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Fantasy Baseball: Top Sleepers For 2016 Pitchers Edition

Which Players are laying low in the draft? - Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Which Players are laying low in the draft? - Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ian Kennedy – Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Ian Kennedy – Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Ian Kennedy

Roto-rank: 92nd starting pitcher/304th overall

Points rank: 84th starting pitcher/10.3 points per game

Ian Kennedy may be the least safe pick out of the bunch. It’s a good thing you wont be taking him until the very end of the draft.

Ian Kennedy played in a pitcher friendly park in 2015 and still yielded ugly results. He gave up a lot of home runs for a total of 31 on the season. No matter how bad the Padres defense may have been behind him, it’s hard to blame that if the balls were flying over the fence.

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There is some good news though. Of those 31 home runs, 20 of them came in the first half of the season. His strikeout numbers also spiked in the last two months of the year. Though he didn’t see a big dip in his ERA at that time, the increased strikeout rates are a good thing in terms of fantasy value.

He should see at least some ERA boost from the improved defense behind him. With the Royals’ great defensive outfield, plenty of extra-base hits should be run down. That should mean less people on base when those home runs are given up.

Just because a pitcher gives up home runs doesn’t necessarily make him a bad play in a KC Royals uniform either. A decent comparison for Kennedy may be last year’s teammate and former KC royal, James Shields.

James Shields gave up 33 home runs last season for the Padres compared to only 23 the year before with the Royals. Even 2013 saw James Shields give up 20 home runs. The difference for Shields was his ERA.

In 2015, Shields posted an ERA of 3.91 for the Padres. His ERA in 2014 and 2015 was 3.15 and 3.21 respectively. That’s a good sign for Ian Kennedy.

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