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6/13/1989 (27 y, 8 m, 12 d)
2010 June Amateur Draft - Round: 2, Pick: 18, Overall: 68, Team: Detroit Tigers
$6.8M / 1 Years (2017)
Smyly, who is penciled in as the Mariners' fourth starter, is looking to put an inconsistent 2016 season behind him, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. (2/3/2017)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Drew Smyly's 2012 season would make him an intriguing fantasy option, even if you didn't know he was only 23 and not going to be 24 until June. 8.5 strikeouts per nine, less than 3 walks per nine and a 3.83 FIP are all good signs. He struck out more than a batter per inning across 15 Double- and Triple-A appearances, so there is no reason to think he can't maintain the strikeout rate. The big question for him is just development and stamina, as he faded down the stretch last year. Smyly is supposedly trade bait this off-season, and where he ends up will likely impact his value, not only because his low ground-ball rate means he would benefit from a spacious park, but also because he could easily find himself in Triple-A for a bit. (
The Quick Opinion:
Smyly has a bright future, and will be worth owning in fantasy leagues when he is in the rotation. When that is and how valuable depends if the Tigers keep him or where he gets traded.
Drew Smyly spent all of 2013 coming out of the bullpen, and he was one of the best setup arms in the game. He finished with a 2.37 ERA (2.31 FIP), 1.04 WHIP, a 27% strikeout rate and registered 21 holds. As a starter in 2012, Smyly featured more of a fastball/slider/change approach but in 2013, it was mostly fastball/cut fastball, which makes sense given his role. With the trade of Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals, it's expected that Smyly will have every opportunity to nail down the fifth slot in the Tiger rotation, and he's certain to occupy plenty of sleeper candidate lists. Still just 24, Smyly doesn't have a long track record in the minors, but over his 140-plus innings over three levels, he's pretty much dominated and demonstrated great strikeout stuff. As a starter, Steamer projects him for a 4.03 ERA 1.30 WHIP, and a 21% strikeout rate, which would actually be worse results than the 18 starts he made in 2011 when he posted a 3.79 ERA (3.77 FIP) and 1.21 WHIP with a 22% strikeout rate. After his stellar 2013, I'm a bit more bullish than Steamer. Smyly strikes me as an excellent candidate to target later in your drafts -- but don't sit too long, because there's likely to be plenty of interest.
The Quick Opinion:
Drew Smyly had a breakout year as a reliever in the Detroit Tiger bullpen and he enters 2014 as the favorite to round out their starting rotation. He has the talent to to be a number three in a good fantasy rotation, but given his relative inexperience as a starter, it would be best to draft him as a number five with hopes for more. Keep an eye on how they stretch him out in spring, as well as any position battles that may emerge for that last rotation slot.
Define “pressure”: being the 25-year-old tapped to replace David Price in the Rays rotation. That’s asking a lot, but Smyly hinted that he might be up to the task, going 3-1 in seven starts with a 1.70 ERA (3.01 FIP) and a solid four-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio after coming over to Tampa Bay at the July trade deadline. Although the southpaw had long been effective against left-handed hitters, righties had killed him during his two-and-a-half years in Detroit, due in no small part to his
struggles with his changeup
. But in Tampa Bay, Smyly has found a home where the changeup is
embraced and developed
, and it comes as little surprise that his whiff rate on the pitch soared after he came over. There were other positive signs: Jeff Sullivan noted an increased reliance on
elevating his fastball
, which helped fuel a nearly two-and-a-half point jump in his overall whiff rate, and his first-pitch strike percentage zoomed upon becoming a Ray, helping him improve what was already a solid walk rate. Meanwhile, he essentially halved his hits allowed per nine innings, and what was a 1.35 WHIP in Detroit melted into a 0.76 mark in Tampa Bay. Of course, Smyly’s south Florida stint only gives us a small sample size on which to judge, and generous batted ball luck, a super high strand rate and good fortune on home run rate given a spike in his fly balls allowed all but debunk the paper-thin ERA. But in replacing Price with Smyly in the team’s rotation, the Rays clearly saw potential in his arm, and the early returns suggest they were on to something. (
Karl de Vries
The Quick Opinion:
Smyly remains a mostly unproven commodity entering the draft, but his upside justifies a pick somewhere after the top 40 starting pitchers are off the board.
After a strong finish to the 2014 season, Smyly looked like the obvious heir to the number two spot in the rotation following Alex Cobb's elevation to the ace spot. Instead, both these guys started the season the disabled list. Cobb spent the entire year there, but Smyly returned from the DL in late April. He made only three starts before returning right back to the DL with yet more shoulder problems. He finally returned for good in mid-August, and his results through the end of the season continued his upward trend of increased strikeouts, weaker contact, and overall solid production. Entering the 2016 season, Smyly should slot into the third spot in the rotation -- now behind newly-minted ace Chris Archer and number two Jake Odorizzi -- but he could even be behind the likes of Erasmo Ramirez, who appears to have turned a corner in his development in 2015. If they don't slot him lower in the rotation, the Rays may look to limit Smyly's workload by limiting him to two times through the batting order. Which should mean good news for his rate stats, but bad for his innings pitched total. (
The Quick Opinion:
Smyly has performed well since coming to the Rays, but his recent shoulder issues may cause the team to limit his innings -- either by putting him deeper in the rotation or limiting his actual pitch count. Either way, Smyly has shown no indications of getting worse at preventing run scoring. If anything, his needle is pointing up. Don't be surprised if he can pitch 150 innings of low-3.00 ERA ball -- or better.
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Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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