CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Gro... (05/14)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Gro... (05/14)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The... (05/15)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (05/14)

May 14, 2014

Fantasy Freestyle

Nathan Eovaldi: Great or Just Hot?

by Craig Goldstein


Yesterday, Ben Carsley and I released the first portion of our Top 150 U25 fantasy players, the culmination of a six-week division-by-division look. The name that received the most attention was one towards the bottom of the list, with Nathan Eovaldi checking in at no. 141 on our collaborative list. Eovaldi has jumped out to a great start in 2014, posting a 2.86 ERA backed by a 2.94 FIP, and phenomenal strikeout and walk rates, at 23.4 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

This has earned him many plaudits, and a ton of new fans, as fantasy owners who took a random flier on him have become devoted advocates. The question at hand for Eovaldi, and an important one for those wondering how to value him, is whether this new level of success is sustainable. Our eyes tell us it is, as we watch 96 MPH fastball after 96 MPH fastball whiz by us, even into the seventh or eighth inning. So if the numbers say one thing, and our eyes confirm it (or vice versa), where is the debate?

When it comes to Eovaldi, the argument lies in the past, as there is little wrong with the present. You see, while his strikeout rate is beautiful, it’s a stark departure from his previous career-high rate of 17.3 percent. Additionally, his sterling walk rate is substantially lower than his career-low of 8.9 percent. His staggering 56.3 percent ground ball rate beats out his previous career-best of 45.5 percent by nearly 11 percentage points! All these rates moving in the right direction should, and do, indicate a better pitcher on the mound, so once again we ask: where’s the problem? As is the custom of my people, let me answer your question with another question. How is he doing all these things? What about his process has changed that has seen these massive changes take place?

We first turn to Brooks Baseball for a look at his pitch mix, to see whether it’s markedly different from years prior. Perhaps a new pitch has entered the mix, with remarkable effectiveness, yielding such positive results?

It’s hard to say that there is a new pitch in town, but his slider usage has jumped by a significant amount*, and mostly at the expense of his fastball. While that may lead one to believe more sliders = more missed bats, that doesn’t seem to be the case for Eovaldi, as we check out the whiff percentages on his pitches.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Fantasy,  Nathan Eovaldi

10 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Gro... (05/14)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Gro... (05/14)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The... (05/15)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (05/14)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article What You Need to Know: September 2, 2014
Premium Article The Call-Up: Daniel Norris
Premium Article The Call-Up: Maikel Franco
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bo Gone
The Future
Premium Article The Call-Up: Joc Pederson
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: September 2, 2014

MORE FROM MAY 14, 2014
The Lineup Card: 10 Ways We'd Improve Umpiri...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Tuesday's Late Lead C...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, May 1...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, May 14
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Marmol Misses, Down an...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Growing the Pie
Daily League Strategy: Paul's Picks for Wedn...

MORE BY CRAIG GOLDSTEIN
2014-05-22 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Dallas Keuchel: Sell-High...
2014-05-20 - Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: The U25 Top 150, Part Two
2014-05-16 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 17 - Mooki...
2014-05-14 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Nathan Eovaldi: Great or ...
2014-05-13 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Rafael Montero
2014-05-13 - Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: The U25 Top 150, Part One
2014-05-10 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 16 -- Just...
More...

MORE FANTASY FREESTYLE
2014-05-22 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Dallas Keuchel: Sell-High...
2014-05-19 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: My Closer Lost His Job an...
2014-05-15 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The Middle of the Road
2014-05-14 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Nathan Eovaldi: Great or ...
2014-05-14 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Growing the Pie
2014-05-12 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Expert League Assessment:...
2014-05-07 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Negotiation Styles
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2014-07-30 - Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: Who We're Selling at the D...
2014-06-25 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Checking in on Cinderella...
2014-05-22 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Dallas Keuchel: Sell-High...