Despite (and maybe because of) his nightmarish start in Game 5 of the NLDS, Mike Foltynewicz should be a trade or draft target for Ottoneu players going into the 2020 season. Here’s why.
His value may be at or near an all time low
Folty’s start in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Cardinals was disastrous. He allowed six earned runs on three hits and three walks in 0.1 innings and the Cards went on to score a record 10 runs in the inning. The biggest first inning in MLB playoff history. Folty looking dejected in the dugout as the Cardinals offense continued its offensive barrage against the Braves will be an enduring image for many fantasy baseball players.
Add to that, his overall 2019 numbers look pretty bad.
He was so bad in the first half (6.37 ERA), that in June the Braves optioned him to Triple-A. Surely many Ottoneu owners cut bait at that point and while many dumpster divers bought back in (he’s currently owned in nearly 95% of leagues) his current average salary is still quite cheap ($8.90). Add his dreadful first half to the recency bias of his catastrophic performance Wednesday and I think you’ll be able to obtain him for next to nothing this off-season.
But his poor first half can easily be attributed to injury
Folty experienced elbow soreness during spring training which caused him to miss most of the spring and the first four weeks of the season. So not only was he likely working through the effects of his injury, he also did not go through the normal preparation for the season which I believe led to his rough first half. Less than two months after making his 2019 MLB debut he was sent down. That’s when things changed.
He delivered a 2.67 ERA and 31/8 K/BB ratio in 33 2/3 innings at Triple-A Gwinnett. He was recalled August sixth and from there on out, he looked like an ace.
|1st Half vs 2nd Half (2019)|
Plus, he looked even better in his first playoff start, Game 2 of the NLDS. He racked up seven strikeouts, scattered just three hits and he needed just 81 pitches to get through seven innings.
And let’s not forget how good he was in 2018.
I think the Cardinals had his number in Game 5 after seeing him just a few days earlier. Data shows that starting pitchers are far worse the third time through a lineup. I would guess it’s similar when a team sees a pitcher a second time after facing him just a few days earlier. This all leads me to believe that his real skill level is closer to the ace he was in the second half of this season and in 2018.
Personally, I’m going to look to pick up Folty wherever I can.
(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)