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Undervalued pitcher: Matt Garza

Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza delivers during the

Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza delivers during the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Aug. 3, 2011) Credit: AP

Matt Garza had his best season last year with the Cubs, yet it’s not reflected in early drafts. Garza is being drafted outside of the Top 30 pitchers in early drafts and looks like a real bargain.

While the righthander went just 10-10, wins are beyond a pitcher’s control. Garza changed the way he pitched last season. He relied heavily on his fastball with the Rays in his three seasons, throwing the heater at least 71 percent of the time each year.

Garza used the fastball just 53.4 percent of the time last season as he used his slider, curveball, and changeup more often and it worked. He had the highest K/9 of his career at 8.95 and showed the solid control he usually has with a 2.86 BB/9.

Another aspect that makes Garza appealing is the increase in ground balls with a 46.3 percentage as the fly ball rate went from 44.7 percent to 32.7 percent resulting in a considerable decrease in home runs. Garza had a HR/9 of 1.11 in 2009, 1.23 in 2010 and was just 0.64 last season.

Garza had a 3.32 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and a 2.95 FIP showed he was legit. Since Wrigley Field is beneficial for lefthanders, the decrease in fly balls was key. Target Garza with confidence and enjoy the profit.

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

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