h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop: Gio Gonzalez, Bud Norris, Luke Hochevar?

By most accounts, Gio Gonzalez didn’t have a great 98 IPs last year (5.75 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP). Still he did rack up 109 Ks (9.9 K/9). So there was value there. He was, probably, the best source of strike-outs on every league’s waiver wire. It’s hard to fathom how someone who strikes out so many batters can be so bad when it comes to base runners allowed. Well, one reason for this would be his abnormally large BAbip (.363). When that corrects itself to the historical norm of around .300, his WHIP and ERA will come down markedly. Gonzalez has pretty much torched the minors (3.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 783 Ks in 684 IPs), so there is some optimism in the young lefty, who won’t turn 25 until September 19. If Gonzalez can find his way to a rotation spot and a little luck, he might be a real bargain.

Much like Gonzalez, Luke Hochevar was probably one of the best sources of Ks on your waiver wire. He did strike out 106 batters in 143 IPs and his ratios weren’t that much different either: 6.55 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Hochevar also struggled with a high BAbip (.323). Of course, it wasn’t as high as Gonzalez’, but still Hochevar will likely be better in 2010. Hochevar will be 27 on September 15, so he has about two years on Gonzalez. This makes Gonzalez a more likely fantasy keeper than Hochevar.

Bud Norris will be 25 in March and only has 55.2 Major League IPs to his name. In those innings, Norris compiled a 4.53 ERA and 1.51 WHIP, while striking out 54 batters (8.7 K/9). In so few innings, it’s not unlikely to see an uncommon BAbip (Norris’ was .318). Norris also has a pretty good track record in the minors: 3.67 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 361 Ks in 340.2 IPs.

I think it’s pretty clear you should keep Gio Gonzalez. He is the youngest, is left-handed and has a tantalizing strike-out ability. I’d trade Bud Norris in this instance. I think you can easily make the argument that with a little seasoning, Norris could be a very cheap source of Ks for the next few years. Hochevar is simply too old to hold his ground in this competition. I do like him as a deep league draft filler or a $1 buy in auctions for his K-upside, but nothing more.

Keep: Gio Gonzalez
Trade: Bud Norris
Drop: Luke Hochevar

________________________

Reading this column guarantees that you will achieve fabulous wealth and success in your fantasy baseball league. That’s right, you guessed it: it’s time to debate Keep Trade or Drop (KTD).

While there are tons of player rankings available, they are all for 2010 and nothing more. So, if you are drafting in a start-up keeper league, how do you decide who to take? For example, if they’re both on the board, do you go for tried and true Carl Crawford, or do you roll the dice (but only barely) and select the slightly less proven Justin Upton. Read enough of these columns and you might just get your answer.

The KTD series focuses solely on giving keeper league advice. It poses the question: if you are in a keeper league, which player would you rather keep, which would you rather trade and which would you be forced to drop. Rarely is the decision easy to make, but it might just decide whether you compete and win your championship, not just this year, but for years down the road as well. It will also help you make a snap decision when three similar players are on the board and the clock is ticking.

If you want other KTDs, please let me know. Also, feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner)/Facebook pages.

2 responses to this post.

  1. […] Gonzalez – Current ADP 335 – any casual reader of mine will note that I am bullish on Gio this year. By most accounts, he didn’t have a great 98 IPs […]

    Reply

  2. […] was on the Gio bandwagon hard last year and don’t see any real reason to jump off […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: