Sleeper Spotlight: Could The Twins’ Randy Dobnak Emerge As A Viable Fantasy Asset?


The little known prospect went all the way to starting Game 2 in the ALDS for Minnesota against the New York Yankees, though giving up 4 ER over 2.0 IP in that start is going to leave a poor taste in the mouths of many. That poor outing could create a buying opportunity for the savvy owner, after he showed more both in the Majors and minors:

  • Majors (28.1 IP) – 1.59 ERA, 1.13 WHIP
  • Minors (135.0 IP) – 2.07 ERA, 0.98 WHIP

He split his time in the minors across three different levels, and while a 7.27 K/9 isn’t going to catch your attention it’s easy to see more upside in that regard. Couple that with the other skills, which he showed both at the Major and Minor League levels, and suddenly you get an intriguing young starter who seemingly is ready to arrive:

SkillMinor LeaguesMajor Leagues
Walk Rate1.871.59
Groundball Rate59.6%52.9%
Strikeout Rate7.277.31

So he’s an elite control artist with the ability to generate a significant number of groundballs. Getting those marks may cause him to sacrifice a few strikeouts, though his ability to miss bats was obvious. For a prospect that received little respect in prospect circles entering the season, it would appear that he’s taken a significant step forward to emerging as a viable option.

Predominantly a fastball/slider pitcher, it was his slider that was his dominant swing and miss pitch with a 26.05% Whiff%. Of course it’s possible that the makeup plays better coming out of the bullpen, and with more exposure will come worse results. That said the skills do appear to be there, and considering what should be a cost of next to nil there’s enough to make him worth considering.

We all have heard the story of the former Uber driver, and time will tell if the Twins are prepared to go into 2020 with Dobnak as part of the rotation. Always on the hunt for starting pitching, at the very least you’d think he’d earned a swing role and should be inline for starts at some point. Whether or not that comes on Opening Day or not will determine his potential value.

At the very least he’s a stash for those in dynasty formats, and a name to monitor closely for all others this offseason. If he’s starting from Day 1 he’ll be an appealing late round target.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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