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1 month agoRyan Yarbrough had a solid 2019 for Tampa Bay, but was a bit of an enigma for fantasy baseball. The Rays, pioneers of the opener strategy, did a great job of using Yarbrough as efficiently as they could, making it tough to gauge his true skill set compared to other pitchers. Yarbrough made 14 starts and was used as the bulk reliever 14 times so the Rays picked their spots to hide Yarbrough from the top of their opponent's batting order, and it likely helped his numbers. Yarbrough won 11 games with a 4.13 ERA and a sparkling 1.00 WHIP thanks to a minuscule 3.6 percent walk rate. Where he really excelled, however, is limiting hard contact. Among pitchers with at least 300 batted ball events, Yarbrough easily led the league with an elite 84.1 MPH average exit velocity and was one of only two pitchers with an average exit velocity on fly balls under 90 MPH. Lack of hard contact helps make up for the fact Yarbrough won't help in strikeouts as his career strikeout rate is just 20.6 percent. Tampa Bay will likely continue to use him in a bulk-reliever role giving him plenty of win potential while helping in WHIP. He won't be a must-start fantasy option, but for a pick outside the top-250 overall, he is worth a late-round flier as a bench pitcher to use in good matchups.--Mike Schwarzenbach - RotoBaller
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