CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

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

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Buy... (07/11)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Buy... (07/11)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: 10 ... (07/15)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (07/11)

July 11, 2014

Fantasy Freestyle

What to Expect From Jimmy Nelson

by Craig Goldstein


Jimmy Nelson is going to make his second start of the season on Friday. You’re forgiven if you missed the first one—though it was good (5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 ER)—and you’re forgiven if you don’t remember our Call-Up article on him, because it took place during the call-up heavy month of September, last season. Nelson replaces Marco Estrada in the Brewers rotation at a time when the Brewers desperately need to maintain their 1 ½-game lead in the NL Central, lest they fall back into a crowded wild card race. Replacing Estrada with Nelson at this crucial time shows one of two things: The Brewer’s complete lack of faith in Estrada ironing out his home run issues (which are bad, even for him), or their belief in the abilities of Nelson, not necessarily to live up to his potential, but to be better than Estrada will be for the remainder of the season.

Speaking of that potential, here’s what erstwhile BP-er Jason Cole had to say last September about Nelson:

“...the safer bet is probably late-inning relief over no. 3 or 4 starter. Regardless of the right-hander’s role, he’s a big-league-caliber power arm and should make an impact in Milwaukee next season”

Fortunately for the Brewers, the Nelson that will take the mound on Saturday is a bit different than the one described above. While he still brings his mid-90s fastball with movement, Nelson has refined his ability to command the pitch, and has pushed his slider from solid-average to consistently above-average. Those two things, combined with touching 98 MPH on more than occasion have raised Nelson’s profile from potential fourth starter to potential high-three. His changeup continues to lag behind his fastball/slider combination (fringe-average pitch at present) but if that can be a consistently average pitch, we’re looking at someone who could pitch toward the top of most big league rotations. With an arsenal that could mature enough to allow Nelson to throw consistent, high quality innings, Nelson’s 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame gives him the ability to log a significant number of them.

It’s important to note that while his ceiling has been pushed higher, his odds of reaching that aren’t necessarily all that high. He’s shown the ability to learn, adapt, and refine, all qualities that should make us comfortable projecting him to continue his progression. At the same time, his likely outcome has moved from relief pitcher to mid-rotation starter, and that’s a lot of movement in and of itself. It will require more learning, adapting, and refining to reach his new ceiling, and those adjustments are going to have to come at the major league level, against the best talent he’s faced so far. While he’s shown the plus-plus fastball and the plus-plus slider and flashed and average change, the reality is that he won’t be able to bring all three of those to the mound each night at any point in his career, much less in the short term.

What he can do in the short term, though, is help in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. He is still a bit wild, so the WHIP could be a detriment, which could lead to shorter outings than we’d prefer, but it’s a solid overall package, and an improvement on what Marco Estrada was bringing to the table. It’s likely better than what the back end of your fantasy rotation is bringing to the table too. He’s a must-add in 14-team leagues and deeper and could be a nice streaming option in shallower leagues.

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,  Jimmy Nelson

10 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

nall23

Just a quick edit needed. I know that it seems recently that all prospects are on the cubs, but Nelson belongs to the Brewers.

Jul 11, 2014 06:37 AM
rating: 1
 
medler312

I believe now that BP has written he's a Cub prospect he, by rule, becomes one.

Cub Baseball=sign all the prospects.

Jul 11, 2014 06:45 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Where does it say otherwise (honest question, I didn't see cubs or Chicago in the article)?

Jul 11, 2014 06:46 AM
 
Clark Goble

On the main page in the article description under the link: "The Cubs righty is coming back to the big leagues; here's a look at what he could do for your fantasy squad"

Jul 11, 2014 06:53 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Ah, thanks Clark. I'll talk to editing to shore that up!

Jul 11, 2014 07:37 AM
 
Clark Goble

Thanks for the writeup. I'm a proud Jimmy Nelson Scoresheet owner.

Jul 11, 2014 08:04 AM
rating: 0
 
ares1800jr

What are the chances that he becomes a SP/RP late innings guy with great numbers per inning and holds?

Jul 11, 2014 14:44 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

5%? I think he's pretty clearly a starting pitcher at this point. If he is in the bullpen, he'll be a very good relief option, but he's a starter for the time being.

Jul 11, 2014 14:45 PM
 
DragonAsh

Rest of season: Gausman or Nelson? ATM I give the slight edge to Nelson just given the league factor, but it's close. Would you take one of them over Matt Cain who finally has looked decent for two starts in a row?

Between Gausman or Nelson, who has the better career?

Jul 12, 2014 00:46 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Craig Goldstein
BP staff

Gausman for rest of the season and career. I think it's a toss up with Cain, but I might go for the upside with Gausman.

Jul 12, 2014 09:35 AM
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Buy... (07/11)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Buy... (07/11)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: 10 ... (07/15)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (07/11)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Eyewitness Accounts: June 30, 2015
Fantasy Rounders: South Pause
Premium Article Some Projection Left: The Top J2 Prospects
Premium Article Pitching Backward: Chaz Roe and the Mechanic...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: June 30, 2015
BP Wrigleyville
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: Better Playing Through Che...

MORE FROM JULY 11, 2014
Premium Article Raising Aces: Breakout Breakdown: Corey Klub...
Notes from the Field: Not Jose Fernandez (Bu...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, July 11
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Pierz to be Missing
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Alcantara Can Stay
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, July...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Buy or Sell: Charlie Mort...

MORE BY CRAIG GOLDSTEIN
2014-07-22 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 23: Prosec...
2014-07-18 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Buy or Sell: Chris Davis
2014-07-16 - Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: Top 50 Jumpers
2014-07-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: What to Expect From Jimmy...
2014-07-09 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Arismendy Alcantara
2014-07-09 - Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: Progress Report: Prospect ...
2014-07-08 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): EP 22: Basebal...
More...

MORE FANTASY FREESTYLE
2014-07-18 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Buy or Sell: Chris Davis
2014-07-17 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Midseason Keeper League F...
2014-07-15 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: 10 Crazy Predictions Fant...
2014-07-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: What to Expect From Jimmy...
2014-07-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Buy or Sell: Charlie Mort...
2014-07-10 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: League Norms and Trade Ma...
2014-07-09 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Don't Forget About Me
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2014-07-24 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week 17