call me crazy (as you probably should
) but I think Barry Zito will put together an ownable fantasy season as a 5th starter type in 12 team leagues or greater. Fangraphs had an awesome article about Barry Zito I read in December (here is the link http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index. ... bust-label
). Since reading that article I've kept tabs on Zito a little bit to start the year (it also helps he pitches for my favorite team
). What I find promising about the start to the season for Zito (other then the 7 IP gem he threw this past week) is that his fastball velocity is sitting around 87 MPH, as opposed to around 85 MPH last year. Considering he opened last year throwing even slower then 85 MPH, I don't think it's unfathomable that Zito may be able to add 1-2 MPH to his fastball as the season progresses this year. If that's the case, an 87-89 MPH fastball with his slow 70-74 MPH curve ball could prove to be just what the doctor ordered for Zito. Being that he pitches in a great pitchers park, and his BB/9 is sitting around his '03-'04 range of under 4, maybe he posts a season 2005. Sure, that may seem wishful thinking, but maybe not, definitely someone I'm going to keep on my watch list, as he does have some banner seasons under his belt, and it would not completely surprise me if the drop in velocity the last 2 years was Zito hiding an injury after having signed (at the time) the biggest contract for a pitcher in league history.
Like I said, I'm sure I'm going to get ripped for this, but put me on record as saying that I think Zito is capable of posting a season line of (bold prediction time
).... 14 wins 4.00 ERA 1.32 WHIP 165 K's making him ownable in 12 team leagues or greater.