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Sunday, March 10, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: MATT STRAHM SP SAN DIEGO PADRES

With Manny Machado sucking up almost all of the energy in the San Diego Padres' camp this spring, it can be easy to overlook some of the other intriguing aspects of the roster such as catcher Francisco Mejia (still tearing it up with another homer Saturday), closer Kirby Yates, and starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi.  Lucchesi has some company though when it comes to a high-K upside arm in the Padres rotation and it comes in the form of deceptive lefty Matt Strahm who just put the finishing touches on another dominant spring outing on Saturday when he punched out 8 batters in just 4 innings without a walk and allowing just two hits.  That sparkling effort brought Strahm's spring run of scoreless frames to 9 and with 12 strikeouts to go with it.  Clearly there is some sizable strikeout potential here and some intriguing overall skills that have Strahm shaping up as a fast-rising fantasy baseball sleeper.

Now in terms of the particulars, Strahm was originally just a  21st round pick back in 2012 and it certainly took him awhile to reach the majors as he already is 27.  With that said, Strahm has been nothing but a strikeout machine every step of the way and he finally solidified a spot in the majors in 2018 when he was incredibly impressive to the tune of a 2.05 ERA and 10.13 K/9 for the Padres while pitching both in relief and in making five starts.  With an average fastball velocity that sits in the solid but unspectacular 94 range, Strahm gets a bunch of his K's through some wicked movement on the heater that makes it a tremendous handful.  While this does lead to walks (3.08 BB/9), Strahm clearly knows how to pitch and the high amount of strikeouts are always something we look for when investing late rounds picks in a pitcher.  Now we are not saying this Strahm spring success story will carry over into the regular season but the guy is certainly worth our attention.



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