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7/3/1986 (30 y, 7 m, 18 d)
2007 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1s, Pick: 24, Overall: 54, Team: Texas Rangers
$4.6M / 1 Years (2015)
Hunter has agreed to a minor league contract with the Rays that includes an invite to spring training, Steve Carney of 620 AM WDAE radio reports. (2/17/2017)
Contract Crowdsourcing 2015-16: Day 15 of 15
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
Cubs Look for Depth, Add Dan Haren and Tommy Hunte»
Owen Watson (FanGraphs)
Bullpen Report: May 7, 2014
Colin Zarzycki (RotoGraphs)
Baltimore Orioles Bullpen: New Closer In Town
Howard Bender (RotoGraphs)
Tommy Hunter's Closing Opportunity
Mike Podhorzer (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Hunter had a promising rookie campaign in Texas while making 19 starts. The right-hander won nine games and pitched 112 innings, showing durability after also pitching 70+ innings in the minors. Hunter is not a big strikeout pitcher (5.14 K/9 in '09), but he has good control (2.65 BB/9). His lack of ground balls (37.4%) could hurt him in a homer-prone home stadium. With a well-below-average fastball in terms of value, Hunter relies heavily on a good curveball, solid change-up, and developing cutter. With time, his cutter could become a solid weapon.
The Year Ahead:
The right-hander's numbers will likely be suppressed as long as he's playing in Texas, but he should be a good fantasy contributor thanks to the offense (and improving defense) surrounding him on the club. Although pitching is not a strength in Texas, the depth of the staff is, so Hunter will have competition for a starting spot, especially with Colby Lewis returning from Japan. The youngster will also have to hold off the likes of Brandon McCarthy and Matt Harrison. If he wins a rotation spot this spring, Hunter could an option in AL-only leagues. (Marc Hulet)
Tommy Hunter missed time in 2010 with an oblique injury, which always bears keeping in mind, as they have a tendency to relapse and cost significant time to rehab. Even if Hunter remains healthy and lasts the full season in the Rangers’ rotation, he is a bit of a bland fantasy starter. Hunter has never been successful due to strikeouts, relying instead of a combination of good ground-ball rates and limiting walks. That pattern can work but is more prone to fluctuations and allowing so many balls in play puts Hunter’s ERA and WHIP more in the hands of the Texas defense. Lucky for him, that is a good unit to rely on -- especially with the addition of Adrian Beltre. The difference between Michael Young’s defense at third to Beltre’s could swing Hunter’s fantasy value significantly. Hunter may be able to outpace his fielding-independent numbers yet again. (Matthew Carruth)
The Quick Opinion:
Tommy Hunter relies on his defense and he has a good one behind him for 2011. Don’t dismiss him due to his low-strikeout total.
Tommy Hunter has to be furious. Just over a year ago, he and Nick Blackburn were both in the starting rotation for playoff teams, and Hunter's went to the World Series! And yet here he is, struggling to hang on at the bottom of the bullpen for the pathetic Baltimore Orioles. No, it isn't fair, Tommy -- some terrible starting pitchers get to hold on to their jobs for no reason, some get shipped out of town. Neither have any fantasy value. Well, maybe if Terry Ryan chose the categories for your fantasy league and it was an "all Twins and Orioles" league or something like that. Just be glad that Hunter's former Texas teammate Matt Harrison had a good 2011, which let us all know that they are actually two separate people. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
If you are in a league deep enough to be reading Tommy Hunter's fantasy profile, you have somehow achieved the extremely rare distinction of being Too Much of a Nerd to Read FanGraphs.
