Wednesday, March 02, 2011

2011 AL-Only Sleeper: Mitch Talbot

posted by Jon Williams

Mitch Talbot has been around.

I don't mean to make him sound that half-full container of sour cream in the back of your refrigerator. Just that he has seems to have been floating around baseball for a while before landing with the Indians in 2010. He isn't exactly old, he'll turn 28 at the end of the season. But because he has floated around it becomes easy to label him as a journeyman and dismiss him as a fantasy baseball factor, but that would not be fair. As the champion of fairness in these parts, it is up to me to make a case for Mitch Talbot: 2010 Sleeper!

Talbot has pitched exactly 169 innings in the major leagues. He achieved the bulk of them (159 IP) starting for the Cleveland Indians during the 2010 season. He wasn't an amazing performer but in an AL-only league he was useful. He collected ten wins, a 4.41 era, and 1.49 whip, with peripherals that looked like this: .301 BABIP, 69.4 percent LOB, .73 HR9, 4.97 K9, 3.90 BB9, and a 47.8 percent GB rate. Talbot's overall numbers match his FIP almost exactly. Pretty crappy, eh? Now look at his career minor league numbers:

1.30 whip, 9.05 H9, .62 HR9, 2.64 BB9, and a 7.41 K9 - Nothing amazing there, but consider this. If you throw out a horrible (7.78 era, I usually hate doing that but here it feels right) month of August and his strong finish in September, I think Talbot can help an AL-only pitching staff. He'll also do it for pennies. The Cleveland Indians are going to shock a lot of people in 2010 with their rapid improvement. They have tons of talent and Talbot (and Talbot owners) should benefit.

Plus, he's a warrior who likes to beat on the Red Sox...unbiased Jon

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