Player Profile: Yovani Gallardo

12 03 2008

Yovani Gallardo broke onto the season last year in Milwaukee.  He quickly showed that he belonged in the upper-tier of the starting rotation, and he will only be 22 this year.  He should start the year on the DL because of his knee surgery, but it is quite clear that the Brewers have quite the gem on their hands.  How about a closer look?

’07 Stat Line

9-5 W-L, 3.67 ERA, 110.3 IP, 37 BB, 101 K


Yovani has a very live arm and a fastball that moves quite a bit.  Hitters have a very difficult time driving the ball against him, and his fastball has enough velocity and movement to keep batters off-balance.  Back this up with his killer 12-6 curve, and you can very quickly see why he put up a 3.67 ERA for the Brewers in just a half-season of work.  Take out the horrendous outing against the Colorado Rockies, and his ERA gets a whole lot better.

Although extremely young, Yovani shows a moxie and sense of poise that is beyond his years.  He very rarely gets emotional on the mound, which allows him to bounce back after giving up a couple hits or a run.  Mental toughness is not something one sees in such a young pitcher.  He showed throughout the season that he can bear down and gut out a tough inning when the team needs him to, and he can get the tough strike out when needed as well.  Yovani has the stuff and the savvy to strike any batter out at any time.  In a full, healthy season, Yovani will threaten the 200 K mark.  Especially as he gets a couple years of experience under his belt.

Yovani is certainly not a slouch at the plate.  He is able to help out his own cause very well.  He even knocked two balls out of the park last season.  Hitting .250 and two home runs for a pitcher makes him extremely useful in the National League. Perhaps a strong bat like Yovani’s is a reason that Jason Kendall is now batting in the 9th spot.  Is Kendall so bad that Yovani can hit the ball better?  Doubtful, but an argument people (i.e. Jon Heyman) have used.


Gallardo has shown a tendency to walk batters at certain times.  It is unclear as to whether it is a control issue, or rather he starts to nibble at the corners too much when he’s down in the count.  Either way, Yovani walked 37 batters in only 100 innings.  With such a high strike out rate, this becomes less of an issue, but it would be very nice to see those walk rates decrease.  With 200 innings at this present rate, he would be pushing 70 BB.  That’s too high and needs to be addressed.

His injured knee.  A knee problem for a pitcher is not as scary as an elbow or a shoulder problem, but it certainly could turn into something that is a nagging injury.  Let us hope that the Brewers will take his rehab slowly and understand that Yovani is Milwaukee’s future ace.  They need to take care of him and keep him around for a while.  It’s quite the argument to be concerned about a knee injury, but young studs like Yovani do not come around often.


ZiPS – 14-10 W-L, 3.66 ERA, 192 IP, 63 BB, 169 K
The Hardball Times – 10-8 W-L, 3.88 ERA, 165 IP, 70 BB, 159 K

These projections are quite different.  I like a little mixing and matching of these lines.  I think that the innings pitched and strike out rate for The Hardball Times projections are spot on, but I expect his ERA and walk rates to be lowered.  Yovani has been working almost solely on his command this off-season, according to reports, and his hard work should be rewarded with results.  Yovani and Ben Sheets at the top of the rotation for Milwaukee will be very scary for opposing teams.  Expect Yovani to dazzle Brewers fans with more of his electric stuff in ’08.  I am very excited to see him pitch again in the middle of April.

Projected Stat Line: 13-9 W-L, 3.69 ERA, 170 IP, 61 BB, 162 K
Projected Season Rating (out of 10): 8.5



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