Monday, February 16, 2009

What to Expect from Brian Bannister

Sunday evening I was visiting with my younger brother about the Royals in 2009 and the subject of Brian Bannister came up. My brother was telling me what Joe Posnanski's Projecting the Best for the Royals in 2009 said about Bannister and as I listened I couldn't believe there are still people holding out hope for him to be a productive member of the Royals rotation.

All the projections expect Bannister to rebound somewhat after last year’s rough, rough season (9-16, 5.76 ERA). Most expect him to have an ERA somewhere around 5.00, and to win eight to 10 games. I tend to see it like Bill James does; I see Bannister having a nice bounce-back season and settle in as a solid third or fourth starter. But I’ll admit that I see this one entirely with my heart; Banny is my favorite player in the game.

I will give Posnanski credit for being honest about why he sees the glass half full when discussing Bannister. I have already written several times about Bannister and I am not going into all of the statistical data again. But most knowledgeable analysts, including Bill James, project Bannister to have a 2009 season that reflects his mediocre ability.
Baseball Prospectus
The Sporting News
Baseball HQ

There is justification for Bannister being a part of the 2009 Royals rotation. Occasionally things do break right for him and he ends up on the winning end of the final score. Bannister can eat innings and rest the bullpen. By all accounts, Brian Bannister is an intelligent young man who handles himself with a high level of class. But Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman are making a mistake if they look at Bannister as a young prospect who still has the chance to develop into even an average Major League starting pitcher.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin, this is your younger (and more handsome) little brother. Here in KC we are very excited about the Royals this year. Our pitching staff, including Greinke, Meche, Davies, Hochevar, Ramirez, and yes Bannister. We think that Royals will be much better, and don't laugh, possibly contenders this year. We have seen improvement under the new GM's watch and 2009 will be the year to really judge him and his moves. We at least expect to be a .500 team which would be a vast improvement from our 100 loss teams of the recient past. We can revisit this topic in October! Great job on the blog. KM