Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have six straight seasons with postseason appearances with the last two resulting in losses in the World Series. They’ve made the playoffs in ten of their last 15 years. Their last World Series title came in 1988 when Magic Johnson was still a star of the Lakers. LA has six World Series titles and 34 postseason appearances in the team’s 135-history.
In the offseason, Los Angeles signed OF A.J. Pollock and RP Joe Kelly. They lost C Yasmani Grandal, 2B Brian Dozier, SS Manny Machado, and RP Ryan Madson to free agency. The Dodgers acquired C Russell Martin from the Blue Jays for a couple of minors league players in a salary dump deal. The most significant change over the winter was sending OF Matt Kemp, OF Yasiel Puig, and SP Alex Wood to the Reds for SP Homer Bailey and two prospects.
LA has been one of the top teams in baseball in ERA (3.38 – 2nd) in each of the last five seasons. Last year they scored the most runs (804 – 5th) since 2006. The Dodgers finished with the second most HRs (235) in baseball while ranking 14th in batting average (.250).
The starting rotation now has two aces with the emergence of Walker Buehler. Fantasy owners head into 2019 suspicious of the value Clayton Kershaw’s arm after three injury seasons with fewer than 180 innings pitched. Even with a great career resume, Kershaw will be drafted behind Buehler in many drafts. The Dodgers have experience and depth in the starting rotation which sets up another deep playoff run if their top two arms perform up to expectations.
By adding Joe Kelly, Los Angeles hopes to have one more strong inning before getting to the elite Kenley Jansen. After the top two options, the Dodgers can’t match some of the top bullpens in the majors even with a couple of nice arms.
The 2019 offense for LA doesn’t have the same sexy feel. Realistically, the Dodgers hit on two discarded bats (Max Muncy and Chris Taylor) over the last couple of seasons to help them fill some of their voids in offensive production. This year both players will have starting jobs forcing them to produce impactful stats if Los Angeles is going to have a competitive offense. A.J. Pollock should be a nice add at the top of the lineup, but the ultimate upside of this offense hinges on the success of Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger.
Anything less than a playoff appearance would be a poor season for the Dodgers. I don’t see enough on the offensive side of the ball to see another trip to the World Series, but LA could always add more help in-season.
Pollock has had a starting opportunity in the majors over the last six seasons, but he’s only stayed healthy for a full year in 2015 (.315 with 20 HRs, 76 RBI, and 39 SBs). In 2018, he missed 49 games with a broken left thumb. His bat started fast over the first six weeks (.293 with 11 HRs, 33 RBI, and nine SBs over 150 at-bats) giving Fantasy owners they feeling that A.J. was going to offer an impact season. After the All-Star break, Pollock only hit .233 with nine HRs, 27 RBI, and four SBs over 227 at-bats. He struggled with LH pitching in batting average (.221), but A.J. did have nine HRs and 26 RBI over 140 at-bats. He finished with a career-high HR/FB rate (17.1 – 11.9 in his career). Pollock did have regression in his approach leading to the highest K rate (21.9) of his career and a slight downtick in his walk rate (6.7). Not a great leadoff hitter over the last couple of seasons, but he does enough of everything to keep him in the lineup on most nights. With a rising average hit rate (1.887) and a rebound to his 2014 (.365) and 2015 (.369) levels in his CTBA, A.J. has the talent to deliver a .290+ season with 90+ runs, 20+ HRs, 70+ RBI, and 20+ SBs with more upside if he happened to stay healthy all year.
The 2018 season for Seager only lasted 26 games due to him blowing out his right elbow at the end of April that ended up needing TJ surgery. Corey also had surgery in August to repair a labrum issue in his left hip. LA expects him to be ready for opening day. Rather than rehash his minimal stats last year, here’s a look at is 2018 profile: For the second straight season (2017), Seager battled an injury (oblique) in March to push many Fantasy owners away from him on draft day. Corey was able to make the opening day lineup leading to a beautiful April (.319 with 16 runs, five HRs, and 17 RBI). After a slow May (.255 with two HRs and seven RBI), Seager played well over the next three months (.327 with 38 runs, 12 HRs, and 41 RBI over 269 at-bats). He had a tough September (.210 with three HRs and 12 RBI) due to right elbow issue and another back injury. His walk rate (10.9) showed growth while taking a few more strikeouts (21.4 percent). Corey was much better against lefties (.325 with eight HRs and 29 RBI over 169 at-bats) while holding his own vs. RH pitching (.281 with 14 HRs and 48 RBI over 370 at-bats). Seager did add some loft to his swing (fly ball rate – 33.1 – 29.3 in 2016) while drifting backward in his HR/FB rate (16.2). His CTBA (.390) remains in an attractive area with a slight fade in his AVH (1.623). Corey has the makings of a .300+ hitter with a 100/30/100 skill set with a small jump in his power and a move to third in the batting order. I stand by my prediction for last season for 2019 as long as Cory doesn’t have any negative news in spring training. I expect his early ADP (85) once he starts playing games in May. Value player this year.
