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12/19/1987 (29 y, 2 m)
2009 June Amateur Draft - Round: 9, Pick: 19, Overall: 280, Team: Toronto Blue Jays
$1.1M / 1 Years (2017)
Loup is the early favorite to take over the left-handed setup role left vacant by the recently-departed Brett Cecil, MLB.com reports. (2/1/2017)
MASH Report (3/14/16)
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
Changing Breaking Balls, By Movement
Owen Watson (FanGraphs)
The Blue Jays Bullpen: Uncertainty North of the Bo»
Karl de Vries (RotoGraphs)
Evaluating the Prospects: Toronto Blue Jays
Kiley McDaniel (FanGraphs)
Blue Jays Bullpen: Good Because It Has To Be
Blake Murphy (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Despite everything else that went wrong for the Blue Jays in 2013, they did have a good bullpen, and Aaron Loup was a non-trival part it. Both after his callup in 2012 and in his full-season 2013, Loup was no strikeout machine, although he was not bad in that regard. What Loup did display was good control and a strong ground-ball tendency. Loup maybe have been lucky on balls in play in 2012 and with men on base in 2013, but he still has solidified his place as a middle reliever for Toronto. The southpaw relies quite heavily on his sinker, mixing in some curves versus lefties and changes versus rigthies. Although he is better, as one would expect, versus left-handed hitters, surprisingly for a sinker-reliant pitcher, he is not bad versus righties either. So he is not simply a left-handed specialist, as one can see from his 69 innings of relief work in 2013. Loup is probably not a true talent sub-three ERA pitcher, but something in the low- to mid-threes is doable. Despite Loup's virtues in real baseball, in fantasy baseball his value is limited. His ERA and WHIP might be okay, but his pedestrian (for a reliever) strikeout rate and lack of expected save opportunities makes him a very low priority. In deeper leagues that count holds, he might have a little value near the end of the draft. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
In real baseball, Loup is a decent middle reliever. In fantasy baseball, he does not have much value outside of leagues that use holds as a category.
The 2013 Blue Jays were mostly disappointing, but in the process they did find some useful relievers. Aaron Loup was one of those. In 2013 his good control, adequate strikeout rate, and, most of all, his extreme ground-ball rate, combined to make him a very good middle relief option. He is better against fellow southpaws, but not horrible against righties, either. In 2014, he was still useful in a similar role, but not nearly as effective, despite a lot of luck on balls in play. He upped his strikeout rate a bit, but that was outweighed by control problems. His WHIP is okay for league in which that counts, but relievers with a mid-three ERA are no big deal in fantasy these days when they do not bring high strikeout rates or get saves. Unless your league counts holds or Loup somehow ends up as Toronto's closer via injury, he can be safely ignored on draft day and picked up (like many other middle relievers) on the waiver wire. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Loup predictably regressed in 2014, but was still okay. The main problem for Loup in fantasy terms is that he is a non-elite middle reliever. Unless you really need holds, that means he has little or no fantasy value that would set him apart from all the other waiver bait.
After being a very good left-handed option out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays from 2012 to 2014, Aaron Loup had a difficult 2015 season, even getting briefly demoted in August. It is not at all clear what Loup did wrong. His strikeout rate was the best of his career, and his walk rate was very low. His ground ball rate remained strong. It might be too easy to simply dismiss Loup's 2015 struggles as "bad luck," but a .339 batting average on balls in play (he had never had a season BABIP over .300) and an insane home run per fly ball rate of almost 21% both point in that direction. There seemed to be some changes in Loup's slider in 2015 compared to prior years -- it moved more and was harder, yet hitters seemed to tee off an that pitch in particular. It is hard to say. Loup is going to be in the Jays' bullpen again, and a team isn't going to give up on a reliever after he just put up a near-25% strikeout rate and a walk rate below 4%. Middle relievers -- Loup is going to need chips to fall to see save opportunities, especially after last year -- have limited value in most leagues, but as far as middle relievers go, Loup has been good relative fantasy value the last few seasons. Depending on your league (probably only deep ones), Loup is still a decent middle relief option, especially if you need strikeouts. That may be a pretty niche slot -- but Loup should not be devalued too much just based on his ERA from 2015. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Even good middle relievers have pretty limited fantasy value, so one should not overstate this, but as far as middle relievers go, Aaron Loup is still a solid pick despite his troubles in 2015.
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Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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