When I imagine people who project players for a coming season, I think of huge spreadsheets, fast computers and a lot of trying to figure out how a player is trending. But those who project Adam Wainwright have to consider him like a dream. He has his parameters from year to year that you can count on. Some players are up and down in peaks and valleys. Not Adam Wainwright. He is a projector's dream.
And you would think that would not be the case coming off of a major surgery that cost him his entire 2011 season. But forget the record and forget the ERA, Adam Wainwright was the same pitcher in 2012 that he was in 2010 and 2009. Don't believe me? Here, take a look:
Here are some numbers for his last three seasons starting with 2009 and ending with 2012:
- FIP - 3.11, 2.86, 3.10
- K/9 - 8.19, 8.32, 8.34
- BB/9 - 2.55, 2.19, 2.36
- HR/9 - 0.66, 0.59, 0.68
- GB% - 50.7%, 51.6%, 50.8%
- HR per season: 17, 15, 15
I know that the Cardinals and Wainwright just cut off contract extension talks for the time being. Wainwright says the door isn't closed but that it just didn't work out at this time. But seriously, has any team ever had an easier time knowing what they are paying for? Sure, Wainwright pitched about twenty less innings in 2012 than usual because of the team being cautious with his rebuilt elbow. But still. Negotiations should be easy on this one.
Adam Wainwright did not get the pretty stats in 2012 that he had in 2010. But he was the same pitcher. His results were pretty much the same except his BABIP was higher and more runs scored as a result. But otherwise, he was the same exact pitcher.
His quality start percentage should get back to 2010 and 2009 levels as he is allowed to go deeper into games again. There is no longer a need to baby him a year later. But that doesn't mean he'll have a great spike in all these stats we've talked about. Knowing Wainwright, he'll be the same pitcher he's been for three years now and the win/loss percentage and ERA will depend on what goes on with batted balls and those who play behind him.
Otherwise, Adam Wainwright is about as predictable a pitcher as there is. And that is a good thing.