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1/13/1989 (28 y, 1 m, 11 d)
2010 June Amateur Draft - Round: 5, Pick: 23, Overall: 168, Team: San Francisco Giants
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Hembree has a good shot of making Boston's roster for Opening Day due to being out of minor league options, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. (2/22/2017)
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The Giants organization isn't exactly known for crowding its big league roster with young players but the front office does a good job of identifying key prospects that can help the big league club, such as Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, and Madison Bumgarner in the recent past. Hembree could fall into that category, as well, albeit from the bullpen. He's had a successful pro career in the 'pen and has a shot at developing into a high-leverage reliever. He could eventually see some save opportunities if injuries present a path to the gig. Hembree suffered through some elbow issues in 2012 but he made it back in August after missing about a month and is expected to be healthy to begin 2013. He'll likely open the year back in Triple-A with one of the first tickets to San Francisco in the event of an injury or trade from the big league bullpen. (Marc Hulet)
The Quick Opinion:
Relievers rarely have much value in fantasy baseball and even more so if you're talking prospects. However, the closer's role in San Francisco is in a state of flux and Hembree could be a source of saves should current big league favorite Sergio Romo falter or hit the disabled list.
Once tabbed as the Giants closer of the future, Hembree has struggled mightily over the last two seasons. In 2012, he finished with a 4.74 ERA as his strikeouts dropped significantly while his walks saw a major increase. In 2013, he regained his strikeouts and improved his overall command, but he then started to give up far too many home runs and posted a career-worst 1.14 home runs per nine over 55.1 innings. Heading into 2014, the hope is that he finally puts it all together and earns a spot as a set-up man in the majors while building towards being a potential closer in due time. He'll need to start by dominating the hitters at the Triple-A level, something he's failed to do in two seasons. Unless he comes out and pitches lights-out this spring, he'll open the year at Triple-A Fresno and while everyone understands the hitter-friendly ways of the Pacific Coast League, he won't earn a promotion without dominating hitters at that level first. (Howard Bender)
The Quick Opinion:
After two straight seasons of poor performance, Hembree has a lot to prove before anyone tabs him as the Giants closer of the future again. He'll need to maintain strong command while continuing to improve his strikeouts against inferior hitters and until then, he'll stay put in Triple-A for most of the season. His fantasy value is minimal right now, but if he does show significant improvement, his long-term upside could increase exponentially.
Hembree has a great track record of striking batters out in the minor leagues. In his time at Triple-A, he has struck out 154 batters in 139.1 innings. That's the good news. The bad news is that he's a relief pitcher who has spent the better part of three seasons in Triple-A. He has often been tabbed as a future closer candidate, but that won't be his role with the 2015 Red Sox. In fact, with Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Edward Mujica and Anthony Varvaro all good bets to make the team, as well as at least one lefty and probably two, the odds on Hembree having any role on the major league team at the season's outset are relatively thin. He will likely compete for one or two spots with Steven Wright, Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman, all of whom have much longer histories within the Red Sox organization. If he does emerge with a spot, it is unlikely that it will be in a high-leverage role. If he wins a job and earns manager John Farrell's trust, he may find himself in a more notable role by the end of the season, or perhaps leading into 2016, but it's unlikely that he will be a difference maker this season. (Paul Swydan)
The Quick Opinion:
Heath Hembree has long been tabbed as a closer candidate, but it's unlikely that will happen this season. In fact, the odds are stacked against him having a meaningful role at all in 2015.
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Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 3:32 AM ET
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