2011 Draft Guide Preview: Looking at Expected Wins

At some point this week, the 2011 Draft Guide will be finished, but for now a small preview will have to do. Along with top 300 raknings, projections, auction values, etc, the guide will feature a series of articles by all three authors. This preivew is from the article “Looking at Expected Wins”. Here’s a small exerpt…

Using Support-Neutral Wins (SNW) from Baseball Prospectus, which calculates a pitchers expected win total assuming he had league average support (both offense and bullpen), let’s take a look a a few pitchers who could take huge fantasy leaps forward in 2011 just by getting better support.

Tommy Hanson 10 W, 18.6 SNW, 8.6 Wdiff
Hanson had is ups-and-downs in 2010, but ultimately put together a stellar season in his first full-time big league duty. However, Hanson was also extremely unlucky in terms his run support, which led to a losing record (10-11). Hopefully for savvy fantasy GM’s, that W-L record will hold back his perceived value on draft day.

Jason Heyward could have his first huge season at any time and even if he doesn’t, his support will be well above average (both on offense and defense). The Addition of Dan Uggla gives the Braves a legit power bat smack in the middle of their order. Freddie Freeman, at the very young age of 21, may be several years away from his best numbers, but he has the skills to be an improvement at first base over what the Braves got in 2010. Alex Gonzalez at shortstop will play good defense and pop out a few homers in his first full year with the Braves.

All-in-all, the Braves offense if good enough to provide at least league average support or something very close to it. However, the bullpen isn’t exactly deep and there is some relative lack of experience at the back end.

Hanson is good enough on his own to win 15 games or so. If Venters and Kimbrel turn into the shutdown 8th/9th inning duo that most think they will, Hanson could contend for the league lead in wins.