I’m gonna give this sleeper post for Carlos Rodon in the simplest of manners like I’m trying to explain it to a Kardashian. In August, the 22-year-old Rodon pitched in his third full month of major league starts and recorded a 2.48 ERA. In his 4th month of his rookie year, he had a 2.03 ERA. In those two months, he had 59 1/3 IP with a 2.28 ERA. Let’s call that 60 IP for ease of basic math, because if there’s one thing that basic math should be is basic. It should also be math, but we’re getting off the subject. Streamline, Grey, streamline! Rodon will throw 180 IP next year, barring injury, that’s 60 innings times three. Show of hands for those that are lost? Okay, just blink, guy from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. August and September is two months (this is more basic than computer science class in 1988) and the season is six months long, thus August and September times three equals a season. If Rodon’s August and September times three equals a season, then he won’t just be a breakout, he will be a top thirty starter divided by ten for all of baseball. To tag onto that August/September math, there has to be some consideration given that he’s only 22 and must’ve been tiring towards the end. So, if he was tired in August/September, he could be even better this April-July, right? So, if you times April-July, even though that looks like you’re subtracting July from April, you have the best pitcher in baseball. Okay, my basic math went Willy wonky there. Anyway, what can we expect from Carlos Rodon for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
What led Rodon to post spectacular numbers in August/September? In those two months combined, he had a 3.59 BB/9. Like a sign on a brothel reads, therein lies the rub. Rodon must control his pitches, specifically his fastball. His slider is no problem. His slider is *puts fingers to mouth, makes kissing sound, my dog runs over to lick my ears* “No, Ted, I was saying ‘muah’ to the beauty of Rodon’s slider, not that I wanted you to clean my ears; it’s not Saturday yet.” In the 2nd half of 2015, Rodon threw his slider 30.8% of the time. Know why? Cause snitches can’t hit it. His slider is off the charts, if said charts are the recording of the best sliders but the chart leaves the top five off. For Slider Runs Above Average, he had the 12th best success in the majors for pitchers with at least 120 IP, and he was the youngest of those top 12 by about five years. The top 12 is a who’s who of pitchers that hitters don’t want to face when it’s a slider count: Liriano, Archer, Greinke, Keuchel, Scherzer, Bumgarner, Kershaw, yadda cubed. Now, Rodon had an impressive slider all year — every year actually — so what changed in August and September? His fastball also started to work. Up until August, Rodon’s fastball, while averaging 94 MPH, was a negative for value. Then, in the final two months, it was a positive, a top 15 pitch in September. In the month when he was supposed to be slowing, he was unhittable. So, his slider is unhittable, but his fastball command is where all his success is going to come from. Again, a fastball that is 94 MPH, so it’s not like he’s working with inferior stuff. There’s layers to this shizz, player — tiramisu, tiramisu. If Rodon’s fastball is there from the jump this season, he’s going to be challenging the top five starters in baseball, seriously. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 13-8/3.52/1.31/182 in 180 IP with lots of upside from there. As for whether he will be a sleeper, depends on how many of your leaguemates are sleeping.