2009 Projection: Joe Blanton

Joe Blanton, SP (RHP)
Age: 28

2008: 197.2 IP / 9-12 / 4.69 ERA / 66 BB / 111 K / 0 CG / 1.40 WHIP

Summary: Joe Blanton came to the Phillies carrying a 4.96 ERA and 1.417 WHIP from the American League. He improved upon that in the National League, recording a 4.20 ERA and 1.373 WHIP. It was a better than average year for Blanton in the National League; he was able to go six innings most times and keep the offense in the game long enough to win, which is why he finished his Phillies stint of 2008 without a blemish. Eleven of his 13 starts with the Phils went at least five innings. He had a bad season with strikeouts and walks, recording a low 5.05 K/9 and high 3.01 BB/9. His combined 1.40 WHIP was his second-worst mark.

Career Level: Ascent (Year 3)

Green Flags: He certainly improved in the National League, pitching against inferior offenses with a 4.20 ERA. … Blanton’s ground-ball rates remained strong at 44.3 percent. … As a Phillie, most times, he placed his pitches very well, using his moving fastball high to fool a lot of hitters. … Blanton surrendered two or fewer earned runs in eight of his 13 Phillies starts.

Red Flags: Blanton’s fly-ball rates rose from 32.5 percent to 35.3 percent from 2007 to ’08. … His HR/9 bumped up tremendously from 0.63 to an even one, meaning he was very likely to give up two homers in a few games. … The walk rates are not great, and they only became got in the second half (49:31 K:BB).

Prognostication: Blanton has four pretty good pitches that, if he uses them correctly and they’re mostly working, he can be incredibly strong. His postseason numbers (2-0, 3.18 ERA, 18 K, 6 BB) indicate he has the ability to buckle down and pitch great games. While he won’t likely outshine top-line pitchers, he might surprise many in 2009. He is nearing his prime, and with a full year in the National League, it’s possible we’re looking at the start of a big string for Blanton.

2009 Projection: 193 IP / 13-7 / 3.82 ERA / 62 BB / 108 K / 1 CG / 1.34 WHIP

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  1. Evan

    April 3, 2009 at 10:08 am

    I think you forgot the most important stats for Blanton. I’m gonna go with 155 ABs (with some pinch hitting appearances) / .267/.267/500 with 7 HRs! No walks, he’s a free swinger. All this fuss about needing a right handed bat off the bench, everyone forgets Blanton will be available 4 out of 5 games.

    The good thing about Blanton is that there’s been no reason to think he won’t be consistant. No nagging injuries, can obviously play under pressure, and while he’s not an ace his ERA seems pegged a bit over 4. If the offense can do what they normally do, Blanton will have a pretty decent record for 09.

  2. Justin

    April 3, 2009 at 10:11 am

    I don’t know about 7 HRs but then again i wouldn’t discount the possibility of a HR or 2

  3. ryan

    April 3, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    i think that’s a pretty good prediction there tim. although i see the ERA a tad big higher. in the low 4’s

  4. Phil

    April 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    im going with 200+ innings for blanton

  5. rob

    April 3, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    This is going to be the year of Big Joe Blanton!

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