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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: HAS MARCUS STROMAN PLATEAUED???

Despite operating in the always brutal American League and even more unforgiving AL East, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman was a guy who hinted at ace ability since he first came up to the team back in 2014.  A former first round pick (22nd overall in 2012), Stroman's vast FIVE pitch arsenal always made opposing hitters bat from their toes in not knowing what offering might be coming.  The early results were encouraging as Stroman recorded a 3.67 ERA as a rookie and the following it up by pitching well in the 2015 postseason after missing virtually the entire regular season with a knee injury.  A 4.37 ERA stumble did ensue in 2016 but then Stroman put it all together for a signature campaign last season that resulted in the following numbers:

13-9
3.09 ERA
1.31 WHIP
7.34 K/9

Looking at the number as a whole, 13 wins and a 3.09 ERA are tremendous numbers and spoke to how solid a year Stroman had on the surface.  On the surface is the key term though as under the hood there was trouble, starting with a mediocre 7.34 K/9.  Despite a decent fastball that touches the mid-90's, Stroman doesn't generate a lot of swings and misses and this is potential trouble in the AL East.  In addition, Stroman's .310 BABIP and strand rates were a bit on the lucky side and resulted in adjusted ERA's of 3.90 (FIP) and 3.59 (XFIP) which more show the kind of season Stroman had.  The bottom line here is that Stroman simply doesn't have the strikeout stuff to ever be considered a fantasy baseball ace and his division is going to be a problem as long as he calls Toronto and Rogers Center home.  So while Stroman is a nice pitcher, he looks like someone who is now destined for high-end SP 3 classification than anything more than this.

2018 PROJECTION:  14-10 3.56 ERA 1.26 WHIP 155 K  


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