Rebound, Breakout or Bust; Part 1 of an ongoing series: Cole Hamels
by, 12-12-2011 at 09:29 PM (2307 Views)
In this series I'll be evaluating the Phillies and whether certain players will rebound, breakout and unfortunately, who I think will bust. As I move along I think I will evaluate players from other teams, but for now I'll just do the Phillies. As the series move along you may notice I'm not mentioning players like Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, that is because they have nothing to rebound from, they have already broken out and I don't expect them to bust. Now onto the point at hand, I think Cole Hamels will breakout. Before you freak out and say things like, "He's already broken out," I must explain. I feel he will breakout to the point of being a top 5 pitcher in baseball. Here's why.
Last year Hamels had a really nice year, I mean he a 2.79 ERA and a 3.05 FIP. Those numbers, however good, are not elite. However his peripherals suggest that he will not only get better, but a lot better. His K/BB ratio was a career high last year which basically means that he improved his control. Less walks mean less base-runners which means less runs. Not only that but his HR/9 was also a career low, which also translates into a better season, and there's no reason to believe that he doesn't continue to improve.
Unfortunately, I also have to account for his abnormally low BABIP, which was .255 compared to his career average of .280. However, this can easily be accounted for, his GB% was 11 points higher than his career average and ground balls account for the least amount of hits per out. A result of his GB% being up was his LD% being a career low. LD% accounts for the most hits per out so this helps us understand his career low BABIP. To go along with this he has always been a low BABIP guy so it's not ridiculous to assume that he can keep his BABIP at least close to this years.