Minor Adjustments

Mike Minor SP Texas Rangers

Let’s talk about Mike Minor. He is the nation’s oldest looking 31 year old, but he’s not pitching like it. As other pitchers slow things down and rely on deception, Minor is coming after hitters with hard cutters and it’s mostly working. But let’s dig deeper.

Minor is in the 99th percentile in MLB for the spin rate on his fastball. This has put him in the 75th percentile in expected slugging and OBP. He’s actually using the fastball less, but this is all about pitch mix. By lowering the usage on his fastball by 6% and his cutter/slider by 3%, those pitches are playing up. He’s using his curve ball for punchouts and he’s using his changeup 23.9% of the time versus 19.4% in 2018. What this is doing is producing weaker contact on the ground. Minor’s GB% jumped from 34.4% to 41.1%, and his line drive percentage is down 2%. Most importantly, those increased ground balls are being pulled and resulting in more outs. The pull percentage is up 13%!
Now, is he an ace? No. His strand rate (84%) will normalize a bit, but he has a 3.24 FIP in 2019. There are leagues where he is a streamer or where his owner doesn’t believe in his success. My only cause for concern is that he has 2 starts against the Mariners where he has picked up 24 strikeouts. However, I do think Minor belongs in the top 40 starting pitchers. This is what he’s capable of.
Last night’s start: 5/20/19 vs Seattle

Brad Peacock SP Houston Astros

Another 31 one year old I am buying back into is Brad Peacock. For me, he is even a little more exciting than Minor because I think the best is yet to come. Early talk of not being able to find the feel for his slider has guaranteed that Peacock won’t repeat his amazing 2018 season. However, his stuff seems to be back over his last 3 starts.

  • 17 innings
  • 3 wins
  • 0.53 ERA
  • 0.76 WHIP
  • 24 Strikeouts

He’s in the 83rd percentile in xOBA and xSLG, which should make you very optimistic. His LOB% should go up, but his BABIP against will probably balance this out. What you are looking at here is a 10 K/9 starter on a great offense who should pitch to a 3.50 ERA the rest of the way. This is very valuable. The key to monitor with Peacock is his FB%. When he gets behind he has to overuse his fastball. When he’s throwing strikes his slider and new-found feel for his knuckle curve take over. And he has been very successful using his breaking ball late in the count for the strikeouts he needs-looking or swinging.

Peacock’s 5/20 start against the White Sox is what we want him to do. 32 4-seam fastballs and a combined 31 sliders and knuckle curves. The closer the FB% is to 50%, the better. Get Peacock where you can and keep monitoring his control and pitch mix. I think he is a strong SP4 candidate with plenty of K potential to help you in the stretch run.

 

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Colin Dinsmore

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Avid Fantasy Baseball player, Yankees fan, amateur gambler, dog-lover. @AssemblyColin

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