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Ben Sheets 2009

Ben Sheets is not the same pitcher he was a few years ago. He's always been a high risk player because of his frequent injuries. However, through 2006, he compensated for that risk with exceptional performance, typically strikout out more than 10.0 batters per nine innings, while walking 1.5 or less. In 2007 and 2008, he only struck out 7.5 and 7.0 batters per nine innings, and his control wasn't quite as good either (2.4 and 2.2). Those numbers are still pretty good, but not special at all. His exact value in 2009 is going to depend in large part on what team he ends up with, but between declining performance and injury risk, Sheets is unlikely to justify his price, since his decline has largely been masked by relatively consistent earned run averages over the years. Don't be fooled by the fact that his ERA doesn't show an obvious trend. Especially if he ends up in the American League, Sheets it not a good pick for 2009.