Fantasy Baseball 2012: Is Philip Humber a Must-Have After Perfect Game?
Philip Humber gave the Chicago White Sox the most remarkable moment of his infantile career as a starting pitcher on Saturday when he pitched a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners. Humber's moment of perfection was far above any start of his, but should fantasy owners acquire the White Sox starter because of it?
Humber had some unbelievable marks in his complete game. Of course, one must note the fact that he didn't walk anyone. The 29-year-old only did that three times in 26 starts last year. Also, he struck out nine batters. Humber only struck out as many batters as he had innings pitched in three starts in 2011.
His strike rate was 69 percent, which he accomplished only four times last season.
By the way, Humber's career high in innings in a game before Saturday was 7.2.
A perfect game is an outlier for any pitcher and it says nothing of the full picture for Humber.
White Sox fans know that Humber still has much to prove. He's only in his second season as a starter. Thus, he doesn't have much of a track record to show fantasy owners what to expect.
Further, White Sox fans turned away from the 2011 season wondering what could be expected of Humber. He had a sterling first half, posting a 3.10 ERA in 18 games, including 16 starts. In the second half, Humber had a 5.01 ERA in 10 starts.
Humber maintained control and turned up his heat in the second half. He walked batters at about the same rate and struck out more batters (8.2 K/9 in the second half, compared to 5.5 K/9 in the first half).
Will Philip Humber keep pitching extraordinarily well after his perfect game?
He was simply hit harder. In the first half, Humber allowed seven home runs in 107 innings (0.6 HR/9). He allowed seven in 55 innings in the second half (1.1 HR/9).
That's a result of hitters learning his pitches after hitting numerous fly balls off him. He had a 0.67 GO/AO ratio, allowing about the same rate in the second half as the first half. After catching video of Humber, hitters apparently figured out how to hit him.
Humber has only allowed one earned run in 14.1 innings and has yet to give up a home run, but it's early in the season. One can hardly tell how Humber's sophomore campaign will play out.
Fantasy owners should play it safe with Humber. The perfect game shouldn't inspire people to acquire the White Sox pitcher, who isn't considered to be anything near a prodigy. If owners pick him up, they should watch him closely in case he gets rocked.
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