Originally Posted by Homer Bailey
My point was that if this thread was started in late July, not nearly as many people would have said they'd rather hold on to Leake. Coming off several bad starts in a row can cause people to be quite reactionary, IMO.
Over the past three years, they've basically been the same pitcher. Two very different styles obviously, but hovering around low 4's and high 3's in terms of FIP and xFIP, and a difference of 0.3 WAR between the two. Who projects out better? I think the ceiling on Leake is pretty low. He probably is what he is.
Homer may very well be who he is, but however remote the chance is for him to take the next step, I think he has a much better chance than Leake does.
I think Homer has done some good things this year and look forward to another hot streak from him. This has been Homer's best year IMO and overall I think he has contributed a bit more than Leake. I wouldn't mind if the Reds keep Bailey next year.
But if forced to take one of them for the future, I'd take Leake. I think Homer's high ceiling is questionable at this point.
Homer as a power pitcher and bat misser isn't working out. His K rate is 6.80 per nine innings and has gotten lower over the last three years. Fangraphs rates his fastball below average. I don't see the big upside at this point.
Leake never was held out as a power pitcher, is a bit younger and less experienced, but is very competitive and shows a feel for pitching. Good ground ball rate of 47.7%. Many of his numbers are similar to or slightly better than Homer's this year (FIP, xFIP, WAR for example).
Given his modest K rate and fastball rating, I don't see Bailey's path to sustaining excellence. I can see Leake's as a ground ball guy, although it's certainly not a lock.