It's week two along our journey to 44 player reviews covering each and every player that graced NatsTown's presence this past season. We will continue to tweak the process based on your comments, so keep those going.
Collin Balester "Bally*" - Age 25 - @ballystar40
How he became a Nat: Drafted by the Expos in the 4th round of the 2004 MLB First Year Player draft.
The Raw Numbers:ERA - 4.54
WHIP - 1.48
WAR - -0.3
K/9 - 8.58
Key Stats: HR/9 - 1.77. This stat says that Collin gave up 1.77 home runs per every nine innings pitched - and it doesn't paint a pretty picture of Balester's season. Of all MLB relievers with at least 30 IP Balester places 8th worst in HR/9. To have success as a Major League reliever Bally* needs to give up far less long balls.
Best Game: This was a pretty tough task because he had some valuable games where he affected the game positively but wasn't outstanding and then he had several games where he didn't affect the outcome but pitched extremely well. That being said, I think that his best game was September 10th vs Houston where he pitched 2 innings of 0 hit ball and managed to strike out 2 hitters with 0 walks.
Worst Game: Definitely June 28th vs the LA Angels of Anaheim. The Nationals busted out with a 4-run 6th inning to take a 5-3 lead, Marquis gave up a lead-off homer to start the 6th making it a 5-4 game and in came Balester. Things went downhill fast. Single, Strikeout, Home Run, E5, Wild Pitch, E1, and a Walk. His day was over and his line was 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 E, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 WP, 1 HR - Ouch.
Capball Grade: D+. Bally* has only been a reliever for a year and a half, but his growing pains should be long gone - especially because it looked like he had overcome those issues back in 2010. Granted, the trek to and from Syracuse will definitely take its toll on a player (he made the trip 3 different times in 2011), Bally had a rough year by any standard.
2012 Nats Status: Being under club control pre-arbitration (READ: salary about $400-450k) will continue to affect how the club treats Collin in 2012, but, by my amateur count, he is now out of Options; meaning he needs to stay where he is assigned or the Nats risk losing him via waivers. Spring Training will be a seminal moment in Collin's Nat career, but I see him staying with the big club due to the relatively low pricetag. Hey, it would be an honor to have the Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year on our team - go vote for Collin HERE.