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11/20/1987 (29 y, 3 m, 2 d)
2006 June Amateur Draft - Round: 2, Pick: 7, Overall: 51, Team: Atlanta Braves
$3M / 1 Years (2017)
Locke is dealing with biceps tendinitis and won't throw for the next three days, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. (2/20/2017)
Pirates Playing Time Battles: Pitchers
Blake Murphy (RotoGraphs)
Stream, Stream, Stream: #2xSP (6.22-6.28)
Brandon Warne (RotoGraphs)
Evaluating the Prospects: Pittsburgh Pirates
Kiley McDaniel (FanGraphs)
Relative Waiver Wire: Jeff Locke, Jesus Montero
Nicholas Minnix (RotoGraphs)
It's An Exciting Ship of Pirates Hurlers
Mike Podhorzer (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
As a starter in the International League in 2012, Locke did some terrible, unforgivable things to hitters, sporting a 22.4% strikeout rate and 7.4% walk rate -- good for a 2.48 ERA and 3.24 FIP. In his second coffee cup callup, Locke brought almost the exact same peripherals, sans his usual home run rate, which led to a solid 3.51 SIERA in 34.1 IP. The lefty stands a chance of making the rotation out of Spring Training and should be a useful, inexpensive acquisition in most ottoneu leagues, or leagues with benches of some depth. (
The Quick Opinion:
The lefty Locke has had some okay years in the minors, but his big league ceiling is yet limited. Consider him in the deepest leagues if he makes the Pirates' rotation this spring.
Suggesting that it was a tale of two halves for Locke might be the understatement of the year. Over 109.0 innings in the first half, Locke posted a sizzling 2.15 ERA. But the luck Gods enacted their revenge over the rest of the season, which resulted in a brutal 6.12 ERA. The crazy thing is, his skills package was essentially identical during those two periods! His first half xFIP was a below average 4.21, while his second half mark was actually better at 4.14. Not surprisingly, the difference came down to the three luck metrics. He went from being one of the best at preventing hits on balls in play and home runs on fly balls and stranding base runners to one of the worst. Obviously, a pitcher's true talent doesn't swing so drastically from half to half. His 4.54 SIERA paints the picture of a fifth starter who should be avoided in most fantasy leagues. (
The Quick Opinion:
Though a poor second half would normally make a pitcher a potentially undervalued choice in fantasy drafts, Locke's skills simply aren't good enough to be any more than a flyer in NL-Only leagues. He'll need to improve his control for a chance to show up on mixed leaguers' radars.
Jeff Locke has had some fantasy value in recent seasons by virtue of consistently outperforming his peripherals with a sub-four ERA. And he should continue to have some advantages, such as an infield committed to defensive shifts, a major asset for an extreme ground-ball pitcher like Locke. However, Locke will lose the services of elite defensive framer Russell Martin, who left for Toronto in free agency. And Locke doesn’t have any strikes to spare; he has struck out just 6.5 batters and walked 3.7 batters per nine in his career. His diminished walk rate in 2014 was an important step for him to establish himself as a viable back-end major league starter, but it is not enough for him to have fantasy relevance except in NL-only formats. (Scott Spratt)
The Quick Opinion:
Locke has had sub-four ERAs each of the last two seasons, but in both seasons, he overachieved his peripherals. Couple that with mediocre career strikeout and walk numbers, and Locke remains an NL-only play in 2015.
The Pirates' pitching staff has induced Major League Baseball's highest ground ball rate each of the last three seasons. Alas, Jeff Locke embodies the spirit of the high seas. Or, well, he embodies some of it -- he typically brings up the rear of Pittsburgh's rotation in terms of whichever fielding independent pitching statistic tickles your fancy. Despite a career ground ball rate north of 50%, Locke still gives up nearly a home run per nine innings, likely due to hitters pulling almost half of the balls in play he allows. He gained a little bit of velocity in 2015, but it didn't really achieve much for him. Entering his age-29 season, Locke has stagnated as a perfectly adequate back-of-the-rotation starter for real baseball but a wholly lackluster pitcher for fantasy purposes. Locke makes for a late-round investment in NL-only leagues at best and is anything but a Locke to generate non-zero fantasy value. No? No? I'll show myself out. (Alex Chamberlain)
The Quick Opinion:
Even in the late rounds of NL-only leagues, Jeff Locke makes for a rather unsexy low-upside play. He's better left to the waiver wire until he's needed for a well-timed spot start.
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Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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