Turner is one of those players that gets overlooked by Fantasy owners due to his lack of a winning resume. He only has one season with over 460 at-bats (2016 – .275/27/90/4 over 556 at-bats) while receiving his best opportunity for playing time over the last four years for the Dodgers. Last year he missed 59 games with two stints on the DL (left wrist and hamstring). Over his first 166 at-bats, Justin only hit .259 with 21 runs, five HRs, and 20 RBI) before finding his rhythm over the last two months (.357 with 41 runs, nine HRs, and 32 RBI over 199 at-bats). He played well vs. both RH (.301 BAA) and LH (.336) pitchers. Turner had the best approach of his career over the last two seasons (K rate – 11.4 and walk rate – 10.9). His HR/FB rate (10.1) remains short while adding more loft to his swing of the last two years (fly ball rate – 47.8 and 44.4). I thought Justin would be more of a value on draft day, but his ADP came in at 107, which puts him in a tricky area in 2019. Turner should hit over .300 with a chance at career highs in runs and RBI if he plays 150+ games. His average hit rate (1.658) is high enough to deliver 20+ HRs. I like him and his direction, but I don’t like his price point or career playing time resume.
Last year I chased Bellinger in multiple drafts, but he ended up leaving an empty feeling on my Fantasy team. Just by watching how A managed their bats last year, Cody had that avoid value for me before doing any research even with a fading ADP (47). He finished the year with regression in runs (84), HRs (25), RBI (76), RBI rate (13), and CTBA (.357). His at-bats (557) were favorable along with some growth in his approach (K rate – 23.9 and walk rate – 10.9). Bellinger had risk vs. lefties (.226 with six HRs and 25 RBI over 186 at-bats), which wasn’t the case in 2017 (.271 with 12 HRs and 42 RBI over 155 at-bats). Cody hit better after the All-Star break (.285 BAA), but his power (eight HRs and 32 RBI over 214 at-bats) came in much lower than his previous resume. Over the last four months of the season, the Dodgers did sit him down on some days against tough lefties. His HR/FB rate (15.2) was well below his rookie season (25.2) while also losing his fly ball swing (47.1 percent in 2017 and 40.2 in 2018). Over five seasons in the minors, Bellinger hit .271 with 255 runs, 66 HRs, 257 RBI, and 36 SBs over 1,335 at-bats. I love this upside of his bat in power with his speed being a nice bonus. Next step: .270 with 90+ runs, 40+ HRs, 100+ RBI, and 15+ SBs. You can bet you ass I’m doubling down on him this year.
After flashing upside in between High A and AA in 2013 (.273 with 25 HRs and 100 RBI over 523 at-bats), Muncy struggled to find meaningful playing time in the majors until 2018. Over seven seasons in the minors, he hit .276 with 62 HRs, 295 RBI, and 19 SBs over 1,974 at-bats. Max showed the ability to take a walk (14.3) with a favorable K rate (18.2) in the minors. Last year Muncy played well in his first nine games at AAA (.313 with two HRs and four RBI over 32 at-bats) granting him a ticket to the majors. LA gave him semi-starting at-bats against righties over his first month in the majors (.232 with three HRs and eight RBI over 56 at-bats). He hit his way into starting at-bats over the last two weeks in May (.262 with four HRs and 11 RBI over 42 at-bats) before taking off over the next six weeks (.301 with 15 HRs and 22 RBI over 123 at-bats). His value did fade some after the All-Star break (.253 with 13 HRs and 38 RBI over 202 at-bats) even with a hot September (.294 with five HRs and 20 RBI over 68 at-bats). LA gave him only 126 at-bats over the last two months of the season. Muncy did enough to get at-bats against lefties (.255 with eight HRs and 16 RBI over 102 at-bats). In the end, his average hit rate (2.212) was well above his career resume while delivering a second straight year with a high CTBA (.394). His HR/FB rate (29.4) was well above his second-best season in the minors (13.8). I smell a trap, and many Fantasy owners will draft him much too high (ADP – 109) based on his short resume and expected platoon role. His 2018 stats projected over 550 at-bats would be massive, but LA will find a way to put him on the bench on many nights vs. LH pitching. Max has a huge walk rate (16), but he needs to clean up his K rate (27.2) in the majors to have follow through. Possible .270 hitter with 80 runs, 25 HRs, and 80 RBI with 450+ at-bats.
