There’s nothing more frustrating for fantasy owners than investing high draft capital in a pitcher who fails to produce. As I did with hitters, I won’t let a full year injury dictate if a pitcher disappointed, but it could play a role.
Pitchers Who Disappointed:
Colorado Rockies Starting Pitcher German Marquez — Fantasy owners aren’t the only ones who can be fooled by a player. The Rockies extended Marquez prior to the start of the 2019 season after he finished 2018 with 230 strikeouts and a 3.77 ERA. This also led the right-hander to be drafted as the 23rd overall starting pitcher in March. However, investing in a pitcher in Colorado is risky business, and Marquez regressed this season by finishing with a 4.76 ERA. This was the second time in three seasons that Marquez ended the year with an ERA above 4.00. That should be the expectation moving forward.
Cincinnati Reds Starting Pitcher Trevor Bauer — The right-hander was drafted as the ninth starting pitcher overall, according to FantasyPros.com, but he finished with the 10th-worst ERA among qualified pitchers. Bauer was traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Reds, which was the downfall of his season. After posing a respectable 3.79 ERA with the Indians, the right-hander finished with a 6.39 ERA in a Reds uniform. It will be interesting to see where Bauer fits in next season among his peers, but it was a disaster during the final two months.
Los Angeles Dodgers Reliever Kenley Jansen — There’s no way around it: When you’re drafted as the No. 4 reliever and blow eight saves, you’re a disappointment. Jansen finished the season with a career-worst 3.71 ERA and has now posted back-to-back seasons with an ERA above 3.00. The good news for Jansen is he has a chance to dominate in the postseason and get the good vibes going heading into March. Jansen will always be near the top of the rankings since he closes for a contender, but I’m not sure we’re going to see the dominant Jansen from years past again.
New York Yankees Starting Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka — Tanaka did make 31 starts, which is a positive, but he just wasn’t effective. The 30-year-old finished with a 4.45 ERA, which ranked as one of the worst in baseball among qualified starters. Even more concerning was the lack of strikeouts, as Tanaka finished with 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Like Jansen, Tanaka has a chance to change the narrative in the postseason, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to do it. The right-hander was drafted as the 31st starting pitcher in March, and that certainly will not be the case in 2020.