Fantasy Knucklehead: What to do With R. A. Dickey
If you knew R.A. Dickey was going to have a big year in 2012, you are either a psychic or you’re simply not telling the truth.
How many of you thought R.A. Dickey would have more wins and strikeouts than Justin Verlander?
Coming into the 2012 season, Dickey had a lifetime won-loss of 41-50 and an ERA above 4.00. And, in every season since Dickey debuted in 2001, he had spent at least part of the year in the minors. And, at age 37, and a knuckleballer at that, its doubtful that Dickey went too high in your draft.
Dickey’s not knuckling under this year, however. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in the past 42.2 innings. He leads the MLB with 11 wins, and he has allowed only 21 walks in 14 starts. Those stats go along with an ERA of 2.00. He also leads the MLB in strikeouts with 103. Over his last 6 starts, he has 63 strikeouts and 5 walks. As if that’s not, enough, Dickey has become the first pitcher to pitch two consecutive one-hitters since 1988!
Dickey has great control. Yes, I’m talking about a knuckleballer with great control. Not a single wild pitch all year. He’s thrown more strikes than any other pitcher this year. He has more swings and misses than any other pitcher. And, this from a guy who throws the knuckleball 83% of the time.
Not bad for a guy who has been known to throw pitches at 66 MPH!
The Rangers took Dickey in the first round of the 1996 draft. It wasn’t until 2005, however, that he began throwing the knuckleball, at the urging of now Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
Fantasy Baseball Projection: R.A. Dickey — The traditional thinking for fantasy baseball managers is to try to trade a guy who is over-achieving. And, when you look at Dickey’s past projections, you have to think that he’s in that mold, especially if you think that he’s old at age 37.
But, 37 isn’t old for knuckleballers–they’re a different breed altogether. Tim Wakefield was an all-star in 2009 at age 42. Plus, Dickey has been so good that there has been talk of having him pitch on 3 days rest. That could certainly help your pitching stats if that happens later this season. That would make him an all-time two start pitcher.
R.A. Dickey is certainly worth shopping to another manager who may be willing to part with a top hitter if you have needs in that area. Remember, hitters are always more consistent than pitchers. But, the stats that he’s putting up are so consistent that you had better get good value in return.