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Madison Bumgarner

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:28 pm
by harrisonobeid
The World Series hero has started this season with his own a cappella version of 'Drop it Like it's Hot.' Roughly 25% of owners have dropped him in CBS leagues. 'Why,' I pondered. Well, instead of going out and getting hammered this evening, I decided to curl up on the couch with a hot cup of cocoa, log on to fangraphs and answer my own pondering. Nerdy for a Friday night, but whatevs. You've done the same, I guarantee.

Bumgarner has thus far sported a 6+ ERA, roughly 4.3 IPs per start, and has seen his K/BB ratio cut in half. What is the meaning of this disgrace? Well, I found the good news is that he has managed to keep his GB% the same as it was last year. His FB% this season is low, around 30%, while his FB/HR ratio is the same (8.3%). The real problem seems to be that when Bumgarner does get hit, he gets hit hard. His LD% is 24.1%, which is 8 points higher than it was last season.

Part of his regression is because his BABIP has been higher than normal, which you would have to believe will regress in the future. While his ERA is 6.17, his FIP suggests that it should be closer to 4.1. Still not quite as good as his 3.00 ERA from last year, but the kid is 21 in his sophomore season in the bigs. I'll take a 4.1 ERA from him over the course of the season, especially when he gets starts against teams like the Pirates (whom he proved capable of dominating in his last start.)

The one big positive we can take away from the Bum is that his stuff is still there. This season Bumgarner has actually seen his average fastball velocity go up by 1.3 MPH (92.3 MPH overall). The real problem is that he's not mixing his peripheral pitches in the same way that he did last year. So far this season, he has relied more heavily on his slider than he has on his curveball and change. He threw the slider 20% of the time last season compared to 28% this season. In 2010 he worked his change in 10% of the time, this year it's only 3.5%. His curve went from being used 12% of the time to 7%. Fastball usage is roughly the same. On top of this he's throwing strikes at the same percentage he did last season.

There are many who will give up on him, and with good reason. I for one will hold on for just a little longer.

Re: Madison Bumgarner

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:40 am
by Grey
Good breakdown, thanks for sharing!