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BALLER MOVE: Draft target ~pick 150

CURRENT ADP: ~165 overall

ANALYSIS: The Angels have two promising southpaws in their rotation, but Heaney, in particular, is generating a lot of buzz for the 2019 fantasy baseball season. Andrew Heaney pitched 180 IP last season, posting a 4.15 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 180 SO. The numbers don't look overly sexy on the surface, but there is plenty to be excited about when you dig a little deeper. First off, pitching 180 innings is a great sign after missing almost all of 2016 and 2017 with shoulder and elbow injuries. Heaney averaged six innings per start in 2018, and even had a complete game shutout, so the injuries look to be safely behind him.

The first thing you notice when looking at Heaney's statisticsĀ is that the man deserved better than the stats he received last season. In 2015, his last healthy season, he allowed 0.77 HR/9. In 2018 he allowed 1.35, which is a contributing factor to his 3.68 xFIP being much lower than his ERA. That xFIP actually ranked 20th among qualified starters. But the bad luck wasn't just in HR rates, because of those 20 top starters in xFIP, Heaney's 71.4 LOB% was the second lowest. The lefty also suffered from some awful Home/Away splits. On the road his ERA was 5.02, compared to 3.22 at home. There's no reason to expect that to continue in 2019, and just with these three stats alone, one can reasonably expect positive regression this season.

The main thing holding back Heaney from truly becoming a star in 2019 is his ability to get through a lineup multiple times. I believe it stems from the lower velocity on his fastball/sinker, which allows hitters to sit back on the off-speed pitches after seeing him the first time. The first time through the order, Heaney was phenomenal, boasting a 11.38 K/9 and a 3.10 xFIP. For reference, German Marquez owned a 10.59 K/9 and a 3.06 xFIP the first time through a lineup. But Marquez got better as he progressed through a game, whereas as Heaney suffered a drastic drop-off. His K/9 dropped down to 8.24 the second time through and 7.26 the third time through, while his xFIP increased to 3.68 and 4.46 respectively. If he can continue to tack a little speed onto his fastball, there's no doubt he takes a step forward this year with top-40 fantasy SP potential.


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