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Coors Field Park Factors: Hits 118; Runs 131; HRs 142  

(100 is average, under 100 is favorable to pitchers)

Jason Jennings

Values ~  2000:  NA     2001:  -$1     2002:  -$2     2003:  -$14

Jennings ratios were worse in his sophomore season after winning the 2002 Rookie of the Year award despite mediocre ratios. Last year his hit rate increased 8% and his walk rate went up 28%. He's a sinker/slider pitcher, which helps him keep the ball on the ground in Coors however, he needs to have better control in order to limit the damage. Some improvement should be expected but I doubt he'll deliver a positive value to owners.

Joe Kennedy

Values ~  2000:  NA     2001:  $3     2002:  $1     2003:  -$12

Kennedy throws a low 90s fastball, curve and slider and has a reputation for being a very smart pitcher who knows how to set up batters. I watched a start shortly after his call-up and while he wasn't overpowering, he hit his spots to get ahead of hitters and make them hit his pitch. I was impressed and hoped to see him develop a decent career, which he appeared to be making progress toward before last season. In Kennedy's defense, he was plagued with a sore shoulder early in the season that eventually landed him on the DL, as well as a back problem in the second half. Kennedy has been a HR-prone flyball pitcher even when he was having moderate success; I don't think the move to Coors is going to help.

Scott Elarton

Values ~  2000:  $4     2001:  -$26     2002:  NA     2003:  -$7

Elarton missed the 2002 season following additional shoulder surgery and it's anyone's guess whether he will ever pitch effectively again. Before that, Elarton, who is 6'7", 240 threw three above-average major-league pitches (fastball, curve and change). He's a flyball pitcher, and his HR rate has been stratospheric since returning from rotator cuff surgery. He's been added to the 40-man roster this spring and could be in the opening rotation.

Shawn Estes

Values ~  2000:  $0     2001:  -$1     2002:  -$18     2003:  -$20

Estes has failed to duplicate his impressive '97 season. When I last saw him pitch, he had good stuff and would dominate hitters, then would suddenly lose control and just as suddenly get it back for a brief spell. It suggests a guy whose mechanics have to be in perfect synch to be effective. He's also reputed to lack confidence on the mound. There's no reason to gamble on him at this point, even if he weren't in Coors.

Dennis Stark

Values ~  2000:  NA     2001:  -$2     2002:  $4     2003:  -$10

Stark missed the first half of the season due to a strained shoulder, was ineffective after he returned and lost his spot in the rotation in September. I haven't seen him pitch, but reports are that he throws a sinking fastball and slider and has an improving changeup. He's posted impressive ratios in the minors, but has been plagued with injuries. Stark's hit rate in the minors was .82 and looked promising (.84) in 2002 with the Rockies. At this point he'll need to show he's healthy.

Denny Neagle

Values ~  2000:  $7     2001:  -$13     2002:  -$11     2003:  -$6

Neagle, a flyball pitcher with a history of high HR rates, has struggled with the Rockies as anticipated. When I last watched Neagle last he threw mostly a high 80s fastball and a changeup. He occasionally will come with either a curve or slider. Neagle had Tommy John surgery last year; he possibly could return in a relief role in the second half of the season. No interest.

Shawn Chacon

Values ~  2000:  NA     2001:  -$15     2002:  -$14     2003:  $2

Injury-prone right-hander whose very solid 2003 was marred by elbow problems that caused him to be shut down in August. He has a fastball, slider and change. His fastball is in the low 90s and his breaking pitches have good movement. His delivery is also a little unusual in that after lifting his leg to begin his delivery he lowers it most of the way before beginning his stride. In a move reminiscent of the Braves handling of Smoltz, Colorado has named Chacon their 2004 closer, which will put him on draft lists.

Brian Fuentes

Values ~  2000:  NA     2001:  $2     2002:  $0     2003:  $8

Fuentes is a lefty with a big curveball, good changeup and impressive strikeout and hit rates through the minors. He did excellent work last year for the Rockies primarily setting up with an occasional save. He has struck out better than a batter an inning each of the past 7 years. Worth a flier.

Steve Reed

Values ~  2000:  $2     2001:  $4     2002:  $10     2003:  $5

Reed is a sidearmer with a 90 mph fastball and a slider. He keeps the ball down and is extremely tough to hit, especially by RH batters. If he gets the ball up, he can be taken deep; he usually has a high HR rate. Reed's K rate dropped 17% last year following a 5% drop the year before; not a good sign for a 38-year-old pitcher.

Javier Lopez

Values ~  2000:  NA     2001:  NA     2002:  NA     2003:  $4

Lopez was a Rule V draft pick who pitched in short relief situations last year with mixed success. No appreciable value.

Jeff Fassero

Values ~  2000:  $0     2001:  $11     2002:  -$3     2003:  -$9

Although Fassero groused at being sent to the pen while he was in Boston, he should thank Kerrigan for the move and for changing his mechanics to make him more compact and get him to the plate quicker. He changes speeds on his fastball, which tops out at 92 and also throws a splitter and an occasional breaking pitch. Fassero, who had been in the running for a starter role apparently will be in the pen.

Vladimir Nunez

Values ~  2000:  -$13     2001:  $9     2002:  $15     2003:  -$7

Nunez had some brief success closing for Florida but his effectiveness departed as quickly as it came apparently due to mechanics which has long been a struggle for him to maintain. He primarily relies upon a mid-90s sinking fastball and slider. No interest unless Chacon's elbow starts barking.

Turk Wendell

Values ~  2000:  $10     2001:  -$2     2002:  NA     2003:  $4

Wendell looked like burnt toast in 2001 after the trade from New York and missed 2002 following elbow surgery, but he turned in a good first half last year before flagging in the second half. He has a fastball in the upper 80's and is rumored to have a change-up, which I haven't seen him throw. It hardly matters. Wendell's bread and butter is a slider with nasty movement that he throws most of the time however, he had little break on it in the second half of 2001. Although he's tempered a lot of the eccentric behavior that made him good copy in the minors, he still brings a great deal of emotion to the mound. Probably far enough past his prime to forget about.

Adam Bernero

Values ~  2000:  $2     2001:  $0     2002:  -$8     2003:  -$10

When Bernero was traded last year from Detroit, he went from starting in a very pitching-friendly park to relieving in the most extreme hitter's park in the majors.  He throws a sinking fastball, a good splitter, a good changeup and an occasional slider. While his ratios aren't extremely bad; he hasn't pitched well enough to warrant much interest yet. Bernero has been hampered by a tight shoulder this spring and will open the season on the DL, perhaps the 60-day.

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