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2010 Sleepers: Chris Young (The Pitcher)
Cody Crosby, FantasyJuice.com

It has been close to two years since Chris Young almost got his head taken off by Albert Pujols, forcing him to miss two months of the 2008 season. Since the incident, Young has failed to keep his health in check with an arm injury ending his 2009 season in June.

Why should you take a chance on a guy coming off a disappointing season with injuries in his past? Two reasons: past success and Petco Park.

Although Young has never been one to give you over 200 innings in a season, he was a fantasy stud back in 2006 and 2007 with ERA's below 3.5 in both seasons. Even while pitching for a poor team in a big ballpark, Young should deliver based on his past performances. He has the stuff to be a #2 pitcher in the big leagues so don't be afraid to draft him.

The biggest reason to be a Chris Young believer in 2010 is his ballpark, Petco Park. In 2009, pitchers were heavily favored over hitters at Petco Park which ended up rating 0.741 on the park factor scale. A 1.000 favors neither the hitter or pitcher and below 1.000 favors the pitcher. Nine stadiums ranked in the .900s, four in the .800s, and only one (Petco) in the .700s. Talk about starting pitcher awesomeness!

Young's career numbers at Petco reflect the huge advantage given to pitchers. In 2007, his home ERA was 1.69 with an away ERA of 4.52, averaging out to a 3.12 ERA for the season. The same holds true for 2008 with a home ERA of 2.35 and an away ERA of 5.27, averaging out to 3.96.

It is apparent that Young, and other pitchers, love to pitch in Petco. His season stats will average out to be a solid starter but those starts at Petco will come in handy. If you play your cards right, you can start Young at home and sit him when he has tough match-ups on the road.

Injuries are unpredictable so you shouldn't be drafting expecting one to occur, but it's always better to be cautious. If Young stays healthy and gives you 160+ innings next season expect an overall ERA of 4.20 with a WHIP around 1.25. His strikeout rate will be handy as he should get around 145 in 2010.

Looking at draft rankings over at MockDraftCentral, Young is averaging out at pick 330 which is in the 27th round. He's going below unproven players like Madison Bumgarner and Brian Matusz. He's far below Homer Bailey, Pedro Martinez, and Brett Myers. Chris Young should outperform these players next season if he can stay healthy.

You can get Young and his upside late in the draft as most of your other managers have forgotten his 2006 and 2007 seasons. Don't be afraid and PETCO PARK!!!


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