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Michael Wacha 2014 OutlookWhat will next season bring?


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#1 Coach George

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:12 PM

I think this guy is going to be one of the most difficult players in baseball to rank coming into next season.  I've love the guy all along and now his value has to be climbing going into next season.  I don't think his production is a fluke.  I think he has a crazy bright future and should continue to dominate next season.

Where do you see him going next season in drafts?

#2 dod959

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:56 PM

Will be drafting him in all leagues. Fastball command + change up = ace. Pretty much always.

I think he probably goes after the 12th round this year. Harvey, Anibal, Bailey, Burnett were all going after round 12. Hard to guess, but unless someone starts an unreal hype train on him I think you can have him around round 15 which is just an absolute no-brainer.

#3 FearTheBeard

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:52 PM

I'm a big fan of Wacha but fear his last regular season start and ridiculous post season is taking him out of that ADP upside value pick range.

I don't feel these starts are truly indicative of who he is over the course of a full season. He's letting it all hang out over the last 3 starts in a much more max effort approach averaging over 95.2 mph with his fastball/also topping 97+, and over 88.3 mph with is change up. With the uptick in velocity his change has had no ill effects with just as much depth as it did before, reminds me a lot like Felix Hernandez' hard change. But during the rest of the regular season Wacha averaged 93.5mph and 85.7 with his FB/CU. That's nothing to sneeze at, but I think his stuff is playing up right now.

Now - there's certainly a lot to like here. The dude is huge, pretty much a physical clone to Adam Wainwright. It's hard to tell the two apart pre wind up when their on the mound. Wacha uses that size as good as anyone in baseball creating devastating angles on the vertical plane with 10.6 vert movement with his fastball per Pitchf/x. His fastball also creates some arm side run along with the vertical angle. You mix that vertical movement with exceptional command where he pounds the low and outside quadrant Vs RHH and LHH, and add in a absolutely filthy circle change up in the same slot, same arm speed, and fall off the table fade/depth - that's damn exciting.

I give a ton of credit to the Cardinals player development at the MLB level, cause from what I read on Wacha prior to his MLB debut I wasn't overly excited how he'd fair in '13. All reports I read regarding his AAA was he was having difficulty getting his fastball down, mainly working in the upper two quadrants of the strike zone, was showing as an extreme fly ball pitcher, and having a hard time getting strike outs. He was getting by on just stuff alone, and it was a big question as to how'd he fair in the MLB. Well - it didn't take long and the Cards have molded a guy that now heavily works the lower quadrants of the zone, has had a 1.13 GB/FB ratio, all while having a 9.05 K/9 and a 2.64 BB/9. The kid is obviously an incredibly fast learner to his credit.

He has a lot of good things going for him playing for a franchise that gets the most out of its pitchers, seems to cash in on all prospects, a great receiver, and a veteran pitcher that has a reputation as an excellent mentor to young guys(Wainwright). His xFIP and SIERA were 3.36 and 3.32, so that's tidy. He was only slightly lucky in terms of BABIP and stand rate but I attribute a lot of that to a poor contact rate evidenced by a very good 16.7 LD%. The swing and miss stuff is very real with chase rate over league average and a 11.3 SwStr%.

There's a couple things I really want to see Michael Wacha develop on in 2014:

1) A breaking ball - Currently he has very little consistency and isn't comfortable with his slow downer curveball, and at the MLB level it is more of a show me pitch only throwing it 5% of the time. To become an ace I think he'll at least need to develop an average consistent curveball. He certainly has a good guy to learn from in Adam Wainwright. In Wacha's defense, as a manager I'd rather have a guy with a plus FB and plus change and a developing breaking ball, than a guy with a great hook but lacked a FB or feel for a change. The FB/CU combo is so effective, and also is a lot easier on the arm.

2) Establish the inside corner - As the book gets written he's gonna have guys diving across the plate with his current approach. In this day and age no one is getting Maddux or Glavine's outside corner so you gotta establish the inside part of the plate to keep hitters honest. Dave Cameron even did an article regarding this with Wacha, article title is hilarious. http://www.fangraphs...side-is-stupid/

As I've made it quite clear, I really like him but he certainly has things to work on. I'm just curious how much his ADP will be effected by this monster post season, esp if he logs two more dominate starts. Equal incredible talents like Cole, Gray, Salazar may have more ADP value.

Edited by FearTheBeard, 15 October 2013 - 10:53 PM.


#4 Runelvys Hernandez

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:07 PM

I really like Wacha, but I fear that his excellent 2013 postseason is really gonna jack up his price.  And I may not want to pay as much as someone else would.

He's really impressed me this season.  I see him as a 3.50 ERA/12-13 win guy next year, but better numbers to come as he gains experience.
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#5 mavsfan23

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:45 PM

 Runelvys Hernandez, on 16 October 2013 - 09:07 PM, said:

I really like Wacha, but I fear that his excellent 2013 postseason is really gonna jack up his price.  And I may not want to pay as much as someone else would.

He's really impressed me this season.  I see him as a 3.50 ERA/12-13 win guy next year, but better numbers to come as he gains experience.

