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« Top 16 Fantasy Baseball First Basemen | Main | Scatter Charts: Did Moneyball Die in 2012? »

Which Ricky Romero will we see in 2013?

In 2011, Ricky Romero went 15-11 with a 2.92 ERA.

In 2012, Ricky Romero went 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA.

I suspect that 2013 will go a long way in showing us which was the outlier season.

Romero is primarily a fastball pitcher

In 2011, Romero threw 3374 total pitches, of which 2373 were fastballs.

Batters hit .249 against his fastballAs we look at the heat map above, we can see three hot spots of success by batters having formed a face: the two eyes are pitches up and on either side of the strike zone, and the mouth is down, but in the vertical middle of the strike zone.

In 2012, Romero threw 3084 total pitches, of which 2039 were fastballs. 

Batters hit .326 against his fastballSuccessful pitchers and successful realtors share three things in common: location, location, location.

Look at the difference in Romero's two heat maps. The red zones reflect where batters hit for average against Romero and the 2012 map is ugly with red, particularly in the strike zone.

The season ahead

The one thing to watch, even from the start of Romero's 2013 season, will be his fastball.

If it is drifting all over the strike zone, he and the Jays will be in trouble.

However, if he is working the edges, chances are you will be looking at the best #5 starter in baseball and an AL division crown for the Jays.

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