Taylor appeared to be on the fast track to the majors after an excellent season at High A and AA in 2013 (.314 with 108 runs, eight HRs, 60 RBI, and 3B SBs over 525 at-bats). He showed a top of the order walk rate (13.6) and reasonable K rate (18.9). A high K rate (26.7) in the majors led to him spending most of 2014, 2015, and 2016 seasons at AAA where he hit .313 with 175 runs, 13 HRs, 111 RBI, and 48 SBs over 992 at-bats. When the Dodgers called him up in April in 2017, most Fantasy owners dismissed him as a long-term option in their starting lineup. Last year Chris led the NL in strikeouts (178), which led to the wrong move in his K rate (29.5). He did take a few more walks (9.1 percent). Taylor didn’t have one impact month in 2018. He had four HRs or fewer in each month with a spike in RBIs in July (.267 with three HRs and 20 RBI over 105 at-bats). His fade led to him only seeing 58 at-bats in September. Chris struggled in batting average (.232) against LH pitching, but he did have seven HRs and 18 RBI over 185 at-bats. His HR/FB rate (12.1) was a step back from 2017 (15.8) while losing value in speed. I don’t believe Taylor is a better player than Kiki Hernandez, which points to job loss risk if he doesn’t clean up his K issue. At the very least. Chris will be a platoon option at second base. His improving average hit rate (1.750) does give him 25 HR upside if given 500+ at-bats. Only a bench option for me while being drafted as a starter in the high-stakes market (ADP – 214).
For the second straight year, Pederson set a career-best in his K rate (19.2). He did see his walk rate (9.0) regress for the four consecutive seasons. His average hit rate (2.102) continues to be massive with 40 HRs upside if given 550 at-bats. The Dodgers will not give him starting at-bats vs. LH pitching (.170 with one HR and four RBI in 2018 and .181 with nine HRs and 32 RBI over 287 at-bats in his career), which makes him a tough player to own in any Fantasy league. Over the last four months of the season, Joc had 24 HRs and only 38 RBI over 265 at-bats. His HR/FB rate (18.4) came in below his career average (19.2) while offering a fly ball swing path (43.6). I like his bat, and his age is favorable to have a breakout season, but I can’t draft him again unless he gets traded. Massive power while lacking opportunity making him only a bench player in most Fantasy formats. I’ll throw this hat in the ring; Pederson has the game to be the 2019 version of Chris Taylor (2017) or Max Muncy (2018) for the Dodgers.
The Blue Jays traded Martin’s $20 million contract in January to the Dodgers. His bat was dead in the water over the last two seasons (.208 with 23 HRs and 60 RBI over 596 at-bats) while also missing many games due to injuries. Even with his fade, Russell still takes plenty of walks (15-9 percent in 2018 – 1.9 in his career) with some fade in his K rate (23.3). Out of the gate in 2018, the Blue Jays never let him play more than three games in a row until late May. Over his first 200 at-bats, Martin only hit .170 with six HRs and 17 RBI. He started to play better midsummer over 20 games (.313 with four HRs and eight RBI over 64 at-bats), but a 2-25 slump led to Toronto benching him September in favor of Danny Jansen. This season Russell will be paid like a starter but used in a platoon role in LA with Austin Barnes. Double power with batting average risk almost a given. Only a weak C2 in deep leagues while expecting well below 350 at-bats.
