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7/7/1983 (33 y, 7 m, 17 d)
2002 June Amateur Draft - Round: 17, Pick: 18, Overall: 510, Team: Chicago White Sox
$48M / 4 Years (2015 - 2018) + 1 Option Years
McCarthy has been throwing off a mound with full velocity this offseason, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. (1/28/2017)
MASH Report 8/15/16
BJ Maack (RotoGraphs)
We Need To Talk About The Dodgers Rotation
Corinne Landrey (FanGraphs)
The Change: Arsenal Scores
Eno Sarris (RotoGraphs)
Is It Time to Move Past HR/FB Rate?
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
Challenge: Prove Brandon McCarthy's HR/FB is Not B»
Mike Podhorzer (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
The subject of a great piece by Ryan Campbell that broke down his path to his breakout season in 2011, Brandon McCarthy does not have superstar stuff. And he'd probably tell you the same while being @BMcCarthy32 on twitter. His fastball barely cracks 90, his changeup was almost a scratch pitch before he pretty much scratched it last year, and over the last year and a half his pitch percentages have been all over the place as he's tried to find himself. Apparently abandoning his four-seam fastball, for the most part, has been a boon, and pitching mix is the easiest way for a pitcher to make sustainable gains. The results, in 2011, included his highest ground-ball percentage (46.7%) and the lowest walk rate (1.32) of his career. No doubt, his home park also helped, and while those rates might regress some, he'll still call Oakland home for the time being. Expect an ERA closer to four than to three, and he won't get many wins or strikeouts -- that makes him a bottom-of-the-staff fantasy pitcher. But it also makes him valuable. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
The prolific tweeter with the refined approach to self-improvement, McCarthy is easy to admire. Don't fall too far in love with him in fantasy though -- even if he holds on to his 2011 gains, he won't offer many wins or strikeouts.
McCarthy is the all too common blend of undeniable talent and injury frustrations. A come-backer that struck him in his head — and required him to have emergency brain surgery — is what ended his 2012 campaign, but McCarthy has struggled with more common pitching injuries before. If one were to combine the 2011 and 2012 seasons, FIP ranks McCarthy as the 15th-best pitcher (minimum 250 innings pitched) in the league. His 3.29 ERA over those two seasons places him in the top 25 pitchers in the league again. If healthy, there is no denying McCarthy's usefulness on a fantasy team. Because of a recent two-year deal with Arizona, McCarthy brings his control (4.00 strikeouts per walk in 2011 and 2012) and his well-known twitter antics to the desert. I'd expect his outstanding home rate to go up a touch, but he is still worthy of a roster spot in any league format. (
The Quick Opinion:
Spectacular on the mound and on the inter-webs, some just follow him (and his wife) on twitter, some will do that and also draft him for a fantasy team. The latter group is where you want to be.
If his on-field production was as awesome as his Twitter production, he would be worthy of a first round draft selection. He has an 80 grade presence in the social media (as does his wife), but his career has been a continual struggle to stay healthy. He has had perpetual issues with his pitching shoulder and forearm, as well as the unfortunate life-threatening doming he took in 2012. It is tough to invest anything but a very late pick in a guy that has never won 10 games in a season or has pitched more than 170 innings in any one season. He looked good in Oakland, and if he can ever find that changeup he could be interesting, but hitter-friendly ballparks have not been his friend and he is still in one in Arizona this year. (Jason Collette)
The Quick Opinion:
It is tough to invest anything but a very late pick in a guy that has never won 10 games in a season or has pitched more than 170 innings in any one season. He looked good in Oakland, but hitter-friendly ballparks have not been his friend and he is still in one in Arizona this year.
In the first half of the season with the Diamondbacks, McCarthy battled the luck dragons, as he allowed a .345 batting average on balls in play and insane 20% home run per fly ball rate, while stranding just 66.7% of baserunners (league averages are .300, 10%m and 70% respectively). The poor fortune resulted in an inflated ERA over five, despite significantly increased fastball velocity that drove a strikeout rate surge. The Yankees saw through the ugly ERA and traded for the oft-injured pitcher in early July. McCarthy rewarded their faith in the peripherals by posting a sub-three ERA with the team, while continuing to punch out batters at a career-best clip and displaying pinpoint control. Every pitch McCarthy threw this season generated a swinging strike rate above his career average, likely due to the big boost in fastball velocity, which made everything more effective. Now returning to the National League with the Dodgers, he'll get to take the mound in a home park that suppresses run scoring. If his velocity spike sticks, his ERA should tumble below four and he'll be a near lock to deliver a profit to fantasy owners. (
The Quick Opinion:
McCarthy's skills surged in 2014, driven by a significant jump in fastball velocity, but his results were marred by poor batted ball luck and an inflated HR/FB rate. Back in the National League, his ERA should drip well below four if he is able to maintain that increased velocity on his fastball.
The 2015 campaign was mostly a lost one for McCarthy, whose season ended in April after he was compelled to undergo Tommy John surgery following just four starts. The outcome was particularly disappointing in light of the relative health McCarthy experienced in 2014. After years of losing partial and full seasons to injury, the right-hander had just reached the 200-inning threshold for the first time. And that 2014 season was promising for a different reason, too: despite having recorded a roughly league-average ERA with the D-backs and Yankees, McCarthy's fielding-independent numbers suggested at the possibility for much greater run prevention. Either offering further promise or perhaps suggesting that it's possibly a trend, McCarthy produced markedly better fielding-independent numbers in limited service last year, as well, with the Dodgers. He's expected to return at midseason. (Carson Cistulli)
The Quick Opinion:
McCarthy's fielding-independent and runs-allowed numbers have been at odds over the past two years. Probably smart to bet on the former when he returns from Tommy John surgery.
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Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 3:32 AM ET
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