Putting a “Hold” Tag on Mike Minor

Over his past 28 starts, Mike Minor has a 2.75 ERA. That is just under a full season worth of starts with a miniscule ERA, so I think it is about time Minor is taken a bit more seriously. Even amongst the Braves crowd, and I know because I am entrenched in it, he is looked at among many as a back end type who is on a hot streak. People are just waiting for him to explode and revert back to the Minor of old.

Given his peripheral metrics, there is reason to expect that to happen. His BABIP has been suppressed over the past two seasons, with a .252 mark last year and a .239 this season. While those numbers are unsustainable, the fact that he allows the most fly balls in baseball should let him continue to post low BABIPs even with high home run rates.

If you take from the start of July to this year, which spans 23 starts – this is when he really got it going last year – he has walked just 28 batters in 146 innings. That is a 5% walk rate, which is just astonishing. This combined with his low BABIP has allowed his WHIP to sit in the top-15 in baseball the past two years. WHIP is not a tremendous stat, but most fantasy leagues account for it and having what seems to be a perennial top-20 member in your rotation is something to enjoy.

So, with the understanding of how good Minor has been over the past calendar year, what should owners or prospective owners be doing with him? At this point, his value is as high as it has ever been. Trading for him will cost a pretty penny, and I would wait for a bad start or two to send any serious offers over. If you currently own Minor, I am not looking to “sell high.” It is entirely possible that this is actually what Minor is, and that he won’t suffer a number of hiccups. It is not certain, maybe not even likely, but your rotation would take a big blow if it got rid of what seems to be the best starter on one of the best teams in the league.

I am putting a strong “hold” recommendation on Minor right now, even with a big gap in his ERA and FIP. He will continue to allow a good amount of home runs, but as long as he keeps that walk rate at a tremendously low level and keeps the ball in the air as much as anyone in the league, most of those home runs will be solo shots. Enjoy the value you grabbed Minor at and don’t be tempted to sell him for a slightly intriguing package. Get full value for him if you wish to move him, but hold onto him if at all possible.




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Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.


11 Responses to “Putting a “Hold” Tag on Mike Minor”

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  1. Pops says:

    For the sake of this article, I just dealt Mike Minor and Zack Wheeler for Jay Bruce and Torii Hunter in a ten team keeper league. I love Mike Minor as much as the next guy, but the deal was too good to pass up.

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  2. Giovani says:

    I refuse to read this article until I get my Roto Riteup.

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  3. Matthew says:

    Should I trade Mike Minor and Heath Bell for Johnny Cueto and Kenley Jansen? I am in a 12 team H2H keeper league with prices as follow: Minor (9), Bell (1), Cueto (6), Jansen (5). Also I have David Price and am wondering who to pick up. Scott Kazmir, Ubaldo Himenez, John Lackey, Jarrod Parker, David Phelps, Julio Teheran, Zach McAliister, Francisco Liriano or Bartolo Colon?

    Thanks!

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    • Matthew says:

      I might have to do Bobby Parnell, Heath Bell and Mike Minor for Cueto and Jansen. Is it still worth it?

      Thanks!

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    • Matthew says:

      Ubaldo Jimenez and Francisco Liriano have been added by different teams. Also I have Ross Detwiler so if he goes on the DL I am going to drop him so which 2 should I add.

      Thanks!

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  4. Jamie says:

    just traded Minor for Segura earlier today, before this article came out. Still a good move? 10 team h2h, with Lowrie as my current SS

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  5. Matt says:

    I’ve been taking a different view on BABIP as a whole. I feel like the regression/sabermetrics police are going to hate me for this but I dont think a low/high BABIP doesn’t always mean regression. My reasoning here is pretty simple: What if, rather than simply getting lucky and having should-be hits caught for outs, Minor has figured something out and is now inducing more bad contact? I’ve been thinking about this and I feel like BABIP (over a more stable period of time) could actually be a way of measuring skill rather than luck. Just throwing that out there

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    • Donald Kachuba says:

      that is my thinking. a guy making lousy contact, may be doing so because he is off balance. he is fooled, he’s looking fastball and getting breaking pitch and adjusting. i mean that’s just one thing of the top of my head. there could be several reasons certain pitchers have better BABIP than others, it’s called winning the matchup versus the hitter.

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  6. Jake says:

    Mike minor for josh Hamilton
    Help I don’t know what to do

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