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8/8/1982 (34 y, 6 m, 18 d)
2004 June Amateur Draft - Round: 4, Pick: 15, Overall: 116, Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
$0.8M / 1 Years (2016)
Ohlendorf signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, the Japan Times reports. (12/28/2016)
The Change: Secretly Bad Fastballs
Eno Sarris (RotoGraphs)
Brett Anderson's Elbow Eaten by Sliders?
Eno Sarris (FanGraphs)
2011 Player Rankings: Shortstops
Erik Hahmann (RotoGraphs)
Ross Ohlendorf: Did Advanced Stats Help?
Paul Swydan (FanGraphs)
Nerds Like Us: For Self-Examination
Matt Klaassen (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
A full-time starter for the first time in his Major League career, Ohlendorf posted a sub-4.00 ERA while reaching the double digits in wins. The 27-year-old's peripherals, however, suggest that he got plenty of breaks along the way. Ohlendorf's BABIP was .265, third-lowest among starters tossing at least 150 innings. His FIP was 4.72. The Princeton graduate fired mid-90s bullets out of the bullpen with the Yankees, but he sat at 91 mph as a starter. Ohlendorf's heater was an average offering, with an 80 mph slider serving as his out-pitch. The slider was +1.5 runs above average per 100 pitches. Ohlendrof's change-up, by contrast, was crushed for -1.6 runs per 100 tosses. That helps explain why the 6’4’’ righty limited right-handed batters to a .697 OPS, while southpaws managed an .818 OPS.
The Year Ahead:
Expect Ohlendorf's ERA to rise in 2010, as his BABIP was unsustainably low. He boasts above-average control, but Ohlendorf didn't miss very many bats in 2009. If the former Diamondbacks and Yankees prospect posts similar strikeout and walk ratios in 2010, his ERA will likely climb to the mid-to-high 4.00s. Can Ohlendorf become more of a power pitcher? He whiffed 7.5 batters per nine frames at the Triple-A level, and he did increase his K rate from 5.1 to 6.3 during the second half of the 2009 season. His bump in punch outs coincided with his finding a couple extra ticks on his fastball (from 90 to 92 mph) and throwing more sliders. He tossed the slider about 21% during the first half, and 28% in the second half. Ohlendorf will need to keep the extra strikeouts and tame lefties to avoid regression to the mean. (David Golebiewski)
Ohlendorf caught plenty of breaks in 2009, allowing him to post an ERA (3.92) significantly lower than his xFIP (4.63). In 2010, he continued to post a decent-looking ERA despite pitching poorly and suffering plenty of physical pain. During a season in which he went on the DL with back spasms, got hit in the face with a line drive, and then was shut down in late August with a strained muscle in his right shoulder, Ohlendorf had a 4.07 ERA. His strikeout rate increased from 5.55 to 6.56 per nine, but his walk rate climbed from 2.7 BB/9 to 3.66 and his ground-ball rate was alarmingly low at 31.4%. Had he surrendered homers on fly balls at a Major League average 11% instead of his actual 7.7% clip, his HR/9 would have been 1.4 rather than an even one dinger per nine innings. Ohlendorf's xFIP, which adjusts for his good fortune on fly balls, was 4.96. The 28-year-old is entrenched in the Pirates' rotation as a cheap, functional starter, but he's headed for regression unless he shows better touch and gets more ground balls. (David Golebiewski)
The Quick Opinion:
Fantasy players who do their homework on this Princeton product won't be surprised to see his performance tail off in 2011. As a pitcher who doesn't miss much lumber or induce many grounders, Ohlendorf needs to get healthy and re-discover his control just to be a fantasy option.
After a cataclysmic 2011 season, Ohlendorf probably pines for the good ol’ days of 2010 when he went 1-11. He missed a big chunk of time in 2010 with a shoulder injury, and another lat strain cost him four months this past year. He made his season debut the same day as a major East Coast earthquake, and that basically set the tone for his brief, brutal year: a 5.11 xFIP in 38.2 innings, and an ERA three runs higher. At his best, Ohlendorf was a cheap, competent starter capable of a mid-fours ERA. Now, he’s damaged goods. The Pirates released him rather than pay him $2+ million in arbitration, and it’d be a surprise if he lands a Major League deal this winter. (David Golebiewski)
The Quick Opinion:
It doesn’t take a finance degree from Princeton or a USDA internship to know that Ohlendorf is a junk stock, or Grade D meat.
Ohlendorf, 30, has bounced around since pitching to a 3.92 ERA (4.72 FIP) in 176.2 innings across 29 starts for the 2009 Pirates. He's managed a similar peripheral-based performance (4.92 FIP) in 195.2 innings since, but the ERA has skyrocketed (5.80). Ohlendorf doesn't miss many bats (6.67 strikeouts per nine and a 16.7 K% since 2010) or get many ground balls (31.8%), nor does he limit walks (3.82 BB/9 and 9.2 BB%). That's not a good combination. Ohlendorf has decent enough stuff to remain interesting, but he'll open the season in Triple-A with the Nationals. That's a tough pitching staff to crack, and even if he does, he's very unlikely to be worth a fantasy spot even in deep leagues. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
It's been four years since Ohlendorf authored a 3.92 ERA in 176.2 innings for Pirates, and he's done nothing in nearly 200 innings since to be worthy of a fantasy roster spot. If that's not enough, the Nationals' pitching staff will be very tough to crack.
Ohlendorf hasn't even been worth spot starting in fantasy leagues since 2010, and he really hasn't been relevant since 2009. He's currently locked into a hybrid, spot starter/long reliever role and has almost no chance to have any fantasy relevance. (Brett Talley)
The Quick Opinion:
Ohlendorf had some fantasy relevance in 2009. It's 2014.
We always talk about production when we think about what a major league player can do for your fantasy team. How many home runs will he hit? How many bases will he steal? How many wins, saves, and strikeouts can he add? But by doing this, we are not considering the entirety of the player, the whole person. See, while Clayton Kershaw can get you about a billion strikeouts and a tiny earned run average, he can't help you with the rest of your roster. Enter Ross Ohlendorf. A Princeton grad whose major (Operations Research and Financial Engineering) just straight sounds impressive, Ohlendorf wrote his senior thesis on the value of major league draft picks. Which means that he is capable of doing great things for your fantasy team, helping you analyze players, identify good values, and make smart decisions. That kind of support is way more valuable than a single Kershaw. The problem, of course, is that you can't draft him to do that. You can only draft him to pitch for you. And you probably do not want to do that. He's a swing man, with some potential to create value in the pen, but not unless he is a late inning guy, which is not on the docket. (Chad Young)
The Quick Opinion:
If intelligence is a category in your fantasy league, Ohlendorf might be a first round pick. But otherwise, he doesn't bring quite enough to the table to warrant much attention.
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Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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