Barnes looked close to the majors after his 2014 season at High A and AA (.304 with 80 runs, 13 HRs, 57 RBI, and 11 SBs over 464 at-bats) while taking more walks (69) than Ks (61). Unfortunately, the trade to LA led to him stalling at AAA in 2015 and 2016 (.304 with 15 HRs, 81 RBI, and 30 SBs over 628 at-bats) while maintaining a good approach (walk rate – 10.8 and K rate – 12.4). Over six seasons in the minors, Austin hit .299 with 46 HRs, 267 RBI, and 61 SBs in 2,201 at-bats. With the Dodgers, Barnes had an elite walk rate (14.1), but his K rate was much higher in 2018 (28.2) than 2017 (16.4). Both his CTBA (.308) and average hit rate (1.415) were much lower than his previous resume. The change in catching options in LA should lead to more chance for Barnes in 2019. His best asset should be his average while offering double-digit power and speed if given 400+ at-bats. Austin has a C2 ADP (385) this draft season, which makes him a much easier own. In my thoughts in my pre-draft plan.
Over four seasons with the Dodgers, Hernandez hit .242 with 175 runs, 49 HRs, 143 RBI, and eight SBs over 1,238 at-bats. In 2018, he had the best opportunity of his career (.256 with 21 HRs and 52 RBI over 402 at-bats). His walk rate (10.8) has been in a good area over his last three seasons while doing a nice job improving his K rate (16.9 – 20.6 in his career) last year. Enrique tends to be the top bat off the bench vs. lefties (.266 with 28 HRs and 73 RBI over 582 at-bats in his career) while showing growth against RH pitching (.252 with 12 HRs and 32 RBI over 202 at-bats). Improving player with the approach to steal the starting second base job. Possible 25+ HRs with 450+ at-bats.
Over five seasons in the minors, Verdugo hit .309 with 41 HRs, 271 RBI, and 44 SBs over 1,955 at-bats. He already has two years of experience at AAA (.321 with 16 HRs, 106 RBI, and 17 SBs over 776 at-bats). His walk rate (7.9) is about league average with a low K rate (11.4). LA gave him 100 at-bats over the last two seasons, which led to a .240 BAA with two HRs and five RBI. Verdugo should make the team out of spring training with his success determining his opportunity. For now, only a 15/15 skill set while offering strength in batting average. I have a tough time getting excited about any platoon player in LA, which puts him in the 2019 wait and see him develop category.
David Freese (CO) – Freese will be the top RH bat off the bench for Los Angeles in 2019. Over his last five seasons, David hit .267 with 58 HRs and 269 RBI over 2,029 at-bats while delivering double-digit HRs in each year. His K rate (23.0) has some weakness with a league average walk rate (8.6). Freese hit .305 in his career vs. lefties with 32 HRs and 145 RBI over 945 at-bats. His swing path still delivers too many ground balls (51.7 percent – 53.5 in his career) while offering a high HR/FB rate (20.0) if he gets the ball in the air. He should be the RH platoon option at first base while getting plenty of at-bats in a pinch-hit role.
Kershaw enters the second half of his major league career with a 153-69 record, a 2.39 ERA and, 2,275 Ks over 2096.1 innings. He’s led the NL in wins (3), ERA (5), WHIP (4), and Ks (3) multiple times in each category. Over the last three years, Clayton went 39-13 with a 2.26 ERA and 529 Ks over 485.1 innings, but he missed 26 starts leading to fewer than 180 innings in each year. His walk rate (1.6) remains elite, but his K rate (8.6) came in below his career average (9.8). Kershaw had almost the same ERA before (2.74) and after (2.73) after the All-Star break. Both RH (.223 BAA) and LH (.243 BAA) struggled to hit him. His AFB (90.9) was 1.8 mph lower than 2017 (92.7) and well below his career average (93.1). Batters had a tough time vs. his slider (.191 BAA) and (.188 BAA), but his four-seamer (.291 BAA) was weaker than his career resume (.247 BAA). Clayton missed time early in the year with a biceps issue and a back injury. This season the best pitcher in baseball over the last decade will be the 10th pitcher off the board with an ADP of 37. His lack of health and drop in velocity is the key to his questionable value going forward. I’ll take resume over one year of success by multiple arms drafted before him. With a full season of starts, a sub 2.75 ERA and 225+ Ks with 15+ wins and an edge in WHIP. Go big or go home swing.
