Finding pitchers who help in the WHIP department is not always an easy task; finding one late in your draft (after Round 18) is even tougher. 

Here are five pitchers who I have projected for a 1.30 WHIP or better who are available late in your draft (based on Mock Draft Central’s ADP):


Brian Matusz – Baltimore Orioles

He may be a tough sell, considering that he is entering his second full season and is pitching in the AL East. 

Still, in the minor leagues he posted a 2.55 BB/9 and 9.64 K/9 (the higher the strikeout rate, the lower the dependence on BABIP in regards to the WHIP).

Those two numbers have the makings of an elite mark.

While he wasn’t quite that good in his rookie year, he was good enough, with a 3.23 BB/9 and 7.33 K/9. Coupled with a .292 BABIP, he posted a 1.34 WHIP. 

With a year of experience under his belt, there certainly is reason to believe that he can improve across the board. That certainly would lead to a better WHIP.

Plus, before you say it’s impossible to post a good WHIP in the AL East, just look at these marks:

  • Shaun Marcum – 1.15
  • Jeremy Guthrie – 1.16
  • Clay Buchholz – 1.20
  • Jeff Niemann – 1.26
  • Ricky Romero – 1.29

Those aren’t the Jon Lester’s or CC Sabathia’s of the world, either.

Matusz certainly has the potential and could be a great source late in your draft.


Ian Kennedy – Arizona Diamondbacks

In his first full season in the Major Leagues, Kennedy showed why he was high on the Yankees prospect list, posting a 1.20 WHIP thanks to a 3.25 BB/9 and .256 BABIP. 

Obviously, the BABIP is not realistic, though the walks are thanks to a minor league career BB/9 of 2.79.

With his ability to generate strikeouts and limit the walks, it is no wonder that he can be a good source of WHIP for fantasy owners. 

Obviously I wouldn’t count on a 1.20, but there is no reason that, with his proven skills, that he can’t provide for fantasy owners.


Jake Peavy – Chicago White Sox

There are probably a couple of reasons Peavy is being selected late in drafts. 

One is his health, as he tries to recover from a detached ligament. It’s an extremely rare injury and no one really knows exactly what to expect. 

At first, it appeared that he was going to miss at least a little time early in the season, but now that may not be the case. There also was the concern about moving to the AL, which is a very fair concern.

That is more geared towards his ERA, however, not his WHIP. 

In 107.0 innings with the White Sox in ’10 he still managed a 1.23 WHIP. He throws strikes (2.91 career BB/9) and gets strikeouts (8.93 career K/9), which helps limit the effect of BABIP. 

As it is, his BABIP the past four seasons has been between .273 and .280, helping to WHIPs of:

  • 2007 – 1.06
  • 2008 – 1.18
  • 2009 – 1.12
  • 2010 – 1.23

There’s a lot of risk, but there is also a huge potential reward.


Bronson Arroyo – Cincinnati Reds

We all know what we are getting when we select Arroyo. 

On occasion, he is going to post a real clunker. He’s not going to post much in the way of strikeouts. He is going to limit the walks.

For his career, he has a 2.73 BB/9 and in ’10 he was at 2.46. While his 1.15 from ’10 is highly unlikely (it came courtesy of a .239 BABIP), he does have a career mark of 1.31 (which is skewed from poor years in ’07 & ’08, due to inflated BABIP).

He’s a late round option for a reason, because he has very little “upside.” 

Still, if you have a staff built with strikeouts and need a steady WHIP option who is going to win games (15 or more each of the past three years), Arroyo certainly has value.


Scott Baker/Kevin Slowey – Minnesota Twins

Interestingly enough, they are competing for the Twins’ fifth starters job, which may help to explain why both are currently available in the later rounds. 

There are rumors that Slowey could be traded, which will help clear up who to target (the answer would be both of them). For now, we are going to have to monitor the news and see how it all plays out.

I believe it was two seasons ago that I wrote an article entitled “Scott Baker the WHIP Maker.” While 2010 is not the best example (1.34), he was at 1.18 and 1.19 the two previous years. He has impeccable control (2.10 career BB/9) and, if the luck returns (he had a .323 BABIP in ’10), there is no reason why he couldn’t get back to the elite numbers. 

If he wins the job (and he currently appears to be the favorite), he’s an absolute bargain.

Slowey, remarkably, is an even better control artist, with a career BB/9 of 1.50 over 473.1 innings—even with a .307 BABIP in ’10 he posted a 1.29 WHIP. 

He is more of a fly ball pitcher (50.6 percent fly ball rate in ’10), so a trade would have a huge impact on his potential value. 

Regardless, with his control, he could be a monster WHIP option.


What are your thoughts of these options? Would you target any of them? Is there someone else you would look at late in your draft to help with WHIP?


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Make sure to check out our previous late round articles:


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