h2h Corner ~ A save in the Hanrahan is worth two in the Bush

According to an important Twitterer that everyone should follow @KristiePie, Joel Hanrahan, not Evan Meek and not a timeshare will nail down the door for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

While this might seem like small potatoes, I think it is a relatively important change to note for the fantasy baseball community. I originally thought Hanrahan would see the multitude of early save chances in the hopes of driving up his value to trade him come the second half – but this adds a lot of certainty.

I’ve always been a big fan of Hanrahan (and for some reason Pirates closers, in general). Hanrahan burst on the scene in 2008 with a nine save performance and a brilliant 9.9 K/9 rate. Next season saw an increase in that K-rate to 10.13, however he had a .378 BABip, a 66.2% strand rate and some injuries. It was a down year by any measure.

However, he bounced back nicely in 2010 to post an even better k-rate (12.92) and a more stabilized BABip and strand rate, which lead to a 3.62 ERA.

Hanrahan has also averaged 88 Ks (including the somewhat short/injury-riddled 2009 campaign) over the last three seasons. While he’ll be volatile (given his career 4.7 BB/9 rate) and Evan Meek is always present, Hanrahan will be a top closer over the first part of the year.

Hanrahan has been the 251st person off the board in early mock drafts, making him considerably undervalued. Obviously, that will change, but I see him as a top 90 pitcher (he was previously 119) and a top 20 reliever (he was previously 27).

You can follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Nothing to do with Hanrahan, Meek, or the Pirates, but I’d still love to hear your insight.
    I’m lovin Axford, Fransisco, Thornton, and Storen this year and they’re definitely on my radar for the rounds I see fit to start drafting closers.
    What are your feelings on those guys?


  2. Posted by Albert Lang on February 22, 2011 at 8:20 am

    They are cheaper options with high k/9 rates – so definitely guys i typically target – however they all come with risks.

    Axford and Storen have trouble with the strike zone. While Storen will not be threatened with the job as the Nats will give him a long rope – Axford is playing for a team that really went for it in the off-season — early struggles with the walks could make him a dangerous add. Still i like them both.

    Francisco is just in a crowded bullpen with other options that can close (Dotel, Rauch) so if he struggles there isnt a long rope either – however he is clearly the best arm and someone who has the skills to keep the job.

    As for Thornton – it really depends on what they decide to do with Sale – Until we hear something definitive I’m not overly confident that Thornton will get 80% of the White Sox save opportunities – I think he’ll likely end up with the most on the squad, but I’m not sure if he will be the 9th inning guy – Ozzie might want to use him in high leverage situations throughout a game.

    in short, very good low cost high-k options, but they are low cost for a reason


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