10 under-owned pitchers with keeper potential

Continuing our exercise from last week, here are 10 pitchers with low ownership percentages (at least in Yahoo! leagues) that owners already playing for next year may want to stash now. If any of these guys get hot before the end of the season, you can bet they will become low cost keeper targets for other owners so why not get the jump on them first.

Player Team Age % Owned Comment
Joe Wieland San Diego 22 0% The results weren’t necessarily pretty before Wieland hit the DL but the main thing doing Wieland in was a 1.6 HR/9. Despite a 4.55 ERA, Wieland has a 1.27 WHIP (which is decent for that ERA) and is striking out almost 8 batters per 9 IP while walking just under 3. His 41% GB% should allow him to find success away from home, and speaking of Petco – what pitcher hasn’t posted at least solid numbers at that park? He may not be a rotation anchor but he could develop into a strong No. 2 given all the factors that are in his favor.
Kris Medlen Atlanta 26 1% Medlen was my preseason prediction to be this year’s Cory Luebke, and it’s crazy just how similar things are going this year. Medlen is currently in Triple A making the transition to starter and it won’t be long before that ownership percentage increases. The biggest warning flags for Medlen are his low K/9 (only 5.4 this year) and his low HR/9 (0.3) but with a high GB% and a K/BB of almost 2.5, he shouldn’t see to much of a change in his stats.
Blake Beavan Seattle 23 1% Beavan isn’t going to blow people away with his repertoire, but he doesn’t have to considering he’s only walking 1.3 batters per 9 IP. Like Wieland, he’s mostly being hurt by a 1.6 HR/9 but pitching in a friendly home park should normalize that rate soon. As a pitcher that relies on control, it would be nice to see his GB% rise to 40% or higher but at only 23, he still has time to improve it. Beavan is most likely ticketed for a longer development path but if he puts it all together, he could be a pitcher that can help drive down your ERA and WHIP year in and year out.
Danny Duffy Kansas City 23 1% Duffy is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery recently but like those that waited on Stephen Strasburg, Duffy has enough talent that he is probably worth burning a keeper slot in deep enough leagues. It’s not often that you find a lefty that can hit 97, and with a 9.1 K/9, he could easily become a rotation anchor once he fully returns from next season. Duffy is definitely more of a long term play for owners looking for a lottery ticket, but he’s definitely a high percentage win once he returns.
Drew Pomeranz Colorado 23 2% Pomeranz has a couple of rough introductions to the majors between last year and this year but the former first-rounder has continued to flash the skills that made him a high pick in the first place. The skills are ugly right now as he is walking 5.9 batters per 9 and 32% of the hits he’s giving up are line drives but once his BABIP comes down from the .340 range, along with that line drive rate, we should see an ERA closer to 4.00. That would be a great step in the right direction for Pomeranz.
Randall Delgado Atlanta 22 3% Delgado seemed in danger of losing his rotation slot to Medlen but over his last 6 starts he’s turned things around, posting a 3.51 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 23 K in 33 IP. There is still some wildness in Delgado (currently boasting a 4.4 BB/9) and luck is playing a significant role in his current numbers as well (BABIP around .280) but he is pitching decent enough that he will get more chances to improve and adjust.
Joakim Soria Kansas City 28 6% With all the craziness surrounding the bullpens this year, it is probably worth stashing one of the most reliable closers in the game today at a huge discount. Obviously it will take Soria some time to come back from TJS but when he comes back he will only need to out pitch Jonathan Broxton to get his job back, which shouldn’t be hard.
Drew Hutchison Toronto 21 7% Thanks to his last start in which he gave up 1 R in 7 IP while striking out 5, Hutchison has seen his ownership jump from 1% to 7% in just one week. In 9 starts Hutchison is 5-2 with a 4.35 ERA and 1.35 WHIP – not bad for a 21-year-old rookie. His skills are all solid across the board and his BABIP and strand rate suggest almost no luck is playing into his results. Obviously the next thing we want to see is skills improvement but given how quickly he is being added in Yahoo! leagues, there may not be a chance later to add Hutchison.
Mariano Rivera New York 42 23% While 42-year-olds don’t make any sense as keepers in my book, one guy is always an exception. Rivera has undergone the necessary surgeries needed on his knee and he’s already talking about being ready for Spring Training next season. Like Soria, if you are looking for an early edge in the saves category, picking up and stashing Rivera is a smart play. He was vintage Rivera before he went down with the knee injury and turning another year older seems like it has little effect on the best closer in the history of the game.
Jarrod Parker Oakland 23 29% Even though he’s only 23, it seems like it’s taken Parker a lot longer than it should have to reach the majors (probably because of the TJS he had a couple of years ago in the minors). But the wait has been worth it apparently as Parker almost had a no-hitter his last time out. That display has increased his ownership 11% and has improved his ERA to an impressive 2.40. Luck has played a significant role in Parker’s success but he has the pedigree that suggests he skills should eventually catch up to his numbers.
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About Jim Higgins

Jim grew up in San Diego the son of a Washington, D.C. native so naturally he roots for the Washington Redskins and San Diego Padres. After seeing his favorite teams win a couple of titles early in his life, he has spent the last 20 years wondering if his teams will ever amount to anything again. At least he has multiple fantasy baseball and football titles to soften the blow.

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