Niese is much better than Pelfrey. Pelfrey had some "good" years in 2008 and 2010, but that was more about fortunate homerun prevention than anything else. His poor years in between (2009 and 2011) are more in line with his true talent level. Just to make this even more clear, Pelfrey's season best strikeout to walk ratio was 1.72 in 2008; Niese ran a 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio last season AND posted a groundball rate better than any Pelfrey season.
As for Niese, his overall ERA hasn't been pretty; once you adjust for the park and league, he's been 15% worse than league average over his career. However, better stats that are based on what a pitcher has under his control (which are better at predicting ERA too), show Niese has the upside of being an above average pitcher; probably something in the Wandy Rodriguez mold. In fact, here are their career numbers side by side:
Rodriguez: 7.68 K/9, 3.23 BB/9, 44.5 GB%
Niese: 7.65 K/9, 2.99 BB/9, 49.1 GB%
Over the last 5 seasons, Wandy ran an ERA that was 11% better than league average, which was in line with other starting pitchers like Ted Lilly, Matt Garza, and Ryan Dempster. Essentially, guys who have been pretty good starting pitchers over the last half-decade, but not quite front of the rotation level.
Of course, one could even argue Niese might be better considering he gets more groundballs, walks slightly less, and is coming off of a season in which he posted defensive-independent numbers that ranked him among the game's best 30 starting pitchers. I'm not saying Niese will be that
good, but his upside is definitely better than a #4 starter.
I'd recommend reading this article from Eno Sarris: http://www.fangraphs...on-a-good-deal/
And Happy Opening Day everyone.
No idea if anyone also follows the Mets' minor league system, but all of their full-season affiliates kick off their seasons today too. Matt Harvey, who most of you should know, is the Opening Day starter for Wally Backman's Buffalo Bisons (AAA). Jeurys Familia, another one of the team's top prospects, is also going to be pitching in Buffalo this year. We could very well see these guys debut at some point in 2012. Zack Wheeler, who I like even more than Harvey and Familia, was assigned to Binghamton (AA) and will pitch tomorrow. Last year's two top draft picks, Brandon Nimmo (outfielder) and Michael Fulmer (right-handed pitcher), who are also top 10 prospects in the organization, are headed in different paths; Fulmer is being pushed right into full season A ball (Savannah) despite virtually no pro experience. Nimmo, on the other hand, is being held back in extending spring training and is probably ticketed for a short-season team like Brooklyn or Kingsport.
Edited by nmigliore, 05 April 2012 - 10:03 AM.