The other day, I picked up one of my fantasy baseball magazines from 2012. I was going through it and so many things stuck out to me, both for better and worse, of how our perceptions of players have changed. The biggest, undoubtedly to me, was how much differently we are now viewing Roy Halladay. In the magazine, he was being ranked as the preseason number one pitcher. This was a year ago–not the glory days of long ago, but last year.
Halladay’s stock has fallen so far that he may be the most forgotten man in Major League Baseball. The Philadelphia Phillies ace is coming off an injury plagued year complete with troubling shoulder issues. While these issues are worrisome, I think that it is worth noting that his issues were not long term injuries. They were something that set him back and he is now over them. In theory, he is back to 100 percent now. Whether that is true remains to be seen, but according to the doctors, we should be able to proceed as usual.
While the injury risk may scare some people off, and the 2,600 career innings he’s logged may scare off the rest, I am willing to give him another chance. Yes, he is old and now damaged goods, but he truly has stayed relatively injury free over the course of his career. I am reluctant to throw the injury-prone tag on him just yet.
Instead, I choose to overlook 2012 and focus on what made him so dominating before. Could this come back to bite me? Yes, obviously, but I have a good feeling about his health. While Doc may have never been the sexiest name out there, it’s hard to make a case for anyone else as the best pitcher over the last ten years.
Halladay’s detractors will remind me that he is 35 and is approaching the end of the line, but since he turned 30 in 2007, he has seemed to get better with age. Including the 2007 season to present, he has won 104 games and lost only 52. Combine that with 1,124 strikeouts and 42 complete games and it’s hard to say he’s losing his touch. He’s averaging a 17-7 record, 187 strikeouts and seven complete games per season since turning 30.
While drafting Halladay is not for everyone, I can’t help but think he is going to blow his current draft position out of the water. He was great, is still great and will continue to be great for at least a couple more years. I think he is easily a top-10 pitcher and wouldn’t be surprised if he challenged Justin Verlander for that top spot in 2013.
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