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9/27/1987 (29 y, 5 m)
2009 June Amateur Draft - Round: 3, Pick: 7, Overall: 87, Team: Atlanta Braves
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The Orioles have outrighted Hale to Triple-A Norfolk, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. (7/10/2016)
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(Click Year to Expand /
If you needed a few solid innings in September, whether it was because you needed another win in head-to-head playoffs or needed a few extra punchouts to win your strikeout categories, David Hale may have helped you. The Atlanta righty made his big league debut late in 2013 and didn't disappoint, posting a 14/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over two starts (11 innings). Unfortunately, his small sample strikeout rate at the MLB level dwarfed his minor league peripherals. At the Triple-A level last year, Hale put up a decidedly more mediocre 3.89 FIP and a 15% strikeout rate. That's not to say he doesn't have the ability to whiff major league hitters, but with multiple seasons of near six strikeouts per nine innings, it's unlikely he magically found enough stuff to suddenly become Nolan Ryan. Hale's biggest problem is not his questionable stuff, either, but whether or not he can sniff Atlanta's rotation in 2014. Returning an already crowded squad, the Braves added Gavin Floyd to the mix this offseason, meaning at least six non-Hale starters are fighting for five spots. The most likely scenario for him is a repeat of 2013 -- another year where he works at Triple-A for the majority of the season while being on standby in the event injury (or massive ineffectiveness) strikes the Atlanta rotation. Either way, he'd only be worthy of a mid-season waiver add, not a draft pick. (
The Quick Opinion:
David Hale had a couple solid starts for Atlanta down the stretch last year. Don't be fooled, however. He owns mediocre minor league peripherals and is on the outside looking in when it comes to Atlanta's crowded rotation.
It almost doesn't matter that, as of this writing, David Hale is not listed as a starter on the Rockies depth chart. With the names ahead of him -- Jordan Lyles, Tyler Matzek, and Yohan Flande -- he could be a useful arm in deeper leagues even if the Rockies start him out in the pen. Teams use ten starters on average, and as many as seven get real innings. So let's assume that Hale will get over 100 innings this season. His bad walk rate (10.2% last year) and mediocre swinging strike numbers (8.7% last year) suggest he's not a great bet. But! He has a balanced arsenal. His change (18% whiffs) and breaking ball (15% whiffs) are both above-average pitches by pitch peripherals. His four-seam is not really good, below average on whiffs and grounders, but his sinker gets 62% grounders and gives him a complete set. Can he demonstrate better command? He's no Wild Thing, and we're not asking for him to be completely different. Just a minor improvement in command would make Hale mixed-league relevant in spurts and spot-starts. There's something here worth watching, if not drafting. Even if the curve has a harder time in Denver. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
Especially until his role is set in stone, it's probably not worth drafting Hale except in the deepest of leagues. But with a sinker, slider, and change that all rate as above-average by pitch peripherals, he has an arsenal worth watching out for. By dropping the four-seamer and making command improvements, Hale could Kluberize.
David Hale made 12 starts for the Rockies last season, but they didn't come consecutively. The bulk of them came from late May to late June. Then he had two in August, and two in the season's waning weeks. He missed time in July because of a groin injury, but when he lost his rotation slot in August, it was because the team needed to make room for Chad Bettis. That's not exactly encouraging if you're a David Hale fan, especially when you consider that he was optioned following a nine-strikeout performance against the Mets. None of this bodes particularly well for his rotation chances in 2016. If you give the first four spots in the Rockies rotation to Jorge De La Rosa, Jonathan Gray, Bettis and Jordan Lyles, that leaves just one spot for Tyler Chatwood, Eddie Butler, Tyler Matzek, Yohan Flande, Chris Rusin and Hale. Hale may in fact be the best of that bunch, but he certainly isn't the youngest, so he faces some long odds. Pointing in his favor is the fact that he made big strides with walk and strikeout numbers last season, but the spike in his home run rate and BABIP mean those things didn't really show up in his ERA and FIP. That isn't necessarily fair to David Hale, but nobody ever said that life was fair. (Paul Swydan)
The Quick Opinion:
David Hale had 12 chances to make a great impression on the Rockies braintrust, and mostly didn't run with them. He may be an option for the rotation this year, but he certainly isn't a lock for it, and is probably not worth drafting on draft day.
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Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 3:32 AM ET
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