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Joey Lucchesi (SP, SD) - Fantasy Baseball Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Draft target ~pick 175

CURRENT ADP: ~200 overall

ANALYSIS: In his rookie year, left-handed starter Joey Lucchesi made an instant impact. He allowed a total of four earned runs over the first four starts, posting a 25:4 K:BB ratio. It appeared that Lucchesi might be a legitimate candidate for NL Rookie of the Year. An injury sent him to the disabled list temporarily in mid-May and he ran into some trouble with the long ball upon his return, derailing some of his fantasy value. Lucchesi finished strong, however, proving he could be a reliable part of the Padres' young rotation going forward.

Lucchesi's 26.5% strikeout rate put him in the upper quarter of starting but his stuff doesn't speak of a dominant pitcher. Lucchesi's 91.1 MPH fastball is in the 18th percentile and the spin on his curveball sits in the sixth percentile. He only throws it about four percent of the time, so it's not going to make or break his career, but these numbers show that Lucchesi will need to have impeccable command and induce soft contact at a high rate in order to be consistently effective.

Lucchesi does play in a favorable park, has shown he can get big league hitters to swing and miss with a decent 10.6% swinging strike rate, and at 25 years of age has room for growth. Lucchesi doesn't walk many batters (2.98 BB/9) and showed great composure on the mound from day one. You don't need to reach for Lucchesi, as he should be available after the first 15 rounds of most drafts. His upside could make him more appealing than declining veteran lefties like Dallas Keuchel or Jon Lester, who are being drafted ahead of him.

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