Saturday, July 5, 2008

Nick Blackburn Rising Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher to Consider

Nick Blackburn (pictured 2008 Topps Chrome rookie baseball card) starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins was a deep, but legitimate, sleeper headed into the 2008 fantasy baseball season. Blackburn is a command and control guy who doesn’t strikeout a lot of batters so I had him at the very end of my sleeper list for fantasy baseball pitchers. When an opening in the rotation opened up with Liriano being sent down, we picked him up in the NFBC for $1.

In 110 innings in AAA in 2007 Nick Blackburn posted a stellar 2.12 ERA and .98 WHIP – any WHIP below 1.00 over any reasonable amount of innings (say 30+) is worth a double take. Blackburn only struck out 57 which raised serious concerns in my book as to how well his minor league numbers would translate to the bigs. So far he’s been a nice pitcher in deeper formats and AL only leagues posting a 3.78 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 104 innings. He only has 58 Ks but could push 15 wins over the course of the season. He rarely walks a batter and could still improve greatly if he can bump his K rate. I like Nick Blackburn in deeper formats now and think he could be a solid fantasy baseball starter for years to come.

Get Nick Blackburn baseball cards on eBay!

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