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A Closer Look: Rockies Starter Jhoulys Chacin

All fantasy owners will be looking for the 2011 version of Mat Latos come draft day 2011. I think you can stay in the NL West and draft  Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin. Chacin came into the season ranked among the Top 50 prospects in all of baseball by ESPN's Keith Law. The comparison may be off a bit as Latos only threw 50 major league innings in 2009, with Chacin pitching over 100 in 2010, but I think Chacin will be a sleeper in most drafts in 2011.

Let's take a closer look at his 2010 performance. Chacin is 6-9 with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He has an xFIP of 3.68, with a K/9 of 9.7, a BB/9 rate of 4.17 and a K/BB of 2.32. Yes, he needs to lower his BB/9, but if you look at his minor league stats, his worst year was 2009, where he walked just over 3 batters per 9 innings. His walk rates in 2007 and 2008 were 2.54 and 2.43, so he has the ability to lower his walks.

His 2010 BABIP of .297 is right around league average, as is his LOB% of 69%. His groundball rate of 45% is solid, and combined with his strikeout rate, hitters have a tough time hitting him, as evidenced by his H/9 rate of 7.4.

Chacin has split time between starter and reliever in the big leagues in 2010. As a starter, he has struck out 9.3 batters per nine innings with a 2.18 K/BB rate. As a reliever, Chacin has a K/9 rate of 12.7 and a K/BB rate of 3.75. So he has all the skills of a solid starter in 2011, and in the offchance that the Rockies need a closer, he could fill in nicely there as well.

I own Chacin in several leagues, including the UBA league, which is an NL-only keeper league. I own him at $10, and am pondering whether to include him as one of my keepers going into the 2011 season. Alot can happen between now and draft day, but I think Chacin offers solid value due to his strikeout rate, and the fact that he keeps the ball on the ground. Should he lower his walk rate in 2011, fantasy owners will be plenty happy with Chacin in 2011.