Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 1/23/13
I was among the many people downgrading Hiroki Kuroda last year after he signed with New York and called Yankee Stadium his new home. Obviously the offense backing him would be better — it’s not surprising that he increased his win total from 13 to 16 — but I didn’t think he’d be able to keep his ERA low enough to remain a valuable fantasy option. For a player who doesn’t wow with his strikeout totals, a very good ERA was a necessity. So like I said, I was wrong in counting out Kuroda. For the second straight season he outperformed his FIP by a wide margin, and you can thank his well-above average strand rate (LOB%) for that. Honestly, projecting Kuroda’s strand rate in 2013 is a dicey proposition at best. He was under 69% in his first three MLB seasons and over 77% in his last two. The league average is around 72% annually, so Kuroda is either very good or very bad. If I have to guess which side he’ll end up on this year (and I’m writing this so I do), I’ll have to go with what he’s done more recently. At a Glance Strengths: W, ERA, BB, QS Neutral: K, L, BB, WHIP Weaknesses: none Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Johnny Cueto (CIN) Likely scenario: Jarrod Parker (OAK), Homer Bailey (CIN), Ryan Vogelsong (SF) Worst-case scenario: Trevor Cahill (ARI) Hiroki Kuroda 2013 Fantasy Projection Even if Kuroda’s strand rate is lower this year than we project and his ERA rises to the 3.50-3.75 range, he can still be a very useful fantasy player. Ivan Nova has shown us that winning boatloads of games is possible in New York even if your ERA isn’t that great, and due to his 200-inning ways we can expect Kuroda to be at least league average in strikeouts. He’s durable and he’ll have value, but just how much will be determined by his strand rate. Unlike Jarrod Parker, the player I think most closely resembles Kuroda, there isn’t a lot of upside for New York’s most durable starter not named CC Sabathia. If you’re drafting Kuroda it’s because you’ve either fallen in love with his stability or your computer autopicked him for you. There are worse things in life, and in fantasy, than owning Kuroda, though. In fact, owning Kuroda might be one of the better decisions you make, especially if you’re in a keeper league. Remember, when your league puts a premium on youth, great values can be had with reliable, aging veterans, and that’s exactly who Kuroda is. Tweet
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rob Manfred isn’t a fan of tweaking playoff format

Matt Barnes opens up about Derek Fisher fight

Bennett: QBs make too much money, not enough left for OL

Frank Gore must step up vs. Texans with Andrew Luck out

Sean Rodriguez apologizes about outburst, including to water cooler

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud


Gregg Popovich now resting himself by sitting out games

Knicks' sellout streak at Madison Square Garden halted at 201

Rex Ryan: Probably ‘a reach’ for Karlos Williams to play Sunday

Lions OC explains Golden Tate's limited role on offense

Dez Bryant doing light running as rehab from surgery continues

Report: Barnes punched Fisher, was begged by child to stop

Brady or Rodgers? Sampling of NFL execs split on debate

Real reason for Sam Bradford's struggles is...his glutes?

Messi charged with tax fraud, could face prison time if convicted

Lamar Miller: Fantasy owners ‘stay tuned' for more carries

Examining the delicious unfairness of the wild card

Five questions about the Astros-Royals ALDS

Ahmad Brooks out against Giants after death of sister

Jessica Mendoza responds to sexist rant from Mike Bell

Gronk: Have to be ‘super smart’ to play Tight End for Patriots

Cruz ‘thoroughly convinced’ he’ll be making big plays in 2015

Roger Goodell taking a guarded approach on daily fantasy sites

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

Stallone on Kelly: ‘I don’t think it’s time for Chip’s ahoy yet’

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud

Women in sports this week: Is this 2015 or 1965?

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

Garrett addresses Hardy's comments about Gisele

Five outrageous predictions for NFL Week 5

Rex makes players do push-ups in practice after penalty calls

Weeden compares QB situation to 'backing up Derek Jeter'

Pirates fan dresses as Steve Bartman, fails to curse Cubs

LeBron takes in-game selfie with fans in Cincinnati

MLB postseason power rankings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker