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9/23/1986 (30 y, 6 m, 4 d)
2005 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 16, Overall: 16, Team: Florida Marlins
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Volstad was given his unconditional release by the Braves on Saturday. (3/12/2016)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Volstad first cracked the majors in 2008 and made a real splash, posting six wins and a 2.88 ERA (3.82 FIP) in 14 starts after arriving in early July. He failed to build on the hype in 2009, regressing to a 5.21 ERA and a 9-13 record in 29 starts. Everything went wrong for the 23-year-old. He allowed home runs at an alarming pace (1.64 HR/9) and his HR/FB rate ranked among the worst in the National League. Age is on Volstad's side, but it's obvious he has a lot to work on. First on the list should be pitch selection. He threw only 8.8% change-ups when he broke out as a rookie in '08 and threw 16.2% change-ups while struggling last season.
The Year Ahead:
Despite his struggles and lack of improvement, the Marlins do still believe Volstad will eventually prove to be a reliable third or fourth starter; he may have been rushed. He had a nice minor league career and his impressive rookie season justifies the club's hopes. He just can't pitch the way he did last season. Major League hitters feasted on his fastball when it was left up in the zone, and his curveball, which he threw 19% of the time last season, did not have a strong enough break. The Fish are very good at evaluating talent, but now need to help the tall right-hander make worthwhile adjustments. If he has another season with an ERA above 5.00, his career path may begin steering more toward middle relief. (Drew Silva)
Well, he's tall. Like Chris Young, Chris Volstad has an imposing frame, but he doesn't strike people out. He was slightly better last year after a brief mid-year demotion to Triple-A, but he still averaged fewer than six innings a start with an ERA above 4.30. He probably should have been left in the minors for more seasoning, but with more than 400 big-league innings under Volstad's belt, the Marlins' options are limited. He doesn't have overwhelming stuff, he doesn't provide a lot of innings, and he isn't a precision pitcher either, as he has walked 3 1/3 batters per nine innings in his career. Unless he can improve his stamina and his strikeout-to-walk ratio, he'll remain a back-of-the-rotation starter, the sort of player who only looks good at the league minimum. He made a significant step forward in 2010, despite getting fewer strikeouts, by cutting his homers nearly in half. If that improvement is legitimate, he'll at least be able to keep his rotation spot. If the homer rate goes back to where it was before, though, he'll earn another ticket back to Triple-A. (Alex Remington)
The Quick Opinion:
Like Chris Young, Chris Volstad has an imposing frame, but he doesn't strike people out. If his homer rate goes back to where it was in 2009, he'll earn another ticket back to Triple-A.
Chris Volstad's 2011 season was unlucky and hopefully he can turn it around in 2012. He will not strike out a ton of batters with a near career six strikeouts per nine, so his value won't come in that category. His biggest advantage is his high ground-ball rate (52% in 2011 and 50% over his career). The problem is that whenever a batter does put the ball in the air off of him, it is more likely to be a home run than usual, as seen by his 15.5% home run per fly ball ratio in 2011 and a career 12.3% HR/FB rate. His propensity to give up the long ball can be seen with his career 4.19 xFIP while his ERA (4.59) and FIP (4.52) are much higher. The home run rate might also increase in the future depending on how he takes to Wrigley. He has given up only 0.9 home runs per nine innings at home in the past and 1.4 HR/9 on the road. Besides giving up the long ball in 2011, he also had a career high batting average on balls in play of .310. Volstad looks like he could end up with better results if he wasn't unlucky on his home runs per fly ball rate and his BABIP. There is little reason to own him in all but the deepest of leagues and only then when he is pitching at a park that suppresses home runs. Wrigley is unpredictable, too. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Home runs are a thorn in Volstad's side and moving to a new stadium in Chicago will probably not help the cause.
In the Carlos Zambrano trade, the Cubs took a gamble that Christ Volstad could meet his xFIP and break his trend of mediocrity. Instead, his home run per fly ball rate remained high and his peripheral numbers collapsed (12.0% strikeout rate, 8.5% walk rate), making mediocre look like a best-case scenario. Though he performed well in Triple-A, his is a long road to trod before returning to fantasy relevance. (
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Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017 3:36 AM ET
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