The Dodgers selected Buehler 24th overall in the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft after having TJ surgery. In his first full season in the minors, Walker went 3-3 with a 3.35 ERA and 125 Ks over 88.2 innings while pitching at three levels. His quick success led to a call-up to the majors where Buehler battled his command (7.7 walks per nine) and home runs (1.9 per nine). In 2018, he started the year at AAA (three runs over 13 innings with 16 Ks) before his phone call to LA. Over his 24 games with the Dodgers, Walker allowed two runs or fewer in 19 games while having no disaster showings. His best value was over his last ten starts (3-1 with a 1.43 ERA and 72 Ks over 63 innings) and in the playoffs (3.80 ERA and 29 Ks over 23.2 innings). Buehler pitched well against RH (.191 BAA) and LH (.195 BAA) hitters while offering a plus fastball (96.2). Batters had a tough time vs. his four-seamer (.175 BAA), slider (.171 BAA), curveball (.190 BAA), and cutter (.224 BAA). He’s a ground ball pitcher (50.0 percent ) with strength in his walk rate (2.4) and K rate (9.9). Electric arm with impact upside. The Dodgers will try to keep his innings under 200 in 2019 (177 innings last year). Possible sub 2.50 ERA with 15+ wins and 225+ Ks.
Over the last three seasons, Hill went 35-18 with a 3.09 ERA and 445 Ks over 378.2 innings which is pretty damn good for a player out of baseball in his early 30s. His K rate (1.6) and walk rate (2.9) has been much better than his career averages (3.6 and 8.2). Even with his late career success, Rich has missed a significant portion of the last three seasons with blister issues. Hill pitched at a high level against righties (.223 BAA) and lefties (.206 BAA). He struggled in two of his first five starts, which led to a 6.20 ERA). Rich went 10-3 with a 3.09 ERA, .198 BAA, and 125 Ks over 108 innings. His AFB (89.3) doesn’t look like an edge, but batters only hit .206 vs. his four-seamer. Hill has a plus curveball (.219 BAA) while almost ditching every other pitch in most starts. His downside comes when he’s allowing home runs (1.4 per nine). For those ready to put the shovel on Clayton Kershaw due to his fading fastball, Rich is a prime example of an arm that knows how to pitch (Up in the strike zone with his fastball and at the knees with his breaking stuff. Serviceable arm, but he needs to pitch more innings to warrant his draft value (ADP – 174). Capable of the best season of his career at age 39. Double-digit wins with a 3.50 ERA and 150 Ks is a reasonable floor.
Ryu threw the ball well over his first six games (3-0 with a 2.12 ERA and 36 Ks over 29.2 innings), but he landed on the DL for three and half months with a groin injury. When Hyun-Jin returned in mid-August, he allowed three runs or fewer in all nine of his starts leading to a 1.88 ERA and 53 Ks over 52.2 innings. His walk rate (1.6) and K rate (9.7) came at career-best levels. Ryu had great command vs. RH batters (.213 BAA with six walks and 73 Ks over 239 at-bats). His AFB (90.2) came in just below his career average (90.5). Hyun-Jin had the most success with his four-seam fastball (.210 BAA), changeup (.221 BAA), and curveball (.226 BAA) while his cutter (.280 BAA) came up short. Last year he outpitched his short resume in the majors (3.20 ERA and 502 Ks over 557.2 innings). Playable arm, but he’s not pitched over 155 innings since his rookie season in 2013. Pencil him in for double-digit wins with a 3.25 ERA and 150+ Ks with 180 innings pitched.
Maeda went 7-7 over his 20 starts with a 3.80 ERA and 130 Ks over 109 innings, but he found himself in the bullpen over the last six weeks of the season. Kenta looked like almost the same pitcher in relief over his last 17 games (3.86 ERA and 23 Ks over 16.1 innings). His K rate (11.0) was a career high even with fade in his walk rate (3.1). His struggles came against lefties (.276 BAA) while showing upside vs. RH batters (.209 BAA). His AFB (91.9) was a career high, but batters drilled his four-seam fastball (.300 BAA). Both his slider (.211 BAA) and changeup (.137 BAA) graded well along with success with his low-volume cutter (.212 BAA). Over his three seasons with the Dodgers, Marda went 37-27 with a 3.80 ERA and 472 Ks over 435.1 innings. LA will move him back into the starting rotation this year where his arm has a chance to regain some of his lost value. A chance at 15 wins with a sub 3.50 ERA and 180+ Ks. Nice target based on his ADP (230).
