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Dallas Keuchel
Birthdate: 1/1/1988 (29 y, 2 m, 25 d)     Bats/Throws: L/L     Height/Weight: 6-3/205     Position: P
Drafted: 2009 June Amateur Draft - Round: 7, Pick: 20, Overall: 221, Team: Houston Astros
Contract: $9.5M / 1 Years (2017)
RotoWire News: The Astros have named Keuchel as their Opening Day starter, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. (3/24/2017)
Profiles:  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  (Click Year to Expand / Close)
Profile: Only Francisco Liriano threw fewer balls in the zone in 2015 than Keuchel, and to some extent, that lefty's downfall in '16 was similar to the step back that the Astro took. Both saw hitters swing less and reach less at their offerings last year, and both got fewer first-pitch strikes, and the resulting bad counts led to more walks and more homers and worse overall numbers. The comparison ends there, because Liriano has terrible command and Keuchel was the league leader when it came to inches the catcher's glove moved from target to acquisition in 2014. Keuchel has good command! That's how he managed, even in a bad year, to get his ERA under four in the second half. That and increased use of his cutter, I guess. The lefty will be useful because of his command, sinker movement, and secondary pitches, but will he be an ace? The strikeout rate and the fastball velocity (at 88, well below average even for a lefty) say no. Pay for a mid-rotation fantasy starter and you'll be fine. Pay the buy-low rate on an ace, though, and you might find your investment doesn't provide the return you were expecting. It's a tough trick to pull, to live outside the zone and convince hitters to continue swinging at it. Don't count on him continuing to pull that trick. (Eno Sarris)

The Quick Opinion: A shoulder injury only brings the underlying risk in Keuchel's profile to the fore. He's a really good ground ball pitcher without much velocity and below-average strikeouts for today's game. Pay for a middle of the rotation guy.

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