Fantasy Baseball StockWatch: Blue Jays SP Marcus Stroman

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Updated: March 5, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers

Meet Marcus Stroman – the next big thing in fantasy baseball.

OK, without making any short jokes, he’s not exactly the next big thing in terms of height (5-foot-9).

Or weight (185 pounds).

Or intimidating physical presence.

But he is, in fact, the next big thing in terms of fantasy aces.

Most people just haven’t caught on to it yet. Luckily for you, I am here to let you in on a secret: Stroman is a star in the making.

And judging by current ADP information – he’s currently No. 155 overall (SP#43) on fantasypros.com – you can get him at a pretty good bargain for now.

I admit that I’m not the only one with a love affair with Stroman, so if you draft towards the end of spring, the secret might be out by then. But if you draft soon, you could get a real bargain.

He owns some pretty impressive minor-league stats after being drafted 22nd overall in the 2012 draft out of Duke – 166 IP, 27 starts, 3.24 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.6 K/, 2.4 BB/9.

In the majors last season, he had a 3.65 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, including a 3.29 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 20 starts. He gave up just two of his seven home runs allowed after the break.

Speaking of after the break, that’s when he truly went to his new-found sinker, which is one of six pitches in his repertoire and rated as the third-best sinker in the AL last season.

As Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs points out, the comps on his pitches are “absurd” (his words). Here’s the top comps for his best pitches:

Sinker: Roy Halladay

Curve: Jose Fernandez

Four-seam fastball: Johnny Cueto

Cutter: Josh Beckett

That’s pretty ridiculous company. And gives you an idea of what he’s working with. His other two pitches (slider, change-up) weren’t thrown as much but were still very effective.

The one thing that hasn’t fully arrived yet is his strikeout rate (7.6 K/9). But with the incredible arsenal he now possesses, I would bet those numbers starts to resemble his career minor-league rate (10.6 K/9) pretty quickly.

We currently have him as the No. 30 SP with a projection of 192 IP, 3.43 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a 8.1 K/9. That’s a great projection, but I’m willing to go even further and say that he has the ability and arsenal to be among the Top 15-20 starters this season. My personal projection on him is 200 IP, 3.24 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a 9.2 K/9. That would put him over 200 Ks in a standard 5×5 format and would put him on par with someone like Johnny Cueto, who is ranked No. 10 in our projections.

- Phil Krugel

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