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Deep sleeper: Edinson Volquez

June 20, 2008...Bronx, N.Y. Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez

June 20, 2008...Bronx, N.Y. Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez reacts in a short dance after striking out Melky Cabrera to end the 7th inning with two men left on base As the Reds played the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Friday, June 20, 2008. Newsday photo/Paul J. Bereswill Credit: NEWSDAY/Paul J. Bereswill

I know you were looking at the headline and laughing. Why would you want a pitcher that had a 5.71 ERA and 1.57 WHIP last season? Or one who had a 4.31 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 2010?

Those were the numbers of Padres’ righthander Edinson Volquez when he was with the Reds the last three seasons. They key is the move to San Diego along with some other good signs.

Any time a pitcher lands in Petco Park, take notice. Volquez won’t be someone owners look at. He has averaged a 5.01 ERA over the last three seasons. Volquez had a breakout season in 2008 with the Reds going 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 206 strikeouts in 196 innings. Then he had Tommy John surgery in 2009, had a 50-game suspension performance-enhancing drug suspension in 2010, and was sent to the minor leagues last season after a poor start and recalled later in the season.

Control has always been a big problem for Volquez. Even in 2008, he had a 4.27 BB/9. That’s still an issue. Going from the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati to San Diego is a huge boost. It may give him the confidence to throw more strikes because Petco Park is much friendlier.  

Volquez still gets a ton of strikeouts. He had an 8.61 K/9 last season in 108 2/3 innings, so that’s a positive. Volquez was hurt by the long ball last season with a 1.57 HR/9 and a 20.7 percent home run/fly ball rate. That rate is 10 percent above league average. Volquez had a 52.4 percent groundball rate and a 30 percent fly ball rate. Volquez has the skills needed to be successful. If he can cut down the walks, he will be a nice late-round value in mixed leagues and a bargain in NL-only leagues.

For 2012 draft prep, click on the 2012 draft prep below.


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