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Andrew Heaney: 2015 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Sleeper


Andrew Heaney had a busy offseason in which he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers from the Miami Marlins only to be traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim five hours later. At Anaheim, Heaney will compete for the final spot in the starting rotation with Hector Santiago and Nick Tropeano, according to the Angel’s official site.

In his limited 29.1 innings last year, Heaney struggled against big league hitters like most rookie pitchers do. His 5.83 ERA and 1.33 WHIP were well over his yearly outputs in the minors. He also showed a propensity to give up the long ball, evidenced by his 1.84 HR/9 ratio and 18.2% HR/FB percentage. Heaney’s worst HR/9 ratio in the minors came at the Triple-A level when he gave up nearly half of his major league level with only .97 in 83.2 innings.

 

What to Expect In 2015

Heaney doesn’t throw the hardest fastball, only averaging 90.4 mph on both four seam and two seam fast balls. That didn’t limit his ability to strikeout hitters at the Triple-A level. In the same 83.2 innings last year in Triple-A, Heaney impressively struck out 9.79 hitters per 9 innings. He’s also kept his low walk per nine inning ratio from the minors. Even during his struggles, he only walked 2.15 batters per nine innings and didn’t have a much higher ratio in his years in the minors.

His changeup is quite possibly Heaney’s best pitch by registering a 3.76 wCH/C PITCHf/x Pitch Value per 100 pitches in the majors last year, which is the amount of runs his changeup saves after thrown 100 times. Also, there is an almost nine mile per hour difference between his fastball and changeup and 12 between his fastball and slider. When compared to his fastball’s -1.73 wFA/C and slider’s -1.04 wSL/C PITCHf/x Pitch Values per 100 pitches, his changeup is clearly what has kept Heaney as the top left handed prospect.

Heaney could very easily raise his K/9 ratio to the level he was at in the minors if he could start locating his fastball and slider better. If he doesn’t have the arm to throw it by hitters, he’ll have to locate it around them. That ability will only come with added experience at the highest level.

2015 Fantasy Value

Andrew Heaney’s fantasy value in 2015 and draft position will depend heavily on whether or not he wins the 5th starter job. Expect the Angel’s to play the competition out completely through Spring Training. If he can get his K/9 ratio close to his minor league output of nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings, his year could easily surpass his draft position.

If you have a late draft, they might announce his status in time. If they don’t decide before, keep him on your watch list or drop a lesser potential pick. If he wins the job and the announcement is made ahead of time, Heaney is a great value late in the draft. Lazy fantasy owners will look at his 20 strikeouts last year and three losses without a win and write him off.