Bill James Projection for the 2012 Atlanta Braves Starting Pitching Rotation

So far we’ve had a chance to look at the 2012 Bill James projections for Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, and Martin Prado. Today we’ll do something a little different to buck our traditional style of singling out a regular to take a look at the starting pitchers and what James feels is reasonable to expect from each.

Today, we would recommend taking a gander at our friends at Capitol Avenue Club to get a quick take on each of the projected starting pitchers in the Braves rotation.

Instead of needing to head over to Fangraphs, we can pull our data from CAC. Here’s what James expects out of the five pitchers in 2012:

Tim Hudson: 218 IP, 138 K, 61 BB, 14 HR, 2.26 K/BB, 3.43 ERA, 3.80 FIP

Tommy Hanson: 153 IP, 142 K, 49 BB, 14 HR, 3.09 K/BB, 3.18 ERA, 3.39 FIP

Jair Jurrjens: 181 IP, 125 K, 58 BB, 16 HR, 2.16 K/BB, 3.68 ERA, 3.88 FIP

Brandon Beachy: 155 IP, 183 K, 48 BB, 3.81 K/BB, 3.14 ERA, 2.83 FIP

Mike Minor: 115 IP, 120 K, 40 BB, 3.00 K/BB, 3.83 ERA, 3.56 FIP

The first thing you probably notice is that Huddy’s numbers aren’t as favorable as the ones he posted last season, probably due to being a year older. I would be one to take the ‘under’ on “Tim Hudson, 218 innings pitched in 2012″.

It doesn’t look like Tommy Hanson’s Cy Young candidacy will begin in 2012, though I think the Braves would probably sign up for those numbers from him right now given the choice, considering he finished 2011 with injury concerns. If he comes in at 153 innings pitched, it’s probably safe to assume that the James feels there will be lingering effects from the injury or that the Braves might not push their young righty.

James thinks that Jair Jurrjens will fall back to earth a little bit, posting a 3.68 ERA with more walks than anyone on the starting staff. I don’t know if his ERA will climb to sub 4, but I do think that Jurrjens fails to have the effectiveness that he displayed for much of last season, especially in the first half.

James is bullish about Brandon Beachy, just like me. He looks for Beachy to post 183 K’s, and look at the sparkling ERA and low amount of walks. We already told you that Beachy was a candidate for being a fantasy baseball stud in 2012, and we’re not backing away from it now. I feel this is a very accurate projection from James and I would take the over on 155 innings and 183 strikeouts. I think the K/BB ratio is just about right.

James has Mike Minor rounding out the rotation with numbers that any team would be happy with out of the five spot. The innings projection of just 115 is a little bit puzzling, as one would figure that Minor would win the job out of spring training and hold it down all season long posting numbers like that. The shortage of innings would obviously be more than the Braves doing something like putting Minor on a season long innings count; and to my knowledge he’s never had any arm problems.

If Bill James is anywhere close with these projections, you can see why they’ll be in the thick of things again in the NL East. The starting pitching looks to have another solid year in them as a group.

Tags: Bill James Brandon Beachy Jair Jurrjens Mike Minor Projections Tim Hudson Tommy Hanson

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