Hunter has been a below-average starter over his career. The 26-year-old posted a 4.88 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 4.9 strikeouts per nine as a starter. Two-thirds of the way through the 2012, the Orioles moved the right-handed Hunter to the bullpen and his season took off. His fastball jumped from averaging around 91 mph to around 96 mph. His K/9 jumped from 4.7 to 8.5. His walk rate saw a small bump from 1.8 to 2.1 BB/9. The main improvement was his home run rate going from 2.3 to 1.1 HR/9. Putting all three together, his FIP went from 6.09 as a starter to 3.45 as a reliever. He isn't in line for saves right now, but he has some great value in hold leagues. A strikeout-to-walk ratio between three and four is always nice for padding rate stats. Also, he will have the starting-pitcher qualification, so he can fill in when a SP has an off day. All the excitement from the move to the bullpen is for naught if he has to be used as a starting pitcher again. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Tommy Hunter found new life in the Orioles bullpen in 2012 and looks to continue the trend in 2013.
After failing as a starter over parts of four seasons, Tommy Hunter settled in as a hard-throwing reliever in 2013, increasing his fastball velocity by more than four miles an hour to a mark of 96. As a result, Hunter posted a 2.81 ERA and had his strikeout rate climb above 20% for the first time. This is standard stuff for a starter moving to the pen, but it’s at least encouraging that Hunter also managed to trim his walk rate even further to a tiny 4.2%. Like his primary competition for the closer’s role in Darren O’Day, the knock on Hunter is a fly-ball tendency in a friendly ballpark, explaining how he managed 10 meltdowns despite not cracking the top-50 in leverage index. Whether Buck Showalter will trust him in further high-leverage situations remains to be seen, though Hunter is on record as wanting the chance to close. Fantasy owners would probably prefer O’Day’s higher strikeout rate, given the choice. (
The Quick Opinion:
Tommy Hunter's velocity spiked in a major way with a move to the bullpen in 2013, and success followed. He still doesn't strike batters out like a closer, but the job could end up in his hands entering 2014.
Hunter is another in a long line of failed starters who have jumped to a relief role and taken to it with aplomb. Through 2012, Hunter made 98 appearances (75 starts) with a 4.77 ERA, 5.03 FIP and just 5.0 strikeouts per nine. Hunter's average heater routinely checked in around 90-91 mph, and he failed to distinguish himself in that role both in Texas and in Baltimore after being moved as part of the Koji Uehara-Chris Davis trade. The Orioles shifted him to the pen full-time in 2013, and the results have markedly improved: 2.88 ERA, 3.46 FIP and 6.9 K/9. Hunter is now routinely throwing in the high 90s, with a great two-seamer and a good curveball that comprised over half the pitches he threw in 2014. He's not entirely dissimilar from deposed Orioles closer Jim Johnson in that he doesn't get as many strikeouts as you'd expect from someone who throws hard, but he gets fewer grounders, more strikeouts, and throws a bit harder yet than Double J did when he was with the Birds. Hunter is listed as the No. 2 option for saves in Baltimore behind Zach Britton, making him a big-time watch list guy as the season wears on. (Brandon Warne)
The Quick Opinion:
Hunter appears to be the number two option for saves in Birdland. That alone is reason to keep an eye on him in fantasy leagues for 2015.
After two solid years in relief, Hunter took a step back in 2015 with an ERA over 4.00 and peripherals that do not suggest he was simply a victim of bad luck. Hunter does not have high strikeout numbers and has maintained an average 13% strikeout minus walk rate for the past two seasons. Hunter gets a lot of his success from inducing ground balls, but his drop in ground ball rate coupled with giving up significantly more home runs led to his worst season since moving to the bullpen. Currently a free agent, it is difficult to project Hunter's fantasy value until he lands with a new team. He should get a look in a middle relief or set up role, and depending on the quality of the bullpen he will be joining, could be anywhere from next in line for saves or buried in the depth chart. It would be helpful for him if he moves out of the American League East and into a division that features less hitter parks as his success looks very dependent on limiting home runs. As of the start of 2016 it does not look like Hunter will be a valuable fantasy reliever. (Ben Duronio)
The Quick Opinion:
Hunter averages over 95 miles per hour with his fastball and induces a good amount of ground balls, but a lack of strikeout rate and a middling strikeout-walk ratio leaves him as a middle relief type to be left off fantasy rosters unless he ends up as a holds-providing setup man somewhere.
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Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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