FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets (Pitchers): 8/22/2014
This week’s edition of FAAB Fantasy Baseball Targets profiles a trio of starters in their mid-twenties finally receiving an extended rotation look, a future closer, and one of the minor’s top pitching prospects. Bid recommendations are based on a $100 FAAB budget. If former FAAB top prospects turned post hype sleepers Neil Ramirez, Jake McGee and Jake Arrieta are any indication, one former top-100 prospect on this week’s list is primed for a big breakout.
Matt Shoemaker, RHP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
$15 (35% Yahoo / 33% ESPN / 59% CBS)
Matt Shoemaker has been a pleasant surprise for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. And they’re going to need him to continue his solid 2014 after losing Garrett Richards for the season to a knee injury. Shoemaker doesn’t possess overpowering stuff, but PITCHf/x shows a deep arsenal of five pitches that keep hitters off balance. The right-hander also benefits from pitching in the seventh lowest-scoring stadium in the majors. His ERA is nearly three points higher on the road than at home. Shoemaker’s tremendous 19% K-BB% is actually higher than Garrett Richards (16.7%). The Angels’ right-hander makes a solid investment and should be used when he starts in Anaheim or the other pitcher-friendly ballparks in the AL West.
Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Cleveland Indians
$12 (13% Yahoo / 4% ESPN / 32% CBS)
Carlos Carrasco is in the midst of his most successful season for the Cleveland Indians. The 27-year old has career bests in K/9 (8.3), BB/9 (2.1), and FIP (2.95) along with a 114 ERA+ that’s 14% above league average. Carrasco’s average fastball velocity has improved every season, currently sitting at 96.08 mph in 2014. With an increasing strikeout rate, decreasing walk rate, and a 55% ground ball rate, Mike Newman says Carrasco is the latest example of a starter whose peripherals point to a breakout performance. Owners in dynasty and keeper leagues should acquire the FAAB fantasy baseball target while he’s still flying under the radar.
Ken Giles, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
$10 (6% Yahoo / 7% ESPN / 14% CBS)
Ken Giles is the closer of the future for the Philadelphia Phillies and he should see a precipitous rise in value once the Phils trade Jonathan Papelbon this winter. Giles has proven he has the stuff to dominate the late innings. Since being called up in June his 97.72 mph average fastball velocity is the sixth best among relievers in the majors. A 13.5 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 1.19 FIP, and a 304 ERA+ (204% above league average!) make him more valuable over the last 30 days than Sean Doolitte, Koji Uehara, and Glen Perkins. Giles makes a great pick up for redraft owners looking to protect their ratios as the season winds down and for dynasty owners forecasting closers for next year.
Shane Greene, RHP, New York Yankees
$7 (12% Yahoo / 7% ESPN / 40% CBS)
The New York Yankees are in the hunt for a wildcard despite losing four-fifths of their opening day rotation. Shane Greene has come out of obscurity to provide dependability to a patchwork rotation. Greene uses a sinker/cutter combination to limit opposing batters to a .235 average and a miniscule 1.6% home run rate. A 3.41 FIP isn’t totally out of line with his 2.91 ERA and his ERA+ is 34% above league average. His sinker-heavy repertoire results in a ground ball percentage of 54%. Although he pitches in a homer-friendly stadium, he hasn’t displayed significant home/road splits. Solid K/9 (8.1) and BB/9 (2.9) numbers indicate the Yankee right-hander is a worthwhile FAAB fantasy baseball investment as a back of the rotation workhorse.
Hunter Harvey, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
$4 (<1% Yahoo / NA ESPN / 6% CBS)
Hunter Harvey [FULL SCOUTING REPORT] was the 2013 first round pick of the Baltimore Orioles. His immediate success that year was enough for many publications to rank him as the third best Orioles prospect. He continued his assault on Single-A to open 2014 and his prospect stock exploded. An elbow injury that shouldn’t require surgery ended his season early, but Mike Newman cautions owners about using the injury as a buy-low window. While scouting Harvey’s final start of 2014, Newman noted a future plus fastball and plus-plus curve. But the 19-year old still has work to do. His fastball lacks movement and mechanical tweaks are necessary to allow Harvey to maintain velocity deep into starts. While dynasty owners shouldn’t trade the farm to acquire the FAAB fantasy baseball dynasty target, his number two ceiling is enough to make a high-risk, high-reward FAAB investment.
FAAB Fantasy Baseball: Pedigree Isn’t Everything
The year of Tommy John has reinforced that no starter is a sure thing. And fantasy draft afterthoughts like Carrasco, Greene, and Shoemaker are three examples of how savvy fantasy owners win leagues by waiting to draft pitching.
22 Aug 2014 / Brian Molter /
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