2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 48: Why Cole Hamels Is the Most Underrated Pitcher

Nick KappelAnalyst IIIFebruary 19, 2011

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 3:  Pitcher Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on October 3, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves beat the Phillies 8-7.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Since 2007, only eight pitchers with at least 800 innings have an ERA lower than Cole Hamels’ mark of 3.44. Of those eight pitchers, only Tim Lincecum and Dan Haren have a strikeout rate higher than Hamels’ 8.32 K/9. Further, only Halladay and Haren have a walk rate lower than Hamels’ 2.21 BB/9.

Hamels’ 2009 campaign (4.32 ERA) apparently erased the memories of his sparkling 3.39 and 3.09 ERAs in the two years before, not to mention his World Series MVP performance in 2008.

After reminding fantasy managers of his brilliance with a 3.06 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 9.10 K/9 and 2.63 BB/9 in 2010, observers have still been slow to notice.

Yahoo! composite ranks Hamels as the 14th best pitcher in 2011, while he’s being drafted as the 15th best pitcher according to Mock Draft Central’s ADP. In all reality, Hamels makes a strong case as a top-10 pitcher.

Last year, Hamels ranked among the league’s best in pitching statistics that indicate true swing-and-miss stuff:

If that’s not enough to convince you of his dominance, consider this: Hamels posted a ridiculous 2.23 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.69 K/9 and 2.05 BB/9 in the second half last year.

Entering his age-27 season, Hamels is clearly the best No. 4 starter in the majors. Matchups against the likes of Jair Jurrjens, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Young and Jason Marquis will favor Hamels, allowing him the opportunity to post a career-high in wins this season.

2010 Stats208.2129.102.633.061.18
Three-Year Average210128.222.243.461.18
2011 FBI Forecast214178.602.303.201.18



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