FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets (Pitchers): 6/27/2014
Three pitchers profiled in last week’s FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets continued to dominate this week. Jake Arrieta, Jake Odorizzi, and Danny Duffy combined to surrender three earned runs in 20 innings. This week’s FAAB targets include a top prospect closing in on a return to game action, a potential future closer, and three pitchers thrust into prominent roles due to injury. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget.
Alex Wood, LHP, Atlanta Braves
$20 (68% Yahoo / 54% ESPN / 87% CBS)
Alex Wood is one of the most polarizing pitchers in fantasy baseball. As experts debate whether his mechanics will result in injury or a trip to the pen, Wood takes the ball every fifth day and excels. Back in the rotation after Gavin Floyd fractured his elbow, Wood is dealing again. On Wednesday he pitched seven scoreless innings in a victory over the Houston Astros. The left-hander’s career numbers (3.10 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 3.35 K/BB, and 85 ERA-) reveal an underrated weapon. Mike Newman tabbed Wood as one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in 2012 due to his above-average velocity and his secondaries that play up due to the starter’s funky delivery. Savvy owners will bid aggressively to pick up this FAAB fantasy baseball target in any league he was short-sightedly dropped.
Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Miami Marlins
$15 (38% Yahoo / 46% ESPN / 78% CBS)
The loss of Jose Fernandez to Tommy John surgery was supposed to be a crippling blow to the surprisingly competitive Miami Marlins. But Henderson Alvarez has jumped into Fernandez’s role as staff stopper since the young ace was placed on the DL in early May. In eight starts since, Alvarez has given up more than two earned runs only once. On the year, Alvarez’s ERA- is 37% lower than the major league average according to FanGraphs and his sinker-heavy repertoire is inducing ground balls 56-percent of the time. The right-hander’s numbers at home are even more eye-popping, with a 1.44 ERA, 1.012 WHIP, .587 OPS against, and THREE shutouts. The only number left wanting is his 5.59 K/9, making him less valuable to fantasy managers in leagues with innings limits. Even so, owners should grab Alvarez with a double-digit bid and deploy him at Marlins Park for ace-like numbers.
Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
$3 (5% Yahoo / <1% ESPN / 31% CBS)
Dylan Bundy [FULL SCOUTING REPORT] was the best pitching prospect in baseball before a torn elbow ligament sidelined him in 2013. But back on the mound Bundy is again exhibiting ace-like qualities. In his most recent rehab start the right-hander showed promising velocity, but was more pleased with his fastball command. A year out of the spotlight can cause the prospect shine to fade, but ROTOscouting’s Jeff Reese aptly summarizes Bundy’s ceiling:
The entire package is impressive: the demanding long toss program; his focused mound demeanor (Mike Newman labeled him a human pitching machine and I cannot think of him in any other way now); the incredibly smooth, low effort delivery; the dominant fastball and flashes of a monster curve ball; the nasty mid-90s cutter that was shelved but still were thrown by accident a couple times; advanced command and pitchability for his age. It all works out to the best pitching prospect in baseball.
ROTOscouting’s Mike Newman saw Bundy in person in 2012 and called the start the most dominant pitching performance he had ever seen firsthand. The Baltimore Orioles will be cautious with their top prospect’s golden arm but it’s possible he’ll see time in the bullpen in the late summer. He’s worth a stash in all leagues, but dynasty and keeper league owners should look to buy the future FAAB fantasy baseball target wherever possible.
Jesse Hahn, RHP, San Diego Padres
$3 (9% Yahoo / 9% ESPN / 44% CBS)
In a dismal season, Jesse Hahn has been one of the few bright spots for the San Diego Padres. Hahn surrendered four earned runs in less than four innings in his major league debut. But the right-hander has quality starts in his last three turns, striking out 22 in 19 innings while giving up only two earned runs. Hahn’s arsenal includes a four-seam fastball, curveball, and a sinker he’s using to generate ground balls at a 53% clip. Hahn’s curveball has stymied hitters, holding them to a 0.033 batting average. Pitchers who call run-suppressing PETCO Park home deserve special consideration, but those that do so while keeping the ball on the ground and generating whiffs can stabilize a fantasy staff for a bargain-basement price.
Neil Ramirez, RHP, Chicago Cubs
$2 (21% Yahoo / 24% ESPN / 16% CBS)
The Chicago Cubs have been searching for a closer all year. Five relievers have saved games this season for the Cubbies but the Cubs’ best reliever has been Neil Ramirez. And as ROTOscouting’s Joe Pytleski speculated last month, Ramirez could be the Cubs long-term answer in the ninth. The right-hander has a 1.35 ERA, .085 WHIP, and .138 BAA, and his 13.05 K/9 is 10th in the majors among relievers who’ve pitched at least 20 innings. The former Rangers prospect no longer relies on the 12-5 curveball Mike Newman saw when he scouted Ramirez in 2009 [FULL SCOUTING REPORT]. Instead, he backs up his mid-90s fastball with a biting, mid-90s slider against which batters are only hitting .046. Make a minimal investment now in Neil Ramirez and secure the potential Cubs closer of the future.
FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets at the All-Star Break
The All-Star break provides fantasy owners a convenient time to analyze their FAAB budget and placement in the standings. Owners flush with cash need to use it to their advantage by spending big on FAAB fantasy baseball targets like Wood or the next top prospect. Those who are running low need to take chances on inexpensive options like Hahn and Alvarez that present room for profit if leveraged correctly.
27 Jun 2014 / Brian Molter /
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?