Over five seasons in the minors, Stripling went 13-14 with a 2.86 ERA and 237 Ks over 258.1 innings. His development in the minors was cut short by TJ surgery in 2014. He’s improved in each of his three seasons in the majors highlighted by his success last year (3.02 ERA and 136 Ks over 122 innings. Ross has an elite walk rate (1.6), which led to a career high in his K rate (10.0). Over his first 12 starts for LA, Stripling went 8-1 with a 2.13 ERA and 84 Ks over 72 innings. After two poor starts (nine runs, 15 baserunners, and four HRs over 8.2 innings), Ross landed on the DL with a back issue that led to only 18 innings (5.00 ERA) over the last two months of the season. He had problems with RH batters (.274 BAA). His AFB (91.7) is below par with his only pitch of value being his plus curveball (.184 BAA). He struggled with his slider (.304 AAA) while his changeup (.245 BAA) that has a chance to have further growth. Overachieved for me in 2018 while still having high replacement value if needed to work in the starting rotation. His command suggests upside while his pitches have some risk if he’s off target.
The Dodgers have done their best to try and limit the innings of Urias early in his career. Over six seasons in the minors, he has a 15-8 record with a 2.76 ERA and 364 Ks over 310.1 innings. Julio missed most of the 2018 season after his recovery left shoulder surgery that occurred in June of 2017. His K rate (10.6) has been high in the minors with a mid-level walk rate (3.0). Last year he made only eight appearances in the minors (5.40 ERA and 19 Ks over 11.2 innings) before receiving four innings in the majors in September (no runs, no walks, and seven Ks) and 6.1 innings in the playoffs (two runs and five Ks). His AFB (93.1) projects to be league average while offering a slider, changeup, and curveball. Impact arm that will start the year at AAA while still looking to build up his inning total. If he gets a chance in the majors, I don’t expect him to pitch deep in games. His best value this year may come in the bullpen for the Los Angeles.
Jansen gave Fantasy owners a scare after starting the year with two disaster games (four runs, four baserunners, and two HRs over two innings). He has a 5.40 ERA after his first 11.2 innings with 13 Ks, four saves, and two blown saves. Kenley fixed his poor start to the year over his next 39 games (1.27 ERA, 48 Ks, and 28 saves over 42.3 innings). After missing 12 days with a rapid heart issue, Jansen crushed Fantasy owners again went he allowed seven runs, 12 baserunners, and four HRs over four innings. He drove the bus home with a 2.70 ERA and 16 Ks over his last 13.1 innings, but Kenley allowed three more HRs. After the season, he had surgery to repair his heart issue. LA expects him to be ready for spring training. His cutter (92.3) was one mph lower than 2017 while having plenty of success getting batters out (.185 BAA). All 15 of his HRs allowed came off his cutter. His two other show me pitches (slider – .227 BAA and sinker – .188 BAA) had winning value as well. A rebound season should be expected, leading to 40+ saves, a sub 2.00 ERA and a chance at 100+ Ks. Jansen is priced favorably this year (ADP – 77).
Over seven seasons in the majors, Kelly went 43-25 with a 3.87 ERA and 498 Ks over 625.1 innings while splitting time between starting and relief. He has a career 3.29 ERA as a reliever with 190 Ks over 194 innings. Last year Joe allowed only one run over 25.2 innings with 27 Ks after a disaster first appearances of the year (four runs and four baserunners over one-third inning). He lost his way over his next 15.1 innings (9.98 ERA and 32 baserunners) leading to Fantasy owners launching him in the free agent pool. Over his last 28 games, Kelly posted a 3.70 ERA and 27 Ks over 24.1 innings. Somehow, he found his way in the playoffs (one run over 11.1 innings with no walks and 13 Ks) earning him a nice contract with the Dodgers. His stuff played better against lefties (.211 BAA). His AFB (98.1) has closer upside if he ever figures out how to throw more strikes. Joe has a very good slider (.226 BAA) and strength in his four-seam fastball (.234 BAA) while developing his changeup (.111 BAA) in 2018. Not quite there to be trusted as playable fill-in reliever.
Baez has a 3.01 ERA and 287 Ks over 269.1 innings while pitching in front of Kenley Jansen over the last five seasons. He struggled with his command (3.9 walks per nine) over the previous two years, which led to a drop back in his K rate (9.4). He missed time over the summer with a biceps issue. Pedro walked too many lefties (15 of his 23 walks over 67 at-bats), but they only hit .164 against him. His AFB (96.0) continues to lose some velocity, but batters just hit .212 vs. his four-seamer. Last year Baez offered a plus changeup (.122 BAA). With no saves on his major league resume, Pedro will battle Joe Kelly for the eighth inning role in 2019.
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