As much as we prepare for our annual fantasy baseball drafts, everyone usually winds up drafting a bust or two. Its almost unavoidable that someone you targeted failed to meet your expectations for some reason or another and really your goal is to minimize these choices for your roster so that your team is not sunk by June. With being said lets take stock of another fantasy baseball draft bust in my view and that individual is Oakland A's SP Trevor Cahill. Cahill no doubt shocked the baseball community last season when he posted a 2.97 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP while winning 18 games. No doubt those who jumped aboard this bandwagon were rewarded with ace-like numbers. With 2011 almost upon us, lets see why I think Cahill cant go anywhere but down and ultimately will turn out to be a fantasy baseball bust.
The biggest issue that jumps out about Cahill is the the insanely low strikeout rate as he punched out only 118 guys in 196 IP in 2010. That was among the worst rates in the major leagues and so right off the bat Cahill will not be a help in your strikeout category. Those of you in innings capped leagues should be even more leery of Cahill as its generally recommended you try and get your team to collectively average a K/IP if possible. Cahill will destroy this plan no doubt.
Another aspect about the low strikeout rate that is a concern is the fact that without the ability to get outs without putting players on base, Cahill runs a very big risk of having those players score runs and inflate his ERA and WHIP in the process. That brings up to the BAPIP that is almost impossible to repeat this season for Cahill and was one of the major reasons for the low numbers he posted last season. Plain and simple, the .238 BAPIP he recorded last season will likely not come close to being replicated when you consider the league average is .300. That means more balls will fall into play which gets more opponents on the basepaths who than will score more often bringing up the ERA and WHIP also. On top of the BAPIP, Cahill also had a 76.5 percent strand rate which once again is going to be tough to replicate.
Finally, the Oakland A's are not a juggernaut by any means and if Cahill is getting knocked out of games earlier than last season due to the BAPIP and strand rates correcting themselves, the wins will drop without a doubt. Those 18 wins of 2010 will be a distant memory in this scenario and so once again the stats of Cahill will plunge.
Basically there is nothing good going on with Cahill going into the 2011 season when you rate him based on last season's stats. Look for a decent-sized rise in both ERA and WHIP, with poor strikeout totals, and a drop in wins. Leave him for someone else.
2011 PROJECTION: 14-9 3.79 ERA 1.15 WHIP 129 K