Mike Leake
2012 Pitching Line: 179 IP, 116 K, 41 BB, 4.58 ERA
2013 Projection: 190 IP, 130 K, 40 BB, 4.20 ERA

2012 WAR: 1.5
2013 Best Guess: 2.0
Projected Difference: +0.5
2013 Ceiling: 4.0
2013 Floor: 1.0

Aroldis Chapman
2012 Pitching Line: 71.2 IP, 122 K, 23 BB, 1.51 ERA
2013 Projection: 65 IP, 110 K, 20 BB, 2.10 ERA

2012 WAR: 3.3
2013 Best Guess: 2.5
Projected Difference: -0.8
2013 Ceiling: 4.0
2013 Floor: 1.0

Goodness knows enough words have been spilled over Aroldis Chapman lately, so let’s start with Mike Leake and give him a fair sounding.

Leake, I feel, has been a bit maligned recently. So, here’s a reminder: he is 25 this year. He has three full years in the big leagues already. And he’s been pretty solid. Not bad for a fifth starter.

How good you think Mike Leake is going to be depends on a couple of factors. The biggest is his HR rate. He’s always been well above league average in the percentage of his flyballs that turn into homers. Generally, though, that number tends to fluctuate. Certainly, his 16.7 percent rate from last year almost has to come down a little. If it does, we’re likely to see a lot more of 2011 Leake than 2012. Something I think we’d all be happy with.

And then there’s his age. He is still really young. I certainly forget that at times, and I bet some of you do to. For that reason, I’m erring optimistic with Leake. It’s certainly possible his numbers will be worse than I’m projecting, but you know, I think he has a lot more upside than downside at this point. In an ideal scenario, he starts morphing into Bronson Arroyo this year, which is cool with me.

Chapman, I don’t know. Relievers are hard to project and I’m giving him his own projection at this point only because he has such a high profile. His value stands to suffer because he’ll only be used in the closer’s role this year. Early last year, when Dusty Baker deployed him more creatively, he was much more valuable. I actually feel like that innings projections might be a little bullish. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stay under 60 innings this year. In either case, he’s fun to have on the team, regardless of what he’s doing.