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Tyler Thornburg
Birthdate: 9/29/1988 (28 y, 5 m, 23 d)     Bats/Throws: R/R     Height/Weight: 6-0/185     Position: P
Drafted: 2010 June Amateur Draft - Round: 3, Pick: 14, Overall: 96, Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Contract: $2M / 1 Years (2017)
RotoWire News: Thornburg (arm) threw 20 pitches in the bullpen with a hitter standing in Tuesday and will pitch in a game Friday, the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham reports. (3/21/2017)
Injury: Arm, Day-To-Day
Profiles:  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  (Click Year to Expand / Close)
Profile: Tyler Thornburg's 2016 campaign was his best. His arsenal didn't change β€” four-seamer, curve, changeup, although the latter two flip-flopped from 2015 β€” but his velocity did, picking up more than 4 mph on his curve and more than 2 mph elsewhere. It helped him add almost 12 percentage points to his strikeout rate (K%) and rack up an inordinate number of fly balls. Thorny may have benefited from luck - his .223 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) testifies as much, and his strand rate (LOB%) reached levels mostly unseen from him. While the latter seems extraordinary, an 80% strand rate is common for relievers, so that seems repeatable. Ultimately, his fly ball tendencies seem like a serious issue: his 32.4% ground ball rate (GB%) ranked in the bottom tenth of relievers last year, all of whom endured bad seasons, exclusive of Kenley Jansen and inclusive of his new teammate, Craig Kimbrel. Alas, a trade to Boston removed Thorny from Milwaukee's closer role. He figures to set up for Kimbrel, who has ceded few save opportunities the last six years, but Kimbrel's reign as a ninth-inning force appears to be approaching its demise. In other words, Thorny's chances of saves in Boston are better than any of Kimbrel's set-up predecessors. It makes him a worthy handcuff, so to speak, but his fly ball issues are still a cause for concern. He's valuable in leagues with holds; otherwise, he's a target merely in AL-only leagues. (Alex Chamberlain)

The Quick Opinion: Tyler Thornburg is slated to set up for Craig Kimbrel, whose grasp on the closer gig, while strong, is more tenuous than ever. Still, although Thornburg improved, he isn't poised to repeat the magic and may be a relatively disappointing holds (and now-and-again saves) candidate. He should be targeted in AL-only formats and leagues with holds, but he may be overvalued in 2017.

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