examples that fit this criteria from last season are the Phillies’ Coles Hamels and the Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco.

Let's look at Hamels first. 
             K/9    BB/9    K/BB    HR/9    FIP    LD%    GB%    FB%    HR/FB
2008    7.76    2.10    3.70    1.11    3.72    21.8    39.5    38.7    11.2
2009    7.81    2.00    3.91    1.12    3.72    20.8    40.4    38.7    10.7

These numbers are almost exactly the same. Hamels really didn’t pitch that much differently from 2008 in 2009, but some other numbers don’t portray that.

Hamels went 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 08.
Hamels went 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 09.

Why the rise in ERA and WHIP when many of the stats above are very similar?
Hamels BABIP went from .270 to .325 and his strand rate rose decreased from 76 percent to 72.1 percent. Hamels suffered bad luck last season. As his BABIP decreased in the second half, his ERA went from 4.98 in the first half to 3.81 in the second half. Hamels may be downgraded in some drafts due to last season’s numbers, so you might get good value on him. He will bounce back. Draft him with confidence.

Nolasco also suffered from the same bad luck, but his fate was even worse. His start was so bad he was sent to the minor leaguers.

             K/9    BB/9    K/BB    HR/9    FIP    LD%    GB%    FB%    HR/FB
2008    7.88    1.78    4.43    1.19    3.77    18.8    38.8    42.4    10.6
2009    9.49    2.14    4.43    1.12    3.35    21.8    38.3    39.8    11.0

Nolasco actually saw a decrease in his FIP, but his numbers were much worse.

Nolasco went 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 08.
Nolsaco went 13-9 with a 5.06 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 09.

The reason for the huge dropoff was his BABIP and strand rate. His BABIP went from .284 to .336 and his strand rate went from 75.7 percent to 61 percent.

Nolasco went 5-6 with a 6.02 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in the first half, but went 8-3 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in the second half even with a low 63 percent strand rate. Draft Nolasco with confidence too. You might be able to get Hamels and Nolasco around rounds eight or nine and I would certainly be confident with that.

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