Remember when Jose Quintana was considered a strong fantasy option? That feels like a lifetime ago, and it’s not only because injuries limited him to 10.0 IP in ’20. Let’s not forget the ERA and WHIP he had posted in the three prior years:
- 2017 – 4.15 / 1.22
- 2018 – 4.03 / 1.32
- 2019 – 4.68 / 1.39
Things have clearly been trending in the wrong direction and at 32-years old on Opening Day and having virtually missed an entire season, can we really expect a rebound?
It’s easy to forget, but Quintana has never shown elite swing and miss stuff (8.4% SwStr% over his career) nor has he fooled hitters and gotten them to stray from the strike zone (28.8% O-Swing% for his career). Those two things really started to catchup with him in 2019, when he struggled to get outs on nearly all of his pitches (AVG):
- Fourseam Fastball – .292
- Sinker – .297
- Changeup – .354
- Curveball – .244
He needs to figure out how to get right-handed hitters out once again, as they hit .290 with a .466 SLG against him in 2019. That’s truly the biggest issue, but without elite groundballs and the risk for his control to struggle with the missed time it’s not the only one.
While it would be easy to point towards a 65.9% strand rate in ’19 as reason for optimism, it’s not enough given his 38.2% Hard%. While he could be better, he’s not going to be “good”. Don’t be distracted by the name, he’s just a back-end option.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball