If you’re doing this right, and I think I’m doing it right, based on my results through the years, you see the same pitchers again and again when you search some of your favorite protocols for “breakout pitchers.” It doesn’t hurt that they were already good last year. Jeffrey Springs checks that box. His stats last year were 9-5/2.46/1.07/144 in 135 1/3 IP. How is that the 60-ish pitcher off the board and a guy going around 175th overall? Last year, Springs was the 37th best starter and 121st overall, so there’s value even if he simply repeats what he did last year. Last year Springs was better than Robbie Ray. Not saying he should be drafted before Ray, but it shows you just how big the discrepancy is between perceived value and actual value. There’s just so many possible starters to draft, it’s kinda silly. A guy like Chris Bassitt has been great for literally his entire career — has a 3.45 ERA in 737 1/3 IP and is going around 170th overall. The pitcher universe is deep. Gave you a sleeper post for Chris Bassitt in previous years, so won’t go back to that well, and he’s older with seemingly a lack of upside. That’s why Jeffrey Springs is the subject here. He has only 264 2/3 IP in his career, and a 3.57 ERA as he called shotgun. He’s 30, but the lack of innings feels like an opportunity for upside still. Last year, Springs had a 9.6 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. Separation of 7+ between the two and another box checked. Top 20 for exit velocity, and that’s three boxes, it was time to go over Jeffrey Springs. So, what can we expect from Jeffrey Springs for 2023 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Jeffrey Springs sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve begun to roll out my 2023 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. Lucky you (if you pay the $10/month). Also, Rudy’s begun to roll out his 2023 fantasy baseball projections. It’s version 1.0 and there’s usually about 4500 versions but just wanted to let you know. Anyway II, the Jeffrey Springs sleeper:

Jeffrey Springs’s 4-seam fastball was thrown 868 times, and had a .209 batting average against. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Yes, I’m baiting you into being wrong. Don’t fall for it. You fell for it? Damn! That fastball was only his third best pitch! Daddy needs to sit because he’s too excited. Springs’s change is where the biscuit is buttered, where the dog is mustarded and the hot dog is walked–Wait, uh…Well, you know what I mean. His changeup is gorge, which is funny (not haha funny) because it had a .229 BAA. Springs’s third best pitch, the fastball, had the 12th best BAA, tied with Max Scherzer and Luis Castillo. Not gonna list all the guys in front of him, but they’re all sorts of great too — Verlander, Strider, Nola, those sorts of names. His third best pitch is the best pitchers’ best pitches I can’t even pause for punctuation I’m woozy.

Jeffrey Springs actually throws his change 34.7% of the time, which is an insane amount of times, and is 2nd most in the league, behind only Pablo Lopez. For pitchers throwing the change that much, it worked well enough. What’s truly absurd is the results of his change from the year before — 48.2% Whiff% and .146 BAA in 209 times thrown. Clearly, absurd success is helped there because he was entirely used in relief. If you separate relief from games started even this past season, you see he had a .133 BAA on the change in relief (80 times thrown). .244 BAA in games started (665 times thrown). For what it’s Cronenworth, it was a .211 xBA in games started on the change, but I’m making a concerted effort to not use xBA, because it’s such a flawed statistic. Wanna see how flawed it is? Look at actual home runs with a sub-.100 xBA. “Damn, that ball just sailed into the seats, too bad it had a .089 xBA.” That’s me shaking my head in-season.

Okay, back to the three pitches, and how the fastball with its .209 BAA was his third best. The change was first, and the 2nd best was the slider. That had a .227 BAA and was thrown 24.8% of the time. This is a huge step forward for him. He had the slider previous years in relief, but it never worked this well. He might’ve figured out he needs to throw it faster, because that appears to be the biggest difference from one year to the next — going from 82.9 to 85.4 MPH. His fastball actually slowed a bit, not surprising since he went from relief (full effort) to starting (and conserving). That the slider’s MPH went up though really stands out for the same reason. You don’t throw harder as a starter without coaching getting you there. So, the fastball is better than it has any right to be because of command, which might give the wrong impression. He excelled at O-Swing%. He was the third best at getting hitters to swing at balls outside the zone. With balls down and out of the zone, he had a .187 BAA. That’s not surprising. Hitters don’t do well when chasing. Kevin Gausman is a master at this.

Jeffrey Springs also excelled at lack of Contact%, ranking 14th best. (This is for 130 IP min. so it includes him.) It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to know the 14 best guys at avoiding contact were some of the best pitchers. Speaking of Robbie Ray (I was doing that about 700 words ago), Springs gave up less contact than him. Finally, Springs was 13th best for Swinging Strike percentage. Some of you might remember this was how I pegged Dylan Cease as a sleeper last year. Of the 13 best Swinging Strike percentages guys, Springs is the only sleeper this year. The 12 guys above him are all top 100 overall pitchers, and, once again, tied at 13 with Springs is Robbie Ray. If you’re missing the big picture (pitcher?) here, think about a pitcher who can get guys to swing and miss like Robbie Ray, but has pinpoint command. Yeah, that’s very sexy. For 2023, I’ll give Jeffrey Springs projections of 10-6/3.08/1.05/166 in 153 IP with a chance for much more.

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ajhirsch
ajhirsch
14 days ago

Hi Grey!

Great post as always, loving these as my draft gets closer. Wanted to get your take on a trade offer that was proposed to me:

Receive: Vaughn Grissom and Kyle Wright
Give Up: Bryan Reynolds

frankgrimes
frankgrimes
15 days ago

Correa deal official!
Exclusive interview with his doctor coming later… hi everybody

3358C4D0-C608-41D0-BB15-C1CB4D99533B.jpeg
frankgrimes
frankgrimes
Reply to  Grey
15 days ago

Shocker… last pick smh

frankgrimes
frankgrimes
Reply to  Grey
15 days ago

I get last pick in RCLs NFBC and Best balls well over 50% of the time lol I may have to create new accounts and see if that changes the algorithm or something.

Hernan
Hernan
15 days ago

bad Story out of Boston as in Trevor Story having elbow surgery, Lite TJ, whatever that means…, out 4/5 months……., the red sox need better doctors…

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
15 days ago

No kidding! I already had him on my drop list this offseason but this sure makes that call a lot easier.

Wonder how Boston feels, letting Bogearts walk and now they get blindsided by this news?

Nightpandas
Nightpandas
16 days ago

Hi Gray, Got a trade offer of

My Alcantara Tatis Vinny P for his Trea Luis Castillo Jordan Romano…15 team keep 11 forever 7×7 with Slg obp QS K/9

I would keep those 3 plus Casas Albies Gunnar H Arozerena Judge Happ SMarte Degrom

Stay or go?

Smitty
16 days ago

With 3 plus offerings, Springs very sexy indeed

Elmeg
Elmeg
16 days ago

I can carry Springs for $8 in my 10 team AL only standard 5×5 and would pair with Manoah. What do you think about that pairing for a combined $21? I generally prefer to keep hitters, but it is an appealing option. Thoughts?

Elmeg
Elmeg
Reply to  Grey
15 days ago

What are your thoughts on Sale $11 to make it a trio? I would likely choose a hitter keeper instead, but curious on your thoughts on that price and construct (combined $32 for the 3 of them).

Elmeg
Elmeg
Reply to  Grey
15 days ago

Well, like most things in life, it’s all about choices.

Our league runs as a 10 team AL only 5×5 roto and a 10 team NL 5×5 roto. Able to keep up to a combined 10 keepers a year across the two leagues, in any combination. My top options are: JRod ($14), Santander ($14), Manoