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9/2/1982 (34 y, 5 m, 24 d)
2002 June Amateur Draft - Round: 10, Pick: 2, Overall: 284, Team: Tampa Bay Devil Rays
$16M / 2 Years (2017 - 2018) + 1 Option Years
Hammel (elbow) signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Royals pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. (2/5/2017)
Transaction Analysis: Carter, Napoli, & Hammel
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 425 – House of C»
Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs)
The Market Was Stacked Against Jason Hammel
Jeff Sullivan (FanGraphs)
Jason Hammel, Useful Free Agent
Nicolas Stellini (FanGraphs)
Exposing Baseball's Other Movementarians
Rylan Edwards (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
There are some decent signs in Hammel's repertoire. His 3.17 K/BB ratio last year was nice, but it was propped up by an above-average walk rate (2.14 BB/9) that was out of step with his career rate. His ground-ball rate is okay (46.2% last year), and batters don't make good contact on balls outside of the zone (53.6%). He owns a real curveball (+14.9 runs in ‘09) and he can build on that, provided he can get his 92-mph fastball to play better (-39 runs career). Last year, he had an okay season despite a poor BABIP (.337), which seems to suggest that his upside in 2010 could approach last year's FIP (3.71). If the walk rate rises back to his career rate (3.23 BB/9) without any step forward in the rest of his game, though, Hammel will be lucky to repeat his 2009 season.
The Year Ahead:
There used to be a time where the fifth starter on the Colorado Rockies could have easily had the plague and been as popular. Well, times haven't changed too much. The projection systems aren't too impressed with Hammel and peg him for a mid-4.00 ERA and some modest strikeout totals. If you squint your eyes, focus on the nice curveball and the higher strikeout rates in the minor leagues, as well as the fact that he's 25 and entering his prime, you might see some upside in there. But don't hurt yourself looking for it. It's more likely that the walk rate rises and the results are not even as nice as his mediocre 2009. Plus, there are some nice pitching prospects coming up behind him in the Rockies system. (Eno Sarris)
While you wouldn't know it from looking at his ERA, Hammel's last two seasons are a model of consistency. He ran identical 3.81 xFIPs in both 2009 and 2010, and the increase in ERA was simply due to more of his runs being labeled as earned, rather than unearned. With the Rockies replacing Brad Hawpe’s horrid glove in the outfield, Hammel should get better defensive support in 2011, and he’s in line for a rebound in ERA. He's an underappreciated quality starter, and one who could be a bargain on draft day, especially if your competitors don’t buy into DIPS theory. He'll never post huge strikeout numbers, but if you need an innings eater who will give you some wins, a decent ERA, and a solid WHIP, Hammel could be a nice buy. (Dave Cameron)
The Quick Opinion:
Look for Hammel to go for less than he's worth in most drafts. He shouldn't be your ace, but he should be on the target list.
An underrated pitcher heading into 2011, Jason Hammel turned into the pitcher many of his detractors thought he had been all along. His strikeout rate hit a valley at the same time that his walk rate peaked, making his margin for error incredibly thin. Superficially, his ERA looked exactly like his 2010 ERA, but whereas in 2010 he boasted robust FIP and xFIP numbers, last season those figures both jumped into the danger zone. Hammel was one of 10 pitchers to toss at least 150 innings and also compile a strikeout rate under five per nine innings. Finally, Hammel allowed more homers than he had the past two seasons, something that could be a function of getting fewer ground balls. It wasn’t a big difference -- a drop of three percent -- but it was enough. He briefly lost his rotation spot toward the end of the season, and with the Rockies bringing an abundance of back-end starters to spring camp, he is not guaranteed to retain it this season. Even if he does at the outset, between Jorge De La Rosa returning midseason and the Rockies trying to fit more prospects into the rotation, Hammel’s days as a starter with the Rockies appear to be numbered. (Paul Swydan)
The Quick Opinion:
Hammel saw all three of his controllable rates -- strikeouts, walks and homers -- regress, and is unlikely to maintain a meaningful role on the Rockies pitching staff throughout 2012.
Jason Hammel was traded from the Rockies to the Orioles before last season for Jeremy Guthrie. The 30-year-old right-hander pitched as well as a pitcher could wish to in Colorado with a 4.63 ERA and a 2.3 strikeout-to-walk ratio over three seasons. Baltimore must have seen something they liked and Hammel thrived while in Baltimore. First, his strikeouts were up from 6.3 per nine in three Colorado seasons to 8.6 K/9 last season. The move also saw him drop his ERA over a point to 3.43. Then his knee started acting up. In early May, it started to get sore because of some loose bodies in it. Eventually he had to have surgery on the knee. He tried to come back in September, but was forced to go back on the disabled list. His 2012 season had three seasons in it. Before the injury, he had a 2.09 ERA and 3.45 K/BB. After the knee started hurting, he posted a 4.08 ERA and 2.4 K/BB. Also, when he did return, he was a missing 1-2 mph off of his fastball. Hammel will be a great sleeper pick for 2013. Read any reports on his health and velocity and buy cheap a possible top-flight pitcher in the late rounds if you like what you see. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Jason Hammel left Colorado and thrived until a knee injury shortened his season.
New Cub Jason Hammel reportedly drew interest from several teams but ended up signing a minor league deal. That’s why it’s unfortunate to hit the market following your worst full season in the majors, one in which Hammel sported a 4.97 ERA with peripherals to match. Always around the league average with his home run per fly ball and strand rates, Hammel saw his strikeouts rate plummet this year and, with it, his ground ball rate. Essentially, his 118 innings in 2012 -- spent striking out nearly a batter an inning with a ground-ball rate of 53.2% – appear to be a mirage, and his 2013 – with just a 15.7% strikeout rate and a below-average ground ball rate – lines up with his prior performances. He might be a back-end guy, especially in a friendly park, but we wouldn’t want to be the team betting money on his slider re-emerging, especially following a season-ending elbow strain. (
The Quick Opinion:
After a successful 2012, Jason Hammel bucked sleeper-hype in 2013 by returning to his previous self. His 2014 value will depend on how the rotation shuffles out ahead of him in Chicago unless he somehow regains 2012's ground ball profile.
Hammel’s 2014 season
conveniently is divided into two parts
: the 17 starts he made with the Cubs, in which he was one of fantasy’s surprise success stories thanks to a high strikeout rate and a sub-three ERA, and the 13 appearances he made for the A’s after coming over in a blockbuster midseason deal, where he seemed to fizzle with a 2-6 record and a 5.01 FIP. The truth, as one might imagine, lies somewhere in between. In Chicago, a heavy reliance on his slider improved his ability to punch out hitters early in the season, but as the pitch’s velocity dropped over time, so did its whiff rate. Meanwhile, Hammel’s impeccable location over the season’s first three months faded in July and especially August, and together with the diminished effectiveness of his slider, the pitch that had become his best strikeout weapon, what was an above average strikeout rate became merely an average one. As it happens, however, Hammel’s stay in Oakland wasn’t nearly as bad as the numbers would have one believe; his 4.06 SIERA and 4.15 xFIP were much more tolerable, and aside from three lousy performances, he didn’t pitch all that badly there. Fortunately, he finished the season on a strong note, and as he heads back to the Cubs with a two-year deal, he’ll look to make good on Steamer’s basically rosy projections: a 3.86 ERA, 8.0 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.6 walks per nine innings, numbers that would give him plenty of value in many mixed leagues. The biggest caveat, however, lies in his ability to stay healthy; the 176.1 innings he pitched last year were his most in four seasons, and his newfound dependency on the slider
begs the question
of whether he’s a DL candidate in the near future. (
Karl de Vries
The Quick Opinion:
Hammel’s upside is that of a near top 40 starting pitcher, though his inconsistency over the past few years and his health risks will diminish his price tag on draft day.
While there's some concern about whether Hammel will be able to make a full compliment of starts now that the Cubs brought in another starter (Adam Warren?), there's really not much concern about whether Hammel can produce if he is able to make 30 starts. After being awful in his age 30 season, Hammel has bounced back the last two seasons with an ERA in the mid-to-high threes with above average strikeout and walk skills. He's increased his slider usage in the last two seasons, and it's been his most effective pitch. While an increase in slider usage is perhaps another cause for concern about Hammel making 30+ starts this season, he won't be drafted high enough that you need to be worrying about whether his arm holds up. (Brett Talley)
The Quick Opinion:
After posting a terrible 2013, Hammel has bounced back in a big way the last two years with above average production in the fantasy ratio categories as well as in strikeout and walk rate. Despite that production, Hammel is only a fifth starter given that he's in a deep rotation with the Cubs. That might mean some missed innings, but he'll be useful either way.
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Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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