Skeptics Say: He had a big jump in innings pitched from 2009 to 2010, and if you are a believer in the Verducci Effect, that oblique strain he had last year was predictable. That injury caused him to miss a month of the season (about 7 starts) which forced him to pitch fewer innings, which bodes well for the fantasy owner going into next season. An increase of 30 innings pitched this upcoming season will only put him at 171.2 innings for 2012. He has a tremendously high swinging strike rate (11.8%) which might be difficult to maintain, but he has a deep and good skill set for his pitches and at 25, there is still room left for him to improve those.
Peer Comparison: Jeff Zimmerman at RotoGraphs has a great article in which he creates a formula to determine an evaluation for how effective a pitcher is. To make a long story short, Beachy finished 3rd in this exercise for all pitchers last year with at least 140 innings pitched. The complete top 5? Greinke, Kershaw, then Beachy, followed by Lee and Verlander. It should be noted that Wins per Game Start and ground ball percentage were not used in the equation to get that list. You can see the complete article here.
Team Outlook: Beachy should not have to worry about being over used at all this year if their staff can remain healthy which should ease any worries we have about his health. The departure of Derek Lowe (traded to Cleveland) cements his rotation spot if for some reason it wasn't already.
What They're saying: CBS Sportsline - #43 in the Top 100 Starting Pitchers; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com - #31 in the Top 75 Starting Pitchers and #120 in the Top 250 Overall Players; RotoChamp - #23 in the Top Starting Pitchers and #80 in the Top 300 Players
Projections: I had pegged Beachy as a sleeper and was able to spend a late round pick to get him on all my squads. The cat is out of the bag this year as pitchers who post K/9 numbers over 10 generally don't go unnoticed. Another year of experience, an assured spot in the rotation, and another helping of whatever the Braves put in their pitching staff water bottles will put Beachy on track for not only another fine year, but one that sees improvement across the board:
14 W, 3.26 ERA, 200 K, 1.18 WHIP in 175 innings.