Draft Guide Preview: Two Pitchers that Could Step Up Big in 2010

March is here, spring training is underway and fantasy drafts are right around the corner.  In the 2010 Fantasy Baseball 365 Draft Guide, some of draft day’s biggest questions are answered.  You can find many more questions like the ones below by accessing the Draft Guide here

 

Is Yovani Gallardo a top 10 fantasy starter?

 

After missing most of 2008 with a leg injury, Gallardo was clearly rusty in his return to full time duty in 2009.  His walk rate (4.56) was the highest of his career, even going back through the minor leagues.  That should correct itself in 2010.

 

That walk rate only helps to mask Gallardo’s true value on draft day 2010.  His strikeout rate last season was the fourth best among Major League starters coming in just below Jon Lester. Also, his whiff rate (opponents swings and misses) was exactly the same as Justin Verlander’s. 

 

Make no mistake about it.  Yovani Gallardo has top ten potential and should reach that potential in 2010.

 

Will Clay Buchholz finally step up and be a force for Boston?

 

It seems like a long time ago that Buchholz threw a no-hitter for the Red Sox and in baseball terms, 2007 is a long time ago.  Since then Buchholz has flirted with the major Leagues, but has yet to find an extended level of success.  In the meantime he has continued to produce at the minor league levels to the point where he has nothing left to prove there. 

 

The problems at the major league level have stemmed from inconsistent control, which did improve a bit in 2009.  An improvement there would be step one toward becoming an impact pitcher.

 

Buchholz already has plenty going for him.  While his strikeout rate could stand to rise a bit, he already generates swings and misses at a rate well above the league average.  He also saw a big jump in ground balls in 2009, something that he has improved on at the minor league level as well. 

 

Combine Buchholz’s ability to miss bats and generate ground balls, he should find plenty of success at the big league level.  If the Red Sox give him a rotation spot from day one, he should run with it and become a key part of their rotation for years to come.

 

Get access to more question like these as well as other exclusive articles and team reports in the 2010 Fantasy Baseball 365 Draft Guide!!!