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3/20/1985 (32 y, 7 d)
2005 June Amateur Draft - Round: 12, Pick: 29, Overall: 379, Team: New York Yankees
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Venters (elbow) suffered a torn UCL, Sam Blum of MLB.com reports. (7/2/2016)
Jonny Venters Is Broken Again
David G. Temple (FanGraphs)
The Braves Bullpen: Craig Kimbrel and... Some Othe»
Colin Zarzycki (RotoGraphs)
Bullpen Report: April 2, 2013
Benjamin Pasinkoff (RotoGraphs)
Atlanta Braves Bullpen: Depth Chart Discussions
Brett Talley (RotoGraphs)
MASH Report (3/28/13)
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Looks like the move to the bullpen worked for the h-less Jonny. After years of mediocre results as a lefty starter in the Braves' organization, he switched to the pen in 2010 and never looked back. He never spent a year in the rotation even close to averaging a strikeout per inning, but Venters blew batters away in short stints (10.08 K/9) with what was now a mid-nineties fastball and a wicked slider. He also garnered groundballs by the grip (68.4%) and generally was a grand revelation in his new role. His success was such that he's now been declared part of a closer tandem in Atlanta. Then again, his platoon split (1.97 FIP v LHB, 3.06 v RHB) means that he's more likely to get the shorter end of the stick there. Also, he walked over four per nine (4.23 BB/9), showed similar control problems in the minor leagues, and doesn't have the strikeout punch of, say, a Craig Kimbrel. He's more likely to end up as the setup man than take the closer role for himself. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
As a lefty with slight platoon splits and a great groundball numbers, Venters might be slightly miscast as a closer. Bet on him to get saves early, but don't bet on him to claim the role for good unless Craig Kimbrel's control problems lead to a meltdown.
Venters combined with Craig Kimbrel to create one of the most fearsome bullpen tandems in Major League Baseball. Kimbrel was the more valuable pitcher -- both in fantasy and in real life -- and thus received the save opportunities for the Braves. If Kimbrel collapses, or succumbs to injury, Venters would immediately become a top-five closer. His 9.82 strikeout rate proves that he clearly has the stuff to succeed in the role if given an opportunity. The only concern with Venters is his 4.40 walk rate. He can hide that deficiency somewhat as a reliever, but it's never a good idea to put men on base, especially when the game is on the line. (Chris Cwik)
The Quick Opinion:
Venters is one of the top set-up men in the game. He should accumulate strikeouts and holds in bunches next season. If Kimbrel goes down, Venters would become a top-5 closer.
Jonny Venters has the highest ground-ball rate (68.4%) among qualified relievers since 2010. You have to go down to 23rd on the list -- Sean Marshall -- to find another ground baller with a double-digit strikeout rate on that list, too. Unfortunately, where Marshall adds great control to the package, Venters fails at the third piece. He consistently walks more than four batters per nine innings, and last year that bit him in the butt. Combined with some poor batted ball luck (.357 batting average on balls in play), his walk rate last season blew up his WHIP (1.52). That also blew up his fantasy value, to an extent. Because if he's not going to be sexcellent across the board, his best fantasy use is as a handcuff to the amazing -- and young -- Craig Kimbrel. Holds leagues will be happy to use Venters, but then again, that entire Braves pen is pretty good. Venters' 20 holds last season were not outer-worldy. Best to treat Venters as a bounce-back play in holds leagues, if he's available for cheap. Whiff guys like that, and keep the ball on the ground almost 70% of the time, and you can swallow up a few walks. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
Venters did not follow up his first two knockout years with a stellar third masterpiece. But the trilogy still tells a story of ground-balls and whiffs, so you can ignore the walks... to an extent.
Venters is scheduled to return from his second Tommy John surgery next season. The formerly elite left-handed reliever will need to overcome a lost season and some 2012 struggles. The Braves will probably ease him back into the bullpen and may use him as a lefty specialist to start the season. Prospective owners should watch his velocity throughout spring training as that could be a lead indicator of his recovery. He's averaged around 94-95 mph while in the majors and any substantial decline from there may mean that we're looking at a different pitcher. Tread cautiously until we see more out of Venters. (Brad Johnson)
The Quick Opinion:
Venters is set to return from his second Tommy John surgery. Such pitchers tend to be unreliable both from a real world and fantasy perspective. At best, Venters will set up for Kimbrel, but he'll likely start the season in a middle relief role.
Venters attempted to return from his second Tommy John surgery last season but was unable to make an appearance on the mound. With his release from the Braves, it unfortunately looks like it may be the end of the line for the once dominant lefty set up man. (Ben Duronio)
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Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017 3:36 AM ET
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