Wednesday, November 16, 2011
James Shields 2012 - Proceed With Caution
Much like Weaver, James Shields falls into unusual territory. He's a pitcher who boasts extraordinary skill (46% GB%, 8.12 K/9, 2.35 BB/9) and although he had a fantastic 2011 season statistically, his 2012 forecast simply has to be dimmer. Bear in mind, we're not looking at a starting pitcher who will drop precipitously from a 2.82 ERA to a 4.00. Shields is still a strong starting pitcher who will make a strong #2 starter on most fantasy squads. Just don't be one of the many to ignore his .258 BABIP and 80% strand rate. Generally speaking the league average BABIP is around .300 and strand rate is around 75%. Like Weaver, Shields can't continue to be THIS lucky, especially given that he plays in the American League East. Expect a slightly higher ERA and WHIP (think 3.50 and 1.20) coupled with around 200 strike outs and you shouldn't be disappointed.