He's going to get at least 1, and possibly 3 more starts in the playoffs this year. If they're anything close to what he's done so far there won't be much of a discount come draft time.
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#6 macunit

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:13 AM

 dod959, on 15 October 2013 - 08:56 PM, said:

Will be drafting him in all leagues. Fastball command + change up = ace. Pretty much always.

I think he probably goes after the 12th round this year. Harvey, Anibal, Bailey, Burnett were all going after round 12. Hard to guess, but unless someone starts an unreal hype train on him I think you can have him around round 15 which is just an absolute no-brainer.

None of those 4 pitchers performed like Wacha has in the post season. No way he falls that late. There's no one else playing right now so this is going to stick in peoples minds.

#7 parrothead

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:47 PM

 Coach George, on 15 October 2013 - 12:12 PM, said:

I think this guy is going to be one of the most difficult players in baseball to rank coming into next season.  I've love the guy all along and now his value has to be climbing going into next season.  I don't think his production is a fluke.  I think he has a crazy bright future and should continue to dominate next season.

Where do you see him going next season in drafts?
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#8 96mnc

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 03:10 PM

Before the post season i would have had him lumped with Salazar and Gray.  My ranking hasn't changed but his adp has probably risen above those two which would give the other two better projected draft value.

That could all change if he gets rocked in his next post season start.

#9 2ndCitySox

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:08 PM

Must start vs. LAD
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#10 2ndCitySox

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:09 PM

Yeah his ADP is going to be pumped by this postseason. I think they raise the mounds in the playoffs
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#11 9703

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:37 AM

I don't know what his value would be after this postseason, but I wouldn't mind reaching for a guy like him if I had to reach for a pitcher.

#12 JJ954

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:19 AM

I think this guy is the real deal, the guys stuff is electric. He has command for a young SP which usually translates into a ace. If hes not on your dynasty team now go for him right now and trade him sometime next year for the farm when he proves what he can do. I think Alex Meyer will be the Wacha of 2014

#13 2ndCitySox

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:27 PM

View PostJJ954, on 20 October 2013 - 11:19 AM, said:

I think this guy is the real deal, the guys stuff is electric. He has command for a young SP which usually translates into a ace. If hes not on your dynasty team now go for him right now and trade him sometime next year for the farm when he proves what he can do. I think Alex Meyer will be the Wacha of 2014

Maybe it's just me, but his fastball, while smokin', seems pretty straight. He does a nice job of mixing up his fastball and change up though, and throws an occasional curve. His playoff performance, 6 game aside, might cause him to be overvalued going into next year. Theres a lot of young SP talent out there, so it's fine if you want to reach, but don't go nuts.
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#14 Bud C. Lick Lite

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:22 PM

He's going to have great full seasons, perhaps as early as next year, but I too think he might be overrated, what with his sterling postseason.  I can see him being drafted alongside established guys like Jordan Zimmerman and Homer Bailey, perhaps higher.  We still don't know how this kid will withstand the pressures of a full season, both physically and mentally, although he seems to have good makeup.   He also hasn't faced many lineups the second tine around.

#15 brockpapersizer

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:22 PM

Value wise for next year and draft location point to Kris Medlen last year?

Medlen to me was a tad unlucky, had a pretty good year. Probably an SP3 who should have been an SP2
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#16 klove42

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:44 PM

View Postbrockpapersizer, on 05 November 2013 - 03:22 PM, said:

Value wise for next year and draft location point to Kris Medlen last year?

Medlen to me was a tad unlucky, had a pretty good year. Probably an SP3 who should have been an SP2

It will be close to that I feel like. Somewhere between 80-100. Depends where Fernandez is doing to me. I think by the time drafts start the roll around hype might bring him closer to Fernandez.
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#17 Posting In The Clutch

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:58 PM

I like Wacha a lot, but I'm not touching him if people start to look at him like they do Fernandez. No way will I overpay for Wacha when I can get guys like Salazar, Gray, Cobb, and Ubaldo much later.
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#18 WARrate

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:40 AM

It would be funny if people actually looked at him like they do Fernandez. I wish I played against people that thought like that.

#19 brockpapersizer

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 12:40 PM

Fernandez is clearly going as an SP 1. He has a full season of track record with reall good strikeouts. I fail to see how he has anything to do with Wacha except that they were both rookies last year.

Fernandez is probably going close to the top 10 in SP.  I don't think Wacha will be top 20.  They are just different tiers (and maybe 2) for drafts next year.... and I don't think anyone outside of St Louis home leagues feeling that way.
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#20 Sidearmer

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 08:13 PM

With the postseason I see Wacha falling into the top 10 rounds pretty easily. Saw some comparisons to Harvey, but Harvey had very little hype going into 2013 even though the stats and peripherals were all there. Wacha has everything of an overpick, high velocity, high potential, good start, then ended his season on national stage brilliantly. While I think he can be great, There were a lot of games this year where his fastball sat around 92 instead of the 95+ that it was in the playoffs. I wouldn't get him in a single digit round and I'm sure he will be gone by then.

Projection: 195 IP 3.6 ERA, 180 K, 50 BB - Good numbers but won't light the world on fire.
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