One of the best ways to have a successful Fantasy Baseball draft is to capitalize on players coming off disappointing seasons with talent. People have a tendency to stare at last season’s stats and when they don’t look, they pass.
One player that fits into this category is Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea. The A’s left-hander had a promising rookie season in 2016 and didn’t build on it in 2017. There were some high peaks for Manaea, but some low points, too.
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It will make Manaea a bargain considering his ADP of 241.2 on fantrax.com. Manaea went 12-10 in 29 starts last season. He pitched 158.2 innings with a 4.37 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 20.2 percent strikeout rate and an eight percent walk rate.
In 2016, Manaea pitched 144.2 innings with a 3.86 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 20.9 percent strikeout rate and 6.2 percent walk rate. A lot of the underlying number were similar to his rookie season. The biggest concern was the drop in velocity. Manaea went from an average fastball of 92.3 miles per hour to 91.6.
Manaea attributed the velocity dip to weight loss. Manaea was diagnosed with attention-deficit-disorder (ADD) following the 2016 season and was placed on medication. He lost 25 pounds in a few months. He said he noticed it in the middle of the season and he had a difficult time recovering. He said he couldn’t eat.
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Manaea weighed 255 pounds in 2016 and was at 230 pounds last season. He plans to be around 240-245 pounds this season. Manaea looked good at times last season, especially when he was using his slider.
Manaea also missed time last season with a shoulder strain. He spent time on the disabled list with the injury after lasting two innings in a start on April 26 and returned May 15th. It appeared the rest helped and Manaea went on a good run spanning 11 starts, with a 7-2 record and a 2.92 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 71 innings.
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Manaea had a few awful outings late in the season that inflated the numbers. He allowed seven runs in 3.2 innings and six runs while getting one out. Another area in which Manaea needs to get better is against right-handers. He allowed right-handers to hit .279 with 16 home runs in 491 at-bats.
Manaea had a good first half with a 3.76 ERA, 8.97 K/9 and a .228 average against. If the weight loss was truly a big part of his second-half issues, Manaea will be a value. He has a good minor league track record and is worth targeting at his ADP.