Felipe Paulino & Jeanmar Gomez: Deep League WW

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time to go fishing in the dark, murky waters of the free agent pool. Today I look at two starting pitchers, one of which I am extremely surprised to see such a low ownership percentage for, the other, not so much. If you are in need of pitching help, read on.

Felipe Paulino | KC SP | 14% Owned

I have been a big fan of Paulino back during his Astros days, specifically heading into the 2010 season despite coming off of an ugly 6.27 ERA. He displayed strong strikeout ability backed by a mid-90s fastball and an excellent SwStk%, along with respectable enough control. Unfortunately, shoulder problems, a regression in his control and poor luck ruined his 2010 campaign and then he was shipped off to the Rockies to pitch in middle relief in 2011. As a result, he promptly fell off my radar, but then reemerged upon his move to Kansas City.

He induces ground balls at a slightly above league average rate and while his control isn’t great, it’s good enough, as his F-Strike% has generally sat just below the average. The most exciting part of his game is obviously his potential for punchouts, as he sports a career 9.8% SwStk% and his fastball has averaged over 95.0 miles per hour every season of his career. After being slowed by a strained forearm that forced him to miss the first month of the season, it is good to see that his fastball was just as good as always during his first start upon his activation from the DL. In fact, his velocity had actually gained over a mile per hour. Having posted a 3.65 SIERA last year and nice strikeout upside, he still possesses breakout potential and should even be considered in 12-team mixed leagues.

Jeanmar Gomez | CLE SP | 12% Owned

I have always felt that ground ball pitchers were underappreciated in real baseball, which ends up getting them left off of prospect lists, eventually resulting in undervaluation in fantasy leagues. Of course, ground ballers usually have lower strikeout rates and since most leagues use strikeouts as a category, they are rightly valued less. That said, over 138.1 career innings with the Indians, Gomez has posted a 50% ground ball rate, while displaying good control. His F-Strike% confirms that he should remain a bit better than league average in walk rate, though that also means he won’t sustain a sub-2.00 BB/9 all season.

As with many ground ballers, Gomez hasn’t been much of a strikeout pitcher in the past and has just a 5.2 career K/9 in the Majors. However, his strikeout rate has jumped to just a smidge over 6.0 this year, which would really help his potential fantasy value if maintained. The good news is that it might very well be sustainable. He has increased the usage of his slider at the expense of his fastball/sinker, and his SwStk% has spiked from a weak 5.6% to a league average 8.7% mark. That could lead to a decent skill set and a sub-4.00 ERA, generating some value in deeper and AL-Only leagues. I would still pass in a mixed league though.

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Mike Podhorzer produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. He also sells beautiful photos through his online gallery, Pod's Pics. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

18 Responses to “Felipe Paulino & Jeanmar Gomez: Deep League WW”

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  1. David Franz says:

    So how good of a streaming option is Paulino for Friday against the White Sox? Gomez actually throws against the White Sox today, is he a good streaming option?

    I’m in a 12-team mixed by the way.

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    • I wouldn’t touch Gomez in a 12-team mixed, doesn’t have enough strikeout rate upside even with his improvement this year. The White Sox offense is sub-par, have an above average team walk rate (probably all Adam Dunn) and has the worst contact rate in the AL, also mostly Dunn. I think that makes Paulino a decent stream option. I am starting him in my LABR 15-team mixed and depending on my other options, would consider him in a 12-teamer.

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  2. illinibob says:

    I drafted both very cheaply in my 12 team AL only roto league this year, and am very happy with the results. Both are extremely rosterable in al onlys, and moving towards mixed league relevance.

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  3. Brandon says:

    I’m in a 16-team mixed head-to-head league. I have Pomeranz but I’m frustrated with his inconsistent performance thus far. Both Gomez and Paulino are available. Would you drop Pomeranz for either? If so, which one would you prefer?

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    • I like Paulino much more than Pomeranz.

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      • Socrates says:

        I agree that Paulino > Pomeranz in general but both are prone to being inconsistent. I might like Pomeranz better if I had a deep bench and could spot start outside of Colorado against some of the weaker NL west lineups (SD and SF).

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  4. Andrew says:

    18 team mixed league (23 man roster), just dropped Carl Pavano (3% owned) for Paulino (2% owned) after reading this. Smart?

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  5. Socrates says:

    I would love to see a couple of paragraphs on Tomlin as well. I understand that he made some adjustments, and his ability to throw strikes has always been there. I wonder if his K rate is sustainable and if he can maintain a decent ERA.

    I agree on Paulino. I have had my eye on him the last few years and scooped him up in my AL only league last year. I imagine I read something that you posted pre-2010 that set me to watching him.

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  6. Bingo Starr says:

    In a deep mixed points league I’m deep with fringe SP like Nicasio, McDonald, Burnett, Duffy rotating from bench to my 5th starter- Paulino has dual elig so he can fill a RP slot for me which is valuable in our format- do I dump one of the SP above or do I dump Casey Janssen instead and put Paulino in as my third RP?

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    • I like Paulino more than McDonald, but since McDonald is young and has a nice ERA, would look to try doing a 2 for 1 or something, rather than just dropping him. I wouldn’t drop Janssen since he’s closing for the time being.

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  7. Paul Lamb says:

    Would you drop a McCarthy or Masterson for Paulino?

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  8. Dave says:

    For anyone who wants a breakdown/analysis of Paulino, check this out

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  9. Detroit Michael says:

    Paulino’s fastball velocity, as measured by Pitch F/X, was down in his second start. Perhaps the Pitch F/X velocity in Kansas City is miscalibrated again and is measuring pitches too fast?

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