Please check out the Projections Primer, to see how I come about getting these projections.
Prior to getting started, I want to take a look at the last three years of Jack Flaherty's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.
The 2019 season is our most recent sample size and professional sports are often reduced to a "what have you done for me lately" business. Here is his 2019 season (majors only) separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.
32 starts, 174 2/3 innings, 5.44 IP/GS (1 RP outing - 2/3 IP) 3.35 ERA, 4.84 FIP, 1.408 WHIP 7.0 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 1.58 K:BB 22-10 team record in Hudson starts
This year, I plan to incorporate a couple of (I hope) interesting items to go along with the mean (average) projection. I am going to be adding in "THE GOOD" (an everything goes right)" projection and "THE BAD” (an everything went wrong)" projection prior to giving THE CERUTTI (my actual projection). THE GOOD is basically if a player is 10% better in a few of the listed categories while THE BAD is basically if a player is 10% worse in a few of the listed categories - based on THE CERUTTI projection, which is my 50th percentile-type projection that gets made every year by other projection services like STEAMER or ZiPS.
32 starts, 198 innings, 6.19 IP/GS 2.92 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 1.311 WHIP 7.4 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 1.81 K:BB
This would be incredible if he can do it!
32 starts, 163 2/3 innings, 5.11 IP/GS 3.54 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 1.493 WHIP 6.1 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 1.49 K:BB
So this is where I think Hudson's projections START to go wrong. That continues a bit below - with a bit more of an explanation. However, "THE BAD" should really have Hudson's ERA matching his FIP...which would be terrible because he'd basically be replacing Wacha with 2019 Wacha-like production.
(my system projection)
32 starts, 180 innings, 5.63 IP/GS 3.21 ERA, 4.15 FIP, 1.443 WHIP 6.7 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.64 K:BB
If all of my projections come true, I foresee the Cardinals going 18-14 in his starts.
So I wrote some words on Dakota Hudson already this offseason. In that piece, I have trouble deciding just how good Hudson really is - as do his numbers from 2019. Hudson’s 3.35 ERA was sterling. If he can repeat that again, then he’ll probably end up the #2 starter on the team. Hudson’s underlying stats, like his 4.93 FIP (my numbers above must be off somewhere), 4.55 xFIP, 1.41 WHIP, and 1.58 K:BB show that he was potentially getting quite lucky - despite his good “stuff” - like over 40% of his sliders and curves being swung at being whiffed. Other underlying stats, like his 56.9% GB rate and his 3.0 launch angle allowed, show that maybe he can out-pitch that FIP/xFIP by a little bit.
These projections seem a bit off to me. I don’t expect his ERA to still beat his FIP by about 1. I would imagine that ERA jumps up more in the 3.7 range with a FIP around 4.2.
Then again, if he throws the 4-seam, slider, and curve like the ones below, hitters better watch out because THE GOOD is coming:
Thanks for the gif, Nick Childress!
Link back to all of my projections.