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Jordan Hicks (RP, STL) - Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers


BALLER MOVE: Draft target ~pick 200

CURRENT ADP: ~220 overall

ANALYSIS: St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jordan Hicks was a fireballing rookie last season that dazzled with 70 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings; he also only had a 3.59 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. A starting pitcher in the minors, Hicks made 73 appearances out of the Cardinals pen last season, walking 45 batters as well. The 22-year-old Hicks did not pitch above High-A in the minors, but his 2.74 ERA in 105 innings in 2017 was enough to make the big league team.

He opened his MLB career by walking 12 batters and striking out seven in Mar/April, but did hold batters to a sub-.200 batting average over the first three-plus months of the season. However, after holding batters to a .557 OPS in the first half, Hicks saw his OPS allowed jump to .633 in the second half and his WHIP go from 1.19 to 1.58. While he struck out 28 in 29 2/3 second-half innings, fantasy owners had to expect more in terms of strikeouts as well.

Considering that Hicks' 105 mph fastball did not lead to as good of results as some may think, new addition Andrew Miller may be tipped to close in St. Louis. However, Miller has been more of a jack-of-all-trades than a closer in his career (although he did save 36 games with the Yankees in 2015) and the lefty/righty split of Miller and Hicks could lead to Mike Shildt splitting closer's duties for the Cards. At an ADP of 221, though, Hicks might be worth a late-round addition in case he is the closer for the Cards. At a minimum, you can expect more strikeouts from Hicks this season as he continues to refine his arsenal. If Hicks does get the closer's job in St. Louis, there is top-1o RP upside here, especially with St. Louis putting themselves in a good position to win with an aggressive offseason


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