by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
While Jered Weaver’s name carries a little bit of weight, his actual performance does not. It’s been a few years since he’s been a significant fantasy asset, and things have been particularly poor over the past two years. If you took the name out and just saw these 2016 numbers, the player wouldn’t even be on your radar for 2017:
103 Strikeouts (5.21 K/9)
51 Walks (2.58 BB/9)
28.8% Groundball Rate
The two numbers that jump out at you are the lack of strikeouts and groundballs. In that regard the 34-year old couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot, after recently signing with the San Diego Padres. The move to the NL should help his strikeouts and Petco Park should help to offset the home run issues (1.87 HR/9 in ’16). Is it enough to put him back on radars, though?
Generally the move to the NL will help to improve his strikeout rate, but you need to have upside in the department to see it. Last season Weaver averaged 83.0 mph on his fastball (after an 83.3 mark in ’15). His SwStr% continued to fall (8.1%) and he wasn’t fooling anyone (28.9% O-Swing%). He also lacked a true put away pitch, with his changeup (13.54% Whiff%) and curveball (13.28% Whiff%) being his strongest weapons.
Given the repertoire, how much of a “spike” could you really expect?
In regards to the home runs, look at the HR/game yielded in 2016:
- Angel Stadium – 2.31
- Petco Park – 2.17
That’s not a major improvement, is it? Plus Weaver is going to have to make a few starts in Colorado, where he is going to be an implosion waiting to happen. With a career 32.9% groundball rate, expecting any type of improvement would be a mistake.
Generally the move to the National League, and San Diego in particular, would pique our interest. However Weaver offers little strikeout potential and is going to continue to struggle with home runs. Let someone else invest in the name, as the value simply isn’t there.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, ESPN
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Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings:
|Starting Pitcher||#1-20 |02/27/17|