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1/14/1984 (33 y, 1 m, 9 d)
2005 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 9, Overall: 9, Team: New York Mets
$8M / 2 Years (2016 - 2017)
Pelfrey will follow Michael Fulmer on the mound in Friday's spring training game against Baltimore, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. (2/23/2017)
Projections vs. the Fans: Starting Pitcher Edition
Alex Chamberlain (RotoGraphs)
Mike Pelfrey Gets Two Years from the Tigers
Eno Sarris (FanGraphs)
Contract Crowdsourcing 2015-16: Day 14 of 15
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
Fixing Your ERA Via Home-Only Starters (AL)
Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs)
Stream, Stream, Stream: #2xSP (6.1-6.7)
Brandon Warne (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The good news is that Pelfrey was the only Mets starter to avoid an injury. The bad news is he was one of the worst pitchers in the majors, as his 5.03 ERA was the sixth-worst among qualified starters. Pelfrey won his first four decisions, and in May he had a 2.92 ERA in six starts. But over his final 22 games he was 6-11 with a 5.53 ERA. Things really fell apart for Pelfrey in his final seven starts, when he was 1-4 with a 6.18 ERA. He allowed nine homers in 43.2 innings and had a HR/FB rate of 17.65% in that stretch. Overall, Pelfrey added a few more strikeouts in 2009, as he upped his K/9 rate to 5.22, 29 points above his 2008 mark. But he also allowed more BB/9 and his K/BB ratio of 1.62 was the eighth-worst mark in the majors.
The Year Ahead:
While Pelfrey’s ERA rose from 3.72 to 5.03 last year, his FIP gained only 44 points, indicating the two seasons were not that much different. Pelfrey had an above-average strand rate in 2008. Last year his BABIP was a slightly elevated .321 and his LOB% fell to 66.7%, explaining the ERA differences between the two seasons. Meanwhile, Pelfrey throws a lot of ground balls but there is nothing else he does particularly well. His command falls in the decent to good range, his O-Swing% is poor and he gets very few swinging strikes, with his 6.0% mark ranking 107th out of 120 pitchers. Until Pelfrey can strike out more batters, or significantly increase his control, his ceiling is a league-average starter, especially pitching in front of an infield defense that partially negates his biggest strength. (Brian Joura)
Sure, Mike Pelfrey put up the best single-season ERA of his career in 2010, but there wasn't much to write home about when it came to his peripheral statistics. He still doesn't strike anybody out (4.99 K/9 in 2010, 5.44 career), still walks guys at about an average rate (3.00 BB/9 in 2010, 3.31 career), and still elicits ground balls at a decent-but-not-elite rate. Unfortunately, that ground-ball rate has slowly been dropping, down to 47.8% in 2010, only a few percentage points above average. The good news is that Pelfrey used his fastball at a career-low rate, meaning that he's making some progress developing his secondary stuff. Specifically, he found a split-fingered changeup that he used 16.3% of the time. Though it didn't show up linear weights (-3.9 runs), the pitch helped keep batters from teeing off on the fastball (+9.3 runs). Still, without more strikeouts or elite control or ground-ball work, this is about the best one can expect from Pelfrey. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
Pelfrey has now alternated years with ERAs over five with years with ERAs under four. That doesn't mean he's been radically different in any of those years -- he's still mediocre.
We've known forever that Mike Pelfrey doesn't get swinging strikes. It's kind of hard to do that if you throw some version of a fastball over 70% of the time -- offspeed stuff gets many more whiffs. The best he could hope to do is iron out his platoon splits, improve his control, and make sure to get ground balls by the bucket. So far, not so good. Well, Pelfrey has actually managed to trim his walks to just better than league average, so let's give him credit for that. However, that's come at the expense of ground balls, where he is now only a few ticks above average. Even at his peak (51.3% ground balls in 2009), he wasn't elite in the category. In the end, it's all just too mediocre. If you want to hold out hope that he starts using the split-finger more often in order to improve against lefties and get more ground balls, then do so. But even if he accomplishes those feats, he probably won't be much better than a four-ish ERA guy with a bad WHIP and few wins. Pass. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
No. Don't do it. Whatever size league, however much of a Mets fan you are, don't draft Pelfrey. Just don't.
