h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop: Rick Porcello, Chris Volstad, Ricky Romero?

Ricky Romero came out of nowhere to have a useful fantasy/real life year in 2009. At just 24, Romero posted a 4.30 ERA and struck out 141 batters in 178 IPs. However, Romero posted a scary looking 1.52 WHIP. You would assume he’d have a higher ERA with that WHIP or that he would have a ridiculously lucky BAbip. However, the opposite holds true as Romero’s BAbip was .335. In addition, a lot of Romero’s ratio damage came in the second half, during which he posted a 1.77 WHIP and a 5.54 ERA – his BAbip was .372. When he had a more reasonable BAbip (.290) in the first half, his ERA was 3.00 and his WHIP was 1.26. Is he that good? Almost definitely not, as there is nothing in his minor league history to suggest he has great potential. Right now he projects as a number 3/4 starter at best which is useful but not necessarily keeper worthy.

Chris Volstad sure is tall. He is also relatively young (won’t turn 24 until September). In 243.1 major league IPs, Volstad has posted a 4.40 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, and stuck out 159 batters. There is definitely the potential for excellence in the young guy. In 2008, in just 84.1 IPs, Volstad posted a 2.88 ERA and a1.33 WHIP. That was helped a bit by a BAbip of .278. Still, he could settle into being a pitcher with a 3.50 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a six K/9 strike-out rate. Not bad.

Rick Porcello is almost jail bait. That didn’t stop him from posting a promising debut: 3.96 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. However, his BAbip was .266 and he only Ked 89 batters in 170.2 IPs. Everyone is ready for Porcello to be the next big thing, but so many things can happen to pitchers. I also don’t love guys who haven’t shown a real ability to strike hitters out. Sure that ability could come, but I’d rather take a Volstad who will likely strike-out at least one more batter per nine than Porcello.

I think Porcello has a lot of perceived value, so I have no problem trading him. I’d take the cheap alternative in Chris Volstad over Ricky Romero – Volstad is younger and pitches in an easier league. If Porcello becomes a superstar, so be it. I try not to traffic in young pitcher’s upside.

Keep: Chris Volstad
Trade: Rick Porcello
Drop: Ricky Romero


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. […] the rest here: h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop: Rick Porcello, Chris Volstad … Share and […]


  2. […] when I tried my darndest to warn people off Rick Porcello? Well, Cahill’s 2011 could be just as bad – seriously stay […]


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