Invest In Josh Johnson In 2011

Josh Johnson was a stud in 2010. In fantasy where starting pitchers can hurt your team severely in so many categories, big bucks should only be spent on the expectation of a safe, awesome return on your investment. Was Josh Johnson simply lucky in 2010?  We usually look closely at 2 Base Performance Indicators (BPI) to see if we should expect a material correction the following season, namely HR allowed and Batting Average on balls in play. Josh’s .34 HR/9 was superb and likely to regress, so the question is how much can we expect? Here are the Park Factors in the NL East (LHB/RHB):

Marlins: 99/95
NYM: 90/94
Nats: 94/100
Phillies: 116/120

100 = League Average. Obviously the NL East is a good division to be a starting pitcher in HR wise, except those Phillies. Josh has had 11 starts vs. the Phillies in 6 seasons, going 5-3, 3.34 ERA, 1.329 WHIP, .316 OB, .364 Slug, and 5 HR. Only that inflated WHIP is of any concern.

In 2010 Josh’s BAbip was .297 versus a League average of .290, the opposite of what you’d expect by a lucky pitcher. Let’s take a quick look at some other 2010 ratios that show what made Johnson superb. These are shown Johnson/League Average: 25/16.7 K%, 6.9/8.0 BB%, 18.3/11.5 PAK%, 45.7/43.2 GB%, 79.5/71 LOB%, and 12.1/7.8 Swinging Strikes%.

In 2011 Josh will give up a few more homers and more men left on base will score, yet Johnson will continue to be worthy of your investment as an Ace. Just don’t pay for the full value of his 2010 stats in 2011.

Projection: 16-6, 203 IP, 2.98 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 201 K.

Ubaldo Jimenez and Josh Johnson: Solid Buy or Bargain?

Jimenez earned $29 in 2010 and $24 in 2009, while Johnson earned $24 both seasons. Ubaldo threw the Rockies first no-hitter last April and had 15 wins at the Break, while Josh had the lowest NL ERA.

Analysis: Ubaldo is being punished in auctions for 3 cardinal sins- not winning 30 or even 20 games last season; not giving up a normal number of HR; and not breaking down despite suspected pitcher abuse, i.e. 27 games between 100 and 119 pitches, plus another 9 over 119. Jimenez missed 10 days in 2010 and 7 in 2009. On the other hand, Johnson was shut down near the end of the 2010 season for being weary; he had Tommy John Surgery in 2008. Lets look at the two halves of the 2010 season.

A  <ASG 15 127 6 46 113 2.20 1.05 .198
A  >ASG 4 94.2 4 46 101 3.80 1.30 .223
B <ASG 9 122 4 28 123 1.70 0.96 .203
B >ASG 2 61.2 3 20 63 3.50 1.39 .276

A is Ubaldo; B is Josh. ASG = All Star Game. In the recent CBS Sports Expert Auction Ubaldo was hammered down for $20 and Josh for $25.

Jimenez 20 W, 222 IP, 200 K, 3.45 ERA, and 1.21 WHIP.
Johnson 15 W, 203 IP, 201 K, 3.38 ERA, and 1.25 WHIP.
Why pay 25% more for Johnson?