Fantasy Baseball Quick Hit: Why Jair Jurrjens Is a Pitcher to Avoid in 2012

Eric StashinSenior Writer IFebruary 15, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 30:  PItcher Jair Jurrjens #49 of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch during the game against the Washington Nationals during the game at Turner Field on August 30, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

There were rumblings throughout the offseason that the Braves would move Jair Jurrjens to free up both money and a spot in the rotation for one of their many young starters.  It’s still possible that it comes to pass, but for now he is still in Atlanta and we need to value him as such as we prepare for our fantasy drafts.

The question is if he is worth a spot in your fantasy rotation coming off these numbers:

  • 13 Wins
  • 152.0 Innings
  • 2.96 ERA
  • 1.22 WHIP
  • 90 Strikeouts (5.33 K/9)
  • 44 Walks (2.61 BB/9)
  • .269 BABIP

If you simply looked at the fantasy numbers (ERA/WHIP), it would seem like a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, things are never quite that cut and dry, are they?

First of all, there was an awful lot of luck involved in his overall numbers.  While he has proven that he could post a similar BABIP in the past (he had a .268 mark over 215.0 innings in 2009), that doesn’t mean that we can say that he can replicate it again in 2012.  If we want to use that logic, who’s to say that he won’t post a number more like his .300 BABIP from 2010 or his .301 from 2008?

That fact is that he has traded off years below .270 and above .300.  I’m not about to say that, because of the trend, it is more likely that he posts a .300 mark in 2012.  However, there is a realistic chance that he does.  That certainly puts him at a significant risk to struggle.

That’s not the only number that could regress as he posted an 81.0-percent strand rate in 2011.  Like the BABIP, you can argue that he has posted a similar number before (79.4 percent in 2009), but unlike the BABIP the 81.0 percent just isn’t a realistic expectation.  He’s going to regress, and that is a major issue.

Even though he also regressed in the strikeout department, it’s not like he was ever a blow-away pitcher in that regard:

  • 2008 – 6.64 K/9
  • 2009 – 6.36 K/9
  • 2010 – 6.65 K/9

Sure, he has good control, but the lack of strikeout potential and the significant risk for a regression in the luck departments make him a player that I am hesitant to draft as a starting option in 2012.  As a reserve or a spot starter he has tremendous upside, but outside of that, the risk far outweighs the potential reward.

At the end of the day, is it likely that I am going to be able to draft him as a reserve?  Not likely, meaning he’s not a pitcher I plan on owning in 2012.

What are your thoughts?  Is Jurrjens a player you think could hold value in 2012?  Why or why not?