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

AUDIO: Reds skipper Bryan Price drops 77 f-bombs in rant

Monty Williams: Warriors home crowd noise 'out of hand'

LT thinks Philip Rivers won’t play for Chargers in 2015

Report: Kevin Ollie 'seriously considered' for Thunder job

Floyd Mayweather: I'm a better fighter than Muhammad Ali

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Video emerges of Warren Sapp talking about prostitute arrest

Chip Kelly in 2011: Tim Tebow is not our team's QB type

NBA commissioner: Sports gambling is 'good for business'

RG3 'wouldn't be bummed' if Redskins don't pick up option

Adrian Peterson would be the death of the Cowboys

Raptors GM fined $35K for comment about Paul Pierce

Cubs will reportedly call up prospect Addison Russell

Brewers' Scooter Gennett shares photo of nasty shower injury

WATCH: Fan at Pirates game hit by foul ball through netting

Hall of Famer Jim Palmer blasts David Ortiz over ejection

WATCH: President Obama leads 'O-H-I-O' chant

Fred Hoiberg shares video of him walking after heart surgery

DeAndre Jordan geeks out at Batman Exhibit

Philly welcomes Tim Tebow with 'tebowing' pretzel

Marshall Henderson trolls Erin Andrews over Stoll arrest

Steve Ballmer turned Lakers locker room into owner's lounge

Alex Rodriguez: Heir to the Empire

The Tim Tebow lottery ticket

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

Mayweather: I'm better than Ali

WATCH: Sapp talks prostitute arrest

Jim Palmer blasts David Ortiz

Wayne Taylor Racing No. 10 car wins at Long Beach

Pat Riley takes shot at LeBron?

Philly welcomes Tim Tebow with 'tebowing' pretzel

Stop the Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady debate

Alex Rodriguez: Heir to the Empire

The Tim Tebow lottery ticket

If Tony Parker's not right, it's going to go wrong for Spurs

So the Mets might be contenders

Why Billy Donovan won't go to Oklahoma City

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.