In preparation for the 2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball season, the Fantasy Fix team will preview a team's pitching rotation each day. Tyler's second piece of the series examines the National League East's Atlanta Braves.
The Braves' rotation has a nice mix this year. The young stud, the crafty veteran, the aging ace and the potential star.
Tommy Hanson, in his second season with the Braves, proved his stuff last year, but only managed to win ten games. To Hanson’s credit, eight of his eleven losses came when his offense failed to score more than three runs. In 2010, he posted a 3.33 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and struck out 173 in 202.2 innings.
Hanson will likely fall in the mid-twenties of starting pitchers for 2011. I also think he’ll see more wins than previous seasons, especially with Uggla’s arrival and Jason Heyward in beast mode.
After the All-Star break, Hanson recorded 69 strikeouts in 100 innings (down from 104 strikeouts in 100 innings before the break), so his punch-outs might drop a bit next season. His pitching approach may have changed in the second half too. From the first half of the year to the second half, Hanson’s batting average against hitters dropped .066 and he lowered his WHIP by 0.39.
I wouldn’t draft Hanson as your top starter, but he can definitely be a solid number two guy.
Now, let’s look at a guy a little more than a decade older than Hanson, Derek Lowe—