Come With Us, We’ll Sail the Seas of Cheese

“When the going gets tough
And the stomach acids flow
The cold wind of conformity
Is nipping at your nose
Some trendy new atrocity
Has brought you to your knees
Come with us, we’ll sail the seas of cheese.”

Could Primus have better described the feeling of being snaked on your favorite sleeper? I’m pretty sure Les Claypool was inspired to write this diddy when someone pirated Madison Bumgarner from him at the end of Round Seven. If your hopes rise and fall like the tides during any kind of fantasy draft; rest assure, there are plenty of fish in the seas of cheese. Let’s take a peak at the plethora of pitching to be found after your league mates bum rush Madison. Jump with us.

C.J. WILSON -86- MadBum was our poster child for this installment of the Chronicles, but I actually have C.J. Wilson ranked higher (barely, they’re back-to-back). In a surprising move by the fantasy baseball community C.J. has not received the extra attention usually doled out to an off-season acquisition. Dennis the Menace wouldn’t get away with much with this Mr. Wilson. C.J. puts up the strikeout totals (206 in ’11), puts down the line drives (18.1% LD% as a Starting Pitcher) and induces plenty of ground balls. He also does a good job of limiting HR/FB% (6.7% HR/FB% as a SP), which is unique for a ground baller. He does a lot of things well and he just left a hitters park to play for a winning team, I likey. 2012 Forecast: 199 K, 1.15 WHIP, 2.82 ERA, 18 Wins, 220 IP

MATT MOORE -102- Did you know Matt Moore had a 14.46 K/9 after his promotion to the big leagues? OK so he threw only 9.1 IP… out of the bullpen. Those are just minor details. You cannot ignore the ceiling. He was punching out nearly 13 per nine in the minors and he throws cheese with ease. Moore could make the jump to elite status in a few short years, much like his teammate David Price. The only question is, how many free passes will he allow this year? 2012 Forecast: 214 K, 1.23 WHIP, 3.32 ERA, 15 Wins, 195 IP

MICHAEL PINEDA -97-  Is it the boring locale? Is it the short track record? Why is Michael Pineda available this late in the draft? I don’t get it. 2012 Forecast: 199 K, 1.20 WHIP, 3.60 ERA, 16 Wins, 205 IP

BRANDON BEACHY -116- Here is another baffler. Brandon Beachy led the league in K/9 last season (140 IP min). One of my teams would have been named Sons of Beachy this year. This guy would be high on my target list. 2012 Forecast: 204 K, 1.20 WHIP, 3.46 ERA, 14 Wins, 190 IP

BRANDON MORROW -183- This is an example of when I am embarrassed to say that I am a part of the fantasy baseball community (which is most of the time). Brandon Morrow has future ace written all over him (I did it with a sharpie when he was passed out). We have huge strikeout potential here with emerging control. Brandon Morrow at pick 183 is our candidate for biggest payout in the draft. 2012 Forecast: 209 K, 1.25 WHIP, 3.46 ERA, 14 Wins, 190 IP

UBALDO JIMENEZ -156- I’ve mentioned Ubaldo as a bounce back candidate. I like the skill set, what can I say? He throws hard (even with 2 mph knocked off his usual heater), induces weak contact and demonstrates the ability to limit free passes. Every year Ubaldo has a month where he wrassles his BB/9 demons, if he can show more consistency his bounce back campaign would be even greater. The potential is still there. We’ll see if pitching in Winter Ball and an off-season of rest brings back the missing velocity from ’11. Spring Training cannot arrive soon enough. 2012 Forecast: 202 K, 1.28 WHIP, 3.23 ERA, 15 Wins, 210 IP

YU DARVISH -120- For those about to draft, we salute Yu [link below]. 2012 Forecast: 184 K, 1.22 WHIP, 3.47 ERA, 15 Wins, 200 IP

MATT GARZA -110- Garza was a solid buy low target last season as he waged a losing war against the BABIP gods. Eventually the base hits allowed cooled and his WHIP settled at 1.26, which is par for him. The potential for better numbers loom, as long as he isn’t dealt back to the American League. One thing to consider: the improved strikeouts slowed after the first month (11.87 K/9 in April, 8.25 K/9 after). 2012 Forecast: 187 K, 1.22 WHIP, 3.38 ERA, 13 Wins, 200 IP

ANIBAL SANCHEZ -130- Anibal overcame arm troubles and posted the best season of his career in ’11. The strikeouts (9.26) and walks (2.93) per nine were both personal bests. The improved velocity on his heater, sinker and slider worked wonders. There is always the risk of injury and Anibal will give up plenty of base hits (expect a BABIP above .300), but you can’t go wrong here at pick 130. 2012 Forecast: 196 K, 1.26 WHIP, 3.42 ERA, 13 Wins, 195 IP

DANIEL HUDSON -86- Not providing a ton of room for profit at this pick, but he’s a good pitcher. 2012 Forecast: 172 K, 1.16 WHIP, 3.27 ERA, 15 Wins, 220 IP

SHAUN MARCUM – 146-  I was shocked to see Marcum’s ADP sitting at nearly 150. Sure the guy’s fastball might drop below 80 mph this season and his shoulder is less reliable than Mitt Romney’s tax statements, but he seems like a lock for solid strikeout numbers and a 1.15 WHIP/3.50 ERA. The change up is still funktastic. Marcum is a terrific back-of-the-rotation option at this point of the draft. 2012 Forecast: 171 K, 1.15 WHIP, 3.47 ERA, 14 Wins, 200 IP

JORDAN ZIMMERMANN -120- Zimmermann will be set free from the reigns of an IP cap. He should be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and ready to do work. The strikeout total was sub par last season, but it did get better as the season progressed. I have high expectations for the most relevant J-Z on the East Coast. 2012 Forecast: 173 K, 1.14 WHIP, 3.28 ERA, 13 Wins, 195 IP

The best of the rest: Carp ever lasts, Garcia quietly does work, Gio moves to the NL East, Ricky stays in the AL East, Neftali tries to crack the rotation after being mishandled last year, can Luebke maintain the strikeout numbers, hopefully Bard won’t be Neftali’d, Scherzer plays hot potato with his shoulder, Norris karate chops his BB/9 and gets a couple wins, Minor sacrifices one of the 40-year old virgins who drafted him to the BABIP gods and performs well this season, Sale has an up and down season and ends up being useful.

CHRIS CARPENTER -126- Forecast: 172 K, 1.15 WHIP, 3.31 ERA, 13 Wins, 220 IP
JOSH BECKETT -92- Forecast: 172 K, 1.21 WHIP, 3.65 ERA, 14 Wins, 190 IP
JAIME GARCIA -177- Forecast: 159-1.24-3.33-13    200 IP
GIO GONZALZEZ – 105- Forecast: 195 K, 1.30 WHIP, 3.60 ERA. 13 Wins, 205 IP
RICKY ROMERO -87- Forecast: 170 K, 1.25 WHIP, 3.64 ERA, 14 Wins, 215 IP
NEFTALI FELIZ -158-  Forecast: 158 K, 1.24 WHIP, 3.44 ERA, 12 Wins, 170 IP
CORY LUEBKE -137- Forecast: 164 K, 1.21 WHIP, 3.46 ERA, 11 Wins, 190 IP
DANIEL BARD – 237- Forecast: 171 K, 1.27 WHIP, 3.74 ERA, 14 Wins, 195 IP
MAX SCHERZER -150- Forecast: 174 K, 1.28 WHIP, 4.06 ERA, 13 Wins, 195 IP
BUD NORRIS -231- Forecast: 190 K, 1.31 WHIP, 4.06 ERA, 10 Wins, 195 IP
MIKE MINOR -235- Forecast: 172 K, 1.29 ERA, 3.98 ERA, 11 Wins, 190 IP
CHRIS SALE -232- Forecast: 162 K, 1.28 ERA, 3.71 ERA, 11 Wins, 170 IP

Not Included: Tommy Hanson (yikes), Adam Wainwright (solid gamble at 104) and Josh Johnson (too risky for me).

ADP numbers were provided by

This piece is a part of the series entitled, Starting Pitching Chronicles. Here, Andrew delves into the world of projections for the biggest and most difficult position to forecast: Starting Pitchers. Previous entries include:

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out Talking up Francisco Liriano
For Those About to Draft, We Salute Yu Yu Darvish projection
Verlander Can’t Turn Left Justin Verlander outside the Top 3 SP in 2012