h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Ian Kennedy

Ian Kennedy – Current ADP 215; 63rd SP – My Rank: 50th pitcher; 43rd SP

I remember there being a ton of buzz around Ian Kennedy, but I can’t exactly pinpoint when. Was it after 2007 when he pitched 19 innings in the majors and gave up just six runs? Was it that combined with his AAA numbers that year (2.08 ERA, 8.8 K/9 in 34.2 IPs)?

He did come back in 2008 to post fine AAA numbers, but bombed out in just 39.2 innings in the majors (of course he had a .333 BABip and 57.1% strand rate).

Then he got injured and then the Yankees traded him to get Curtis Granderson, basically.

The Diamondbacks took little time in getting Kennedy to the majors. In fact they didn’t let him pitch at all in the minors and he rewarded the organization by throwing 194 innings, posting a 7.79 K/9 rate, a 3.80 ERA and 4.33/4.28 FIP/xFIP. Was he the benefit of a few good bounces? Yes, he had a .256 BABip and 75.5% strand rate.

Still, I think there is improvement coming in his K/9 rate, meaning we could see 175+ Ks in 2011 with Kennedy. He did get batters to swing at 27.8% of his pitches outside of the zone and increased his first strike percentage.

While I don’t think he’ll match his 3.66 ERA from last year, I don’t think he’ll be far from it. If he increases the Ks a little, it’ll more than make-up for a slight regression in runs allowed.

In short, he will likely be worth a selection in the 150-180 range, yet is going 30-60 picks later. I like him more than Jonathan Niese, Jaime Garcia, Jair Jurrjens, Jorge de la Rosa, Phil Hughes, Brian Matusz, and a whole host of other pitchers going ahead of him. I see his 2011 being a lot like John Danks (Kennedy will probably throw fewer innings, but get comparable Ks).

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).


Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

2 responses to this post.

  1. More upside than Brian Matusz, you’re golden boy?

    I’m loving Matusz, and the Orioles this season. The line up has upgraded tremendously, and that can do nothing but help the staff.

    Needless to say, as a Yankee fan, I still see upside in Ian Kennedy, but with the 180th pick, I’m takin Matusz above almost every other pitcher projected to be around at that time.


  2. Posted by Albert Lang on March 9, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I love Matusz- but his line-up is largely irrelevant to this discussion – runs scored is incredibly varriarant from game to game and has nothing to do with the starting pitcher.

    They are likely to post similar K/9 rates, although I’d give Kennedy the slight edge-however Kennedy has demonstrated an ability to come close to 200 IPs. Matusz probably wont get there this year – i’d be shocked if he threw much more than 180 innings. That means Kennedy will easily out-K Matusz.

    I think they are pretty comparable pitchers in 2011. However, Matusz has a much tougher division and league and because of that will likely pitch fewer innings. Kennedy is simply safer.


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