Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fili's GOD for May 18th 2011: Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals

A fun game today with two young pitchers going at it.

The Texas Rangers send Alexi Ogando, whom I reviewed here, up against just promoted Royals prospect Danny Duffy.   

Ogando is 4 - 0 with a 2.06 ERA so he's been fantastic right?  No, that honor would go to Pineda.  Ogando looks great, but there's a lot of reason to think that there have been some smoke and some mirrors involved.  Ogando is only striking out 6.6 per 9 innings thus far.  He does have a very good walk rate (2.06/9) though.  He's giving up a lot of fly balls (34% ground ball rate) and home runs (1.24/9).  That all adds up (and multiplies and divides up) to a FIP of 4.21.  That means, we should expect his ERA to be closer to 4 than to 2.

So, how does a guy who's below average at striking batters out, getting ground balls, and giving up homeruns have a 2.06 ERA?

Ogando's BABIP against is .193.
Batted Ball Type: Ogando's BABIP, League BABIP
Ground Ball: .140, .229
Fly Ball: .091, .138
Line Drive: .600, .716

He's well below average on each type of ball.  The Rangers' infield defense (think Beltre and Andrus) is pretty good, so the ground ball BABIPs might stay low, but not this low.  The outfield is...not as good...that is unlikely to stay low...and line drives...those are hits (and, yes, I love ellipses).

As a result of Ogando's low BABIP he is also stranding 95% of the runners that get on base against him.  He also stranded 93% last season, but when the major league average is 72%, 90% plus looks unsustainable.

Ogando has been better as a starter than I expected, but he's not as good as that 2.06 ERA might lead some to believe.    

In my last Game Of the Day, I wrote about the KC Royals prospects.  One that I didn't write about is making his major league debut tonight.  That's Danny Duffy.


Duffy is an interesting guy.  He took about a year off from baseball.  But he's come back about as good as can be.

Duffy has been a beast in the minor leagues.  In 344 innings across all levels, Duffy has struck out 10.5 batters per 9 whilst walking 2.9 per 9.  He's a pretty neutral fly ball/ground ball guy (40% ground ball rate).

Duffy throws 4 pitches:  A fastball in the lower to mid 90's, change-up, curve and slider.

He's not likely to be a star, but he's the second most talented starting pitcher (behind Jeff Francis) on the Royals right now.

*Stats from FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference, and StatCorner

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