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Thursday, April 20, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: AMIR GARRETT SP CINCINNATI REDS

Well hello there.  Without debate the biggest news item during the course of action Wednesday night in fantasy baseball centered on the ridiculously great start put forth by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Amir Garrett.  Collecting 12 strikeouts in 7 innings, Garrett gave up just two runs on 7 hits and 2 walks.  The dominant outing brought Garrett's ERA to a sparkling 1.83 and his WHIP at a just as terrific 0.86.  Everywhere you look there are shining stars surrounding Garrett and much in the same way Eric Thames is the sudden star everyone wants in fantasy baseball, the Reeds hurler can be considered the pitching version of this trend.  Of course like we do with all these stories, we need to dig into the past and find out if Garrett is a flash in the pan or in fact legoit.

For starter's, Garrett was not considered much of a prospect originally as he was just a 22nd round draft pick in 2011.  Despite the snub, Garrett quickly went about pitching very well in the Reds system and caught his break in 2016 when he spent stints in Double-A and then Triple-A.  While at Double-A, Garrett showed the first signs of being an emerging arm when he registered a 1.7 ERA in 77 innings while posting a high 9.12 K/9.  The K/9 was key as Garrett's current number there after his outing Wednesday is 9.61 which seems to make the numbers jive.  Soon Garrett was on his way to Triple-A where his numbers were a bit less impressive (3.46 ERA/7.18 ERA) but they still put him on track for the Reds in 2017.

So it was as Garrett won a spot in the Reds rotation to begin the season and overall he as pretty much a complete unknown to those in the fantasy baseball community.  A six-inning shutout got the ball rolling though and 2 runs in 6 innings in second start opened up some more eyes.  Only 7 hits and 2 walks given up in those 12 innings suggested Garrett had a clue as to what he was doing but no one could have foreseen what took place Wednesday.  As it stands now, Garrett's .271 BABIP is in the lucky range but his advanced ERA's are still tremendous (2.05 FIP and 2.68 XFIP ERA's) which adds to the legitimacy.  Throw in the excellent control (1.37 BB/9) and the fact Garrett keeps the ball in the park (0.46 HR/9) and one can see why this is quite intriguing.

Now of course this is still a very small sample size and Garrett's fastball velocity only averages about 91.5 which calls into question how overpowering his strikeouts will be.  A good comparison here would be to a guy like Julio Teheran where the strikeouts come and go and he doesn't defeat himself.  I wouldn't go too crazy here just yet but the fact Garrett has great control and keep the ball in the park are two big reasons this could sustain itself going into the season.


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