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Jhoulys Chacin: 2011 Fantasy Sleeper

Perhaps you’ve heard of Jhoulys Chacin, but judging by his 241st-ranked ADP in drafts this week on Mock Draft Central, I’m guessing you probably haven’t. Chacin, Colorado’s young stud in the making, is only getting drafted in 48 percent of early mock drafts, quite possibly making him the deepest sleeper Baseball Professor has named yet.

You know what’s doubly awesome about that? He has just as much potential as Jeremy Hellickson and at a fraction of the price. Given the hype surrounding Hellickson, that’s pretty high praise for a relatively unknown and undervalued commodity. Let’s start by looking at Chacin’s rookie 2010 season:

9-11 | 3.28 ERA | 3.54 FIP | 3.74 xFIP | 1.27 WHIP | 138 K | 9.04 K/9 | 4.00 BB/9 | .222 OBA | 137.1 IP

Chacin posted a low ERA that’s not too far below his FIP/xFIP, showing he truly earned his success last season. Like with any good sleeper he has elite strikeout potential, and his opponents average was low enough that it makes his high walk rate less of an issue. If you’re worried about that thin Colorado air, Chacin’s 1.48 GB:FB ratio helps neutralize that. In fact, from 2005 to 2009 (i.e. before last season in the majors), Chacin posted a 2.38 GB:FB ratio. Oh, and his 10.4 percent IFFB% shows he has the ability to confuse batters.

Because I’m positively giddy after writing that last paragraph, I’ll keep the party going. Check out what the scouts at MLB.com have to say about Chacin:

Chacin generates those grounders with a hard sinker, which he keeps down in the zone and throws up to 92 mph. He’s got a plus changeup and an excellent slider as well. He has struggled with command at times and his breaking ball isn’t as consistent as the fastball-change combination tends to be.

All in all, he’s about as talented and intriguing as any other pitcher you could have in the late rounds. That little excerpt there introduced us to the first negatives about Chacin, but that’s common of any young pitcher, especially one with such lively stuff.

I’ll leave you with another little snippet from MLB.com:

He has the chance to be a top-of-the rotation type if everything comes together.

Screw the Joel Pineiro, Kevin Slowey, Mike Pelfrey types. That’s what I want out of my late-round picks.

2011 Fantasy Projection

12-10 | 3.65 ERA | 1.30 WHIP | 157 K | 162 IP | 8.72 K/9

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About the author: Bryan is the co-founder of Baseball Professor and works as a consultant specializing in operational metrics and efficiency analysis. When he’s not working, blogging, or tending to basic human needs, he enjoys pondering the vastness of the universe, rewatching episodes of Breaking Bad, and avoiding snakes. (@BaseballProf)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://fantasybaseballinsiders.com/ Nick Kappel

    Good stuff Bryan. I’ve been on Chacin’s trail for two years now, it’s good to finally see him become relevant. The most intriguing thing about Chacin is his ground-ball tendency. If he can tune his command and lower his walk rate into the 3.00 range, he could be an ace.

  • http://www.baseballprof.com Bryan Curley

    Hey good to hear from you, Nick. If you couldn’t tell from this post, I’m a huge Chacin fan. You’re dead on that pitchers with ground ball tendencies (and strikeout-inducing stuff) have ace potential.

    (PS: Don’t tell any of my coworkers here, but I’m targeting him in our draft. Probably gonna have to reach!)

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