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1/28/1988 (29 y, 29 d)
2010 June Amateur Draft - Round: 13, Pick: 10, Overall: 395, Team: Oakland Athletics
$2M / 1 Years (2017)
Griffin agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Rangers on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. (1/13/2017)
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A.J. Griffin and Martin Perez: Deep League Wire
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A.J. Griffin: Not Just a Curveball
Eno Sarris (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
A.J. Griffin was drafted in the 2010 amateur draft, and was signed on June 30. Exactly two years and 11 days later Griffin found himself on a big league mound for the first time. Just weeks after his debut, he started Game 5 of the ALDS against the Tigers.A pretty meteoric rise, no? Griffin's sub-optimal heat — his fastball just averaged 90.3 mph — is offset by a strong mix of pitches, including an absolutely devastating curveball. His 3.06 ERA looks shiny on the surface, but his 3.85 FIP and 4.02 xFIP tell a different tale. Griffin was able to post a mere .264 batting average on balls in play thanks in large part to his fly ball tendencies, his home park, and his team's defense. Griffin's 37.5% ground ball rate ranked 26th out of 189 starting pitchers that threw at least 80 innings. He also was able to limit his walks and post the fifth highest infield fly ball rate, up at 16.3%. I'm not ready to call him Matt Cain Light, but there are some resemblances in the batted ball data. It's a perfect storm of right type of pitcher and right type of ballpark. If Griffin manages to crack the opening day rotation — no guarantee with Brett Anderson, Dan Straily, Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker, and Bartolo Colon on the roster — then he makes for the ideal home starter and occasional road starter. Grab him late in drafts and stash him. (
The Quick Opinion:
A.J. Griffin and the perfect storm -- sometimes the perfect situation arises. Sometimes a fly ball pitcher lands in the perfect situation: a park that plays big and that has more grass in the foul territory than most National Parks. Griffin is the perfect spot starter at home or against weaker lineups.
In his first full big league season, A.J. Griffin managed to log 200 innings while tallying 171 strikeouts. A right-handed starter who's heater is closer to lukewarm, Griffin uses a mix of off-speed and breaking balls to keep hitters off balance. If his offspeed pitches aren't moving the way they should, hitters tee off on Griffin to the tune of 36 home runs allowed last season, the most of any qualified starter. Unsurprisingly his 1.62 homers per nine innings also led the league (or followed the league?). Home runs will always be a factor for Griffin give his fly ball tendencies — his 32.1% ground-ball rate ranked last in the majors — however his home park helps suppress the dingers. Griffin's fly ball style cuts two ways: he'll produce a better than average batting average on balls in play at the cost of an elevated home run rate. For a relatively cheap starter, Griffin is a great player to grab late in drafts or to stream in favorable match ups in shallow leagues. (David Wiers)
The Quick Opinion:
At home, or in favorable match ups on the road, those are the best time to play Griffin. He'll miss some bats with the offspeed stuff, but batters won't miss his sub-par fastball for the occasional dinger.
A.J. Griffin threw exactly zero major league innings last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. The right-hander was coming off of a decent 200 inning, 32 start season in 2013, though his 3.83 ERA was betrayed by a 4.55 FIP/4.18 xFIP/3.94 SIERA. Griffin was the beneficiary of some good batted ball fortune, posting a .242 mark in his 200 innings, the second-lowest mark of any qualified starter. Presuming he is healthy enough to make an early to mid season return, Griffin does have value. With a spacious home park, Griffin's natural pitching profile of tons of fly balls — his 32.2% ground-ball rate was the lowest in baseball — is mostly safe. Count on him getting a decent amount of strikeouts while posting a strong strikeout to walk rate, but his rates aren't impressive enough to warrant a mid tier pitcher ranking. He will give up more than his share of long balls, but when at home or on the road in a roomy ballpark, Griffin makes for a solid stream candidate. (
The Quick Opinion:
A better than average stream option, Griffin's home run rate is what hurts him the most and keeps him from being a cheap roster option in standard leagues. He'll gather some strikeouts and some wins but beware the blowup inning where he serves up back-to-back dingers.
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Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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