2010 TigsTown Player Capsule: Rick Porcello

Ready to take a look back at the performers of 2010 and what's in store for them in 2011? Head inside to read the 2010 player capsules! Many lamented the sophomore slump that Rick Porcello went through, but was it really a down year from the youngster?

Five Numbers That Sum Up The Season

FIP

BAbip

BB/9

2nd Half ERA

2nd Half K:BB

4.31

.312

2.10

4.00

3.19


What It All Means

Most described 2010 as a sophomore slump type season for Rick Porcello, after an outstanding rookie year that landed him third in the Rookie of the Year balloting. The reality though is that Porcello actually LOWERED his FIP from 4.96 to 4.31 this season, essentially reversing the good fortune he had in 2009 with a bad luck streak in 2010. While his BAbip ended up at a reasonable (though still a tad high) .312, he had an incredibly high .345 in the first half, all a part of his first half struggles that led to a brief demotion to Triple-A Toledo. His second half was a different story though, with a K:BB ratio over three, an ERA of 4.00. Porcello also made strides with his control (to the surprise of some), as he lowered his walk rates to just over two per nine innings (from almost three in 2009). In other words, Porcello actually improved in just about every facet in 2010, except the ones that were partially out of his control and the ones he's easily judged on.

What Does the Future Hold

Despite the perceived struggles, Porcello is very much apart of the Tigers' future, and is etched in stone as the team's number three starter heading into 2011, and the only thing that will change that is a collapse of epic proportions (of which there's no reason to believe one is coming) or a serious injury. The bigger question will be if Porcello can take that next step from a #3/#4 starter type to a top of the rotation guy that the Tigers hoped they were getting when they gave him a major league contract straight out of high school. A trio of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Porcello could give the Tigers an incredible trio atop the rotation, but it requires Porcello to either take another leap forward with his command, or re-discover the hammer curve that can be a true out-pitch.


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