Brandon Beachy: Stud Muffin

During draft season this year, Brandon Beachy was a late-round flier in mixed leagues due to his spring training battle with Mike Minor. After Beachy beat out Minor, owners were still skeptical thanks to underwhelming scouting reports and fear of somewhat of an unsecure role in the Braves rotation. Next season, Beachy certainly won’t be considered a flier if he keeps up his torrid start to the 2011 season.

If I used the word “stud” to describe Beachy, odds are most owners would be surprised and argumentative. A stud they may have never heard of? Ridiculous. If you don’t want to believe that Beachy has been ever so studly, you should look at where he ranks amongst NL starters in key pitching categories. Better yet, let me look at those numbers for you, the busy reader, and break them down in an easily digestible fashion.

Strikeouts and Walks
When it comes to strikeouts, we can’t just look at raw totals when evaluating Beachy since he missed time with an oblique injury. Using K/9 instead of raw strikeouts, we can see that Beachy ranks second in the NL, behind only the magnificent Zack Greinke. You read that right, America, Beachy ranks ahead of aces like Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, and the Braves’ own Tommy Hanson.

Just like we did above, it makes more sense to use a rate stat like BB/9 to gauge Beachy’s place among pitchers in the National League. If my fifth-grade counting skills are still intact, Beachy has the 26th best BB/9 in the NL, which doesn’t seem all that impressive until you remember his strikeout totals. His walk rate is good enough to land him in fifth place in K/BB, behind the aforementioned Greinke, along with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee.

Putting his strikeouts, walks, and home runs together, we see that Beachy has a top-20 FIP in the NL. Why so low on the list? Well, Beachy likes to pitch up in the zone, resulting in a good deal of fly balls and thus, homers.

It’s far too late to grab Beachy off the wire if you’re in a mixed or NL-only league, thanks to his two great starts on his return from the DL. But, if you’re in a very shallow league, you may be able to swoop in and take advantage of other owner’s ignorance. Beachy is certainly a trade target if you want a young starter with high strikeout rates and a pretty solid team behind him and if you decide to rebuild in a keeper league and wish to deal an ace, Beachy is definitely someone you should ask for in return,

Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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11 years ago

Do you think the Braves will limit his IP towards the end of the season? Worth trading Kimbrel or Heath Bell for him?

jeffrey gross
11 years ago
Reply to  AL

why would they limit his innings? If he pitches a full load ROS, he’ll be under any substantial jump thanks to the 6 week DL stint. Plus the Braves are in a playoff hunt.

As to the second question, I would trade Kimbrell for him, and greatly consider Bell as well (Tho I’d ask for an ENR like Adams back too…)

11 years ago
Reply to  jeffrey gross

Yeah I guess it would make sense not to limit his IP because of his DL stint. Thanks.

11 years ago
Reply to  AL

They probably won’t have to limit his IP, because right now 6 innings a game seems to be the max they can expect him to go. He gets so many swings and misses and off-balance hacking foul balls that his pitch counts often get unwieldy. Somehow has good control but rarely gets the quick out.