Key Stats: 153.1; 170; 181…These are the number of innings Worley has pitched the last three seasons. Being 24 now, and seeing that progression of innings pitched means we shouldn’t have to worry about a Verducci effect claiming a promising young pitcher in 2012. While Vance’s K/9 stayed right around where he was in his cup of big league coffee in 2010, his BABIP spiked 77 points. His 2011 FIP and xFIP were off by about half a run of where his ERA actually was, indicating there wasn’t a big luck factor (good, bad or otherwise) in how his ERA looked. I’ll account the BABIP spike to a small sample size (only 13 innings in 2010) so that shouldn’t scare us.
Skeptics Say: He had an 11-3 record last year, but of those 11 W’s, 10 came against struggling teams (Mets three times, Nats, Marlins, Cubs, Giants twice, Reds, Braves at the start of their collapse). Despite none of those teams striking fear in the hearts of opponents, recording wins against everyone in your division counts for something since odds are you’re pitching against them more often.
Peer Comparison: Let’s look at fellow 24 year old Daniel Hudson for comparison. Hudson is a highly regarded player that should be taken in every draft. He looked good this past year, posting an ERA of 3.49 with a 16-12 record. Worley came in at 3.01 and 11-3. Win Loss isn’t really fair though, since so much of that depends on run support, and ERA can be skewed with luck as stated above. So lets do some comparing of more telling stats…
Worley: 8.13 K/9; 2.59 K:BB; 1.23 WHIP; 3.32 FIP
Hudson: 6.85 K/9; 3.38 K:BB; 1.20 WHIP; 3.28 FIP
As you can see these guys are virtually identical. Hudson was the fantasy baseball household name cause he had an amazing 2nd half in 2010 to establish himself on draft boards in 2011. Worley had 13 innings of pitching experience in 2010, and was for all intents and purposes an unknown in 2011 drafts.
Lineup Outlook: With the Phillies not picking up the option on Oswalt, I think it’s safe to say Worley has secured the number 4 or 5 spot in the rotation (depending on where they pitch Blanton). Either would be great, since that means earlier in the season he will match up against other number 4 and 5 starters which aren’t as good as he is. The Phillies may be another year older, but they will still score runs (Worley averaged over 7 runs of support a game in 2011) so he should get a handful of early season wins relatively easily.
Projections: 15-9, 3.60 ERA, 168 K, 1.28 WHIP