“Alluhring Strategy” Real Deal Dynasty Primer: Finding a Diamond in the Rough
I love it when guys “come out of left field” to be productive players. I love it even more when they were so off the grid, they weren’t relevant in even the deepest leagues. An example of just such a player this year is Chris Devenski from the Houston Astros.
Chris made an impact early in the season out of the bullpen as the long reliever. He made six relief appearances between April 8th and 24th spanning 23 2/3 innings in which he allowed only one run (solo HR by Mitch Moreland). His K:BB rate during these appearances was 12:1. He impressed the coaching staff enough to get a spot start when they needed one on April 30th vs. Oakland. He got another start on May 5th against the 1st place Seattle Mariners and picked up a quality start with only 1 run given up in six innings, scattering six hits with a 6:1 K:BB ratio.
These numbers but not sound eye-popping, but this is extremely productive for a pitcher that was on nearly every waiver at the beginning of the season. I run two 30-team dynasty leagues and neither had Devenski rostered prior to April 8th. These are leagues with 40 Man rosters PLUS deep MiLB rosters, and he was not on any roster prior to the start of the season.
He was a surprise addition to the roster this season as he never pitched over AA, Corpus Christi, and was average at best. Over five seasons of pro ball in the minor leagues, he had a 4.37 ERA, 1.359 WHIP with a 21.2% K rate and 7.1% BB rate. The key to his success has been the command. He is not a strikeout pitcher, he throws strikes and works off his above average change up and will mix in a curveball. His fastball will ride in the low 90s with the change up about 10-12 MPH slower. Although he has had some success as a starter, he probably is a six innings max pitcher as he is unlikely to fool hitters the 3rd time through the lineup with average “stuff.” Despite throwing a lot of strikes with average stuff, he is not getting hit hard (27.5% Hard%), striking out more than expected (22.5% K rate), keeping guys off base (5.6% BB rate) and those that do reach, are being stranded (91.4% LOB%).
He was never on the radar as a prospect, but he can be valuable to your fantasy team regardless of format and league size. He should get at least one more start until Lance McCullers is activated. Regardless, he will continue to have a role in Houston in the bullpen and spot start as needed. He has been one of the few bright spots from the Houston pitching staff (with only Gregerson and Harris in the bullpen). He brings value to leagues that require several RP slots and has been contributing to every category (except Saves/Holds). These are the kind of guys that help form championship runs in deep leagues.
- Kenta Maeda (LAD) SP – Narrowingly hangs onto #1 after first game without a quality start. Still sporting an incredible 1.41 ERA, 0.939 WHIP and 2.78 FIB.
- Steven Matz (NYM) SP – 3rd consecutive quality start after the 7 ER 1 ? INN season debut. 22:7 K to BB and 2.72 FIP shows me he’s back to who we thought he was.
- Nomar Mazara (TEX) RF – Rookie of the Month of April and shows no signs of slowing up. Defense has increased value and it will be tough to take him out when the veterans OFs get healthy.
- Aledmys Diaz (STL) SS – Still leading the Majors in OPS (1.124) and playing nearly every day. Peralta who?
- Trevor Story (COL) SS – No longer the “story,” Trevor has had an incredible 17 extra base hits in his first 115 plate appearances. Needs to improve on the 35.7% K rate to be more consistent.
- Byung-ho Park (MIN) DH – Leads the league in HR/AB with 10.9. Power is surging but not helpful in much else.
- Brandon Drury (ARI) 3B – Technically not a starter, he’s playing nearly every day in a “platoon” situation and making the most of it. .321/.333/.615 slash line with a surprising 5 HRs in 81 plate appearances.
- Jose Berrios (MIN) SP – Start #2 was much better than his debut. His command still an issue but filth was there and now trending in the right direction. Watch Out!
- Seung-hwan Oh (STL) RP – Holds on to Top Rookie reliever. 1.84 ERA, 0.886 WHIP, 1.56 FIP, 12.3 K/9
- Aaron Blair (ATL) SP – Solid but not spectacular. Should provide decent production in deeper leagues.
Tyler White (HOU)
Corey Seager (LAD)
Joey Rickard (BAL)
Jeremy Hazelbaker (STL)
Impact Prospects On the Cusp
- Robert Stephenson (CIN) SP – ETA: May-June – Tear up AAA with a 1.88 ERA, 1.083 WHIP and 9.8 K/9. Beat Blake Snell head-to-head.
- Blake Snell (TB) SP – ETA: May-June – Excellent debut + injuries = Another spot start likely in when Tampa neads one in May or early June.
- Willson Contreras (CHC) C – ETA: May-June – Injuries and heavy use of Grandpa David Ross makes a call-up likely in the next month.
- A.J. Reed (HOU) 1B – ETA: June – Not raking enough to force Houston to call up before Super Two.
- Tim Anderson (CWS) SS – ETA: June – As long as the White Sox keeping winning, they may wait. Jimmy Rollins not doing enough to hold him back much longer.
- Tyler Glasnow (PIT) SP – ETA: June-July – They can manage his innings in the minors, but he should be the #3 Starter in Pittsburgh before the trade deadline.
- Trea Turner (WAS) SS – ETA: August – Service time is the ONLY thing blocking his path to Washington.
- Orlando Arcia (MIL) SS – ETA: June – Super Two only reason he’s not already in Milwaukee.
- Josh Bell (PIT) 1B- ETA: July-August – Power starting to develop. Ready to contribute now, but no clear playing time barring injury.
- Lucas Giolito (WAS) SP – ETA: August – Innings limit and struggling in AA pushing his debut back to later Summer at best.
Sean Manaea (OAK) – Mixed Results
Michael Fulmer (DET) – Mixed Results
Joey Gallo (TEX) – Out for a month with injured groin. Late August or September call-up