One thing we know for sure is that Mike Pelfrey will lick his hands, lick the ball, and take a leisurely stroll around the mound... for a new team this year. It's fitting that he ended up on the pitch-to-contact Twins, too, since he can't buy a whiff. Well, okay last year he finally had a league average swinging strike rate. In 19.2 innings. The problem with Pelf is that he's got a 93 mph sinking fastball that can get him grounders, but he's got little else going for him. His secondary pitches are pretty much all terrible, and he has platoon splits, and it's a bit of a mess once you add in his iffy command. Here's the hope: he increases the use of the split finger, shows his better version of his control even a year after Tommy John surgery, and manages to put up average numbers for an American League starter. Whoo-hoo? (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
Mike Pelfrey could be average. Could be. That describes his upside, and therefore also his fantasy usefulness for the coming season.
In the traditional sense, Pelfrey didn't have a great season with the Twins in 2013. He went 5-13, with a 5.19 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, and a strikeout to walk ratio of 1.9. In fact, had Pelfrey thrown enough innings to be qualified -- he was 9.1 innings short -- he'd have had the fourth-worst ERA- in the major leagues, behind Edinson Volquez, Jeremy Hellickson, and Joe Saunders. His FIP (3.99) and xFIP (4.54) portray a much more flattering picture, but as someone who watched each of his home starts, the nicer numbers just doesn't feel indicative of how he pitched. Pelfrey had a really nice run in the middle of the season. From June through August, he had a 3.73 ERA and .685 OPS against in an 82 inning span. The September run, however, was much like his early season struggles: Sept: 0-3, 7.45 ERA, .864 OPS against April-May: 3-6, 6.66 ERA, .907 OPS against Now it's not entirely unreasonable for the Twins to think the guy from the middle of the season could be the Pelfrey they're getting. It's worth noting he was coming off Tommy John surgery, and Pelfrey himself said it took a while to get the feel back for his offspeed pitches. That could explain the early season struggles just as easily as fatigue could explain the September swoon. This is a guy who threw 150-plus innings the next year after surgery, and that shouldn't go unnoticed. But finding a nice stretch also feels a bit like cherry-picking, and Pelfrey's resume isn't exactly that of a world-beating starter even in his healthier days, either. Fantasy-wise, he's hands-off. (Brandon Warne)
The Quick Opinion:
The Twins are leaning on Pelfrey to stabilize the back-end of their big league rotation. For you the fantasy player, that means you should scram.
Mike Pelfrey had a frustrating 2013, throwing 150 mostly-dismal innings for the Twins. Of course, in 2014, he was worse, shelved after five awful starts where he went no more than 5 1/3 innings and struck out 10 batters in 23 2/3 innings (3.8 strikeouts per nine). The Twins are already talking about trying him in the bullpen in 2015. On the bright side, he's still only 31 years old. Then again, Lindsay Lohan is only 28. (Jeremy Blachman)
The Quick Opinion:
The Twins will be paying him $5.5 million in 2015. Your fantasy team should not follow their lead.
Pelfrey pitched respectably in his walk year with the Twins, garnering enough steam to get a multi-year deal with the Tigers as a back end starter. The strikeout rate has completely bottomed out -- it didn't have far to go -- but Pelfrey got by in 2015 with improved control and a continued reliance on grounders. He won't remind anyone of an ace, or even the pitcher he was supposed to be as a high pick, but he's a decent back end type on a team unlikely to contend. The trouble is, the Tigers aren't envisioning themselves as that sort of team. Pelfrey has exhibited a tendency to be streaky with the Twins; when he's on, he's really on and can carry that stretch for an extended period. But when he unravels, the results can be disastrous. Some enterprising team is going to put him in the bullpen, where he'll likely have a Luke Hochevar-like transformation. The Tigers even whispered about it when they signed Pelfrey, so keep an eye on that. (Brandon Warne)
The Quick Opinion:
Pelfrey has the top-end velocity and stuff to make for a pretty good reliever, but neither is good enough for him to cut the mustard as a fantasy starter. He's too risky to even trust as a streamer, so leave him on the wire.
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Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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