Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 10/31/14
E6
Anyone who’s touting Jeff Samardzija as a 2013 fantasy sleeper is a year late to the party (that said, you can probably expect a “Jeff Samardzija is a 2013 fantasy sleeper” post coming from us in the near future). Samardzija put up great numbers in 2011 that hinted at potential fantasy relevance, however those numbers came almost exclusively out of the bullpen. In fact, in his first four years with the Cubs, Samardzija made 128 appearances with just five of those being starts. While Chicago is thin on starting pitching, it was tough to tell (1) if Chicago would actually commit to making him a full-time starter, and (2) if he’d actually stick there in the event the Cubs elected to go that route. Well, 2012 showed us the kind of potential Samardzija has. I’ve already commented on how much Samardzija has improved over the last three years with regards to his strikeout rate and getting opponents to chase pitches, and that bodes well for his future development. He’s a strikeout machine, and last year he finally got the walks under control. His 3.21 K:BB ratio in 2012 ranked 30th of the 88 pitchers to toss at least 162 innings, so slightly better than league average, but just four of those 29 pitchers ahead of him had ERAs of 4.00 or higher (Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, Dan Haren, Joe Blanton). Kennedy and Hughes are fly ball pitchers, who tend to have higher ERAs anyway, Haren had an even ground ball-to-fly ball split, and Blanton has always had issues with his HR/FB rate. Samardzija is a ground ball pitcher, so he’s not likely to exceed 4.00 if he keeps up the same K:BB ratio in 2013. At a Glance Strengths: K, K/9, ERA, QS Neutral: WHIP, W, L, BB Weaknesses: none Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Chris Sale (CHW) Likely scenario: Yovani Gallardo (MIL), Matt Moore (TB), Lance Lynn (STL) Worst-case scenario: Bud Norris (HOU) Jeff Samardzija 2013 Fantasy Projection All signs point to at least a repeat of 2012′s numbers. Samardzija broke out with a 3.81 ERA last year, but his FIP was even lower at 3.55. Wrigley Field is slightly homer-friendly, so that means we can expect Samardzija to have a small issue with his HR/FB rate (and that means his FIP might be a little lower than his ERA again), but all-in-all he’ll be a contributor there. And of course with the Ks. Can he keep up the sub-3.00 BB/9? That’s the biggest question. I feel very confident that he can, and that’s why Samardzija earns a ranking comfortably inside our top 200. The development of Chicago’s offense will dictate how much higher he goes, though. We project him for just 11 wins this year, but a little luck and some good offensive support could push that number closer to 15, and that would make Samardzija a top-75 player.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Phil Jackson issues message of hope to season ticket holders

Report: Heart attack prompted Armstead's retirement from Pats

MLBPA reacts to Kris Bryant's minor league assignment

Gregg Marshall's show canceled, Bama speculation grows

Report: Shaka Smart in discussions with Texas

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rick Barnes expected to land at Tennessee

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

Rockets GM: We think we can win NBA title despite injuries

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Can we envision the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Finals?

Bettor to win $1M if Michigan State wins national title

Five NFL coaches already on the hot seat

WATCH: Stars' Patrik Nemeth catches puck inside visor

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

University of California soccer player found dead

Joe Namath parties with twin 100 year-old women

WATCH: Mike Napoli hits home run as bat shatters

WATCH: Marc Gasol misses shot, rips jersey in disgust

PHOTO: Minor league team to wear Jabba the Hutt jerseys

Lions LB DeAndre Levy takes ride on top of a moving plane

Colts owner addresses Indiana religious freedom bill

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Can we envision the Hawks in the Finals?

Five coaches already on the hot seat

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.