Saturday, December 5, 2015


The starting pitcher's continue to rule early free agency as now Jordan Zimmerman, David Price, Zack Greinke, and now Jeff Samardzjia have all found news homes under monster contracts.  The latest to come off the boards was the 30-year-old Samardzjia who comes off a rough 2015 campaign but who still was able to cash in on a five-year deal worth $30 million with the San Francisco Giants.  As always we dig in on Samardzjia in order to determine where he will go in terms of 2016 fantasy baseball. 

Getting back to that poor 2015 campaign, there is no sugarcoating the hideous 4.96 ERA and 1.29 WHIP Samarzjia put up while given up a ridiculous amount of hits in his one and only season with the Chicago White Sox.  Clearly being in the American League and in a potent offensive park was a terrible match for Samardzjia as it would be for most pitchers and the results bore this out.  Samardzjia was hit hard the entire season as he was right at the top of baseball in hits given up with 228 in his 214 innings.  Pretty much nothing went right which makes his signing back into the easier National League and in a prime pitcher's park in San Francisco so key to his immediate fantasy baseball value.  Prior to his lost 2015, Samardzjia has developed into a very good low-end SP 2 with the Chicago Cubs, posting his best season in 2012 when he pitched to a 3.81 ERA and 1.22 WHIP while punching out 180 batters in only 174.2 innings.  Samardzjia would strike out an even more impressive 214 batters a year later despite a shaky 4.34 ERA that was not as bad as it looked due to a very unlucky BABIP.  He would rebound with another very good 2014 season when he split his year between the Cubs and Oakland A's, ultimately coming in with a terrific 2.99 ERA.

Now we won't harp on 2015 any longer because clearly Samardzjia was terrible based on the ratios and his neutral .303 BABIP shows he really was that hittable.  Going to the AL dropped his K Rate but on the positive side, Samardzjia's velocity was pretty much the same as always which lessened the concern of any pitch erosion.  From 2012 through 2013, Samardzjia's K rate was over 9.00 in both seasons and we can see him going near or slightly above that mark again given he is back in the NL and in a great park for pitchers.  If Samardzjia can have K rates like that in a home run park with the Cubs, think what he can do in San Francisco where home runs are not as much an issue.  Again being still in his prime at the age of 30 and with the velocity coming in at his usual standards, we really like the bounce back upside Samardzjia carries into 2016.  We would not be surprised in the least if he went back to low-end SP 2 status, as the Giants seem to think in giving him all this dough. 

In the end it is recommended you go back to the well on Samardzjia for 2016 fantasy baseball.  His draft price figures to be quite affordable and the chance for big value here is solid when you consider the upside in his numbers being back in a more favorable environment.  Go get him. 


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