2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 49: Will Zack Greinke Return to Cy Young Form?

Nick KappelAnalyst IIIFebruary 20, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 18:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #13 of the Milwaukee Brewers participates in fielding drills during a MLB spring training practice at Maryvale Baseball Park on February 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/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.

Zack Greinke has been a tough pitcher to figure out in recent seasons. After battling depression early in his career, Greinke has posted ERAs of 3.47, 2.16 and 4.17 in the last three seasons.

In 2009, his Cy Young Award-winning campaign, Greinke’s 2.16 ERA was the lowest among qualified starters since Roger Clemens posted a 1.87 ERA in 2005.

Greinke’s strikeout rates have been inconsistent as well, ranging from 7.40 and 8.14 in 2010 and 2008, respectively, to 9.50 in 2009. His walk rates, however, have been consistently good, ranging from 2.00 to 2.49 in recent seasons.

So what can we expect in 2011?

First of all, it’s important to note Greinke is now pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers in the N.L Central opposed to the Kansas City Royals in the A.L. Central. His numbers against National League batters since 2008 are quite encouraging: 7-2, 8.23 K/9, 1.57 BB/9, 3.39 ERA, 1.16 WHIP.

Greinke has never started a game at Miller Park.

Most experts are predicting a monster season for Greinke in 2011, judging by rankings from Yahoo! composite (42) Mock Draft Central ADP (50.20), and Rotowire (24). It’s tough to argue with this prediction, as Greinke’s LOB rate (65.3 percent), FIP (3.34) and xFIP (3.76) suggest he was much better last season than his 4.17 ERA indicates.

Greinke’s 2009 and 2010 seasons are likely his ceiling and floor. Expect something in the middle, similar to his 2008 totals, this season.

 IPWK/9BB/9ERAWHIP
2010 stats220107.402.254.171.25
Three-Year Average217.1138.372.243.251.19
2011 FBI Forecast221158.302.203.301.16

 

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