2010 Player Profile: Chad Billingsley

Chad Billingsley had the tale of two seasons last year.  He started out hot, earning a spot on the All-Star team with a stellar first half, but faded down the stretch:

Months GS IP W-L BB/9 K/9 ERA FIP
Apr-Jun 17 112.1 9-4 4.09 8.81 3.12 3.25
Jul-Oct 15 84.0 3-7 3.75 7.39 5.25 4.46

Billingsley struggled to the point that he did not make a postseason start (although he was scheduled to start Game 4 of the NLDS -- you know, if the Cardinals would have won a game).  Billingsley, as he told Tony Jackson of ESPN last month, chalked his struggles up to pressing too hard:

"There were times in the middle of a game -- and it might not have just been when a guy drove in a run, but maybe it was a guy leading off an inning with a double, something like that -- where I would think maybe I should have used a different pitch selection," Billingsley said. "Then maybe you try to overthrow or try to do too much. That's the mental part of it. But the only way to get better is by doing it, by being out there on the mound. You can't simulate it in the bullpen or by throwing batting practice. You have to be out there facing hitters in a game situation.

"You can't dwell on it. Sometimes, you throw your best pitch and a guy gets a hit and drives in a run. You can't do anything about that now. You just have to bear down and go after the next guy."

Billingsley's career 119 ERA+ is the eighth best in Dodger history through age 24.  This is the point in the exercise when we all hope he's more Don Drysdale than Ismael Valdes.

Previously on True Blue LA

Contract Status

Signed a one-year deal for $3.85 million for 2010.  Billingsley is arbitration eligible through 2012.

2010 Outlook

Year Age IP BB/9 K/9 ERA FIP x-FIP tRA ERA+
2006 21 90.0 5.80 5.90 3.80 4.88 5.39 4.62 118
2007 22 147.2 3.92 8.63 3.31 4.02 4.14 4.07 134
2008 23 200.2 3.59 9.01 3.14 3.35 3.62 3.57 133
2009 24 196.1 3.94 8.21 4.03 3.82 4.04 3.92 98
2010 Projections - Age 26 Season
Bill James 185.0 3.94 8.61 3.65 3.72
CHONE 182.0 3.76 8.65 3.71 3.67
Marcel 173.0 3.75 8.53 3.69 3.78
Baseball HQ 203.0 3.68 8.38 3.64 3.72
ZiPS 199.1 3.43 8.58 3.34 3.48

Billingsley still has a lot going for him.  He's 25 years old, and has a career track record that stacks up well with the best young pitchers in the gameJustin Verlander and Felix Hernandez, both similar to Billingsley at his current service time, were able to parlay a great fourth season into huge five year contracts ($78 million for King Felix, $80 million for Verlander).  Might a similar future await Billingsley?

I vote yes:  3.31 ERA, 1.256 WHIP, 211 innings

What is your guess for Chad Billingsley's 2010?  Give us a prediction of ERA, WHIP, and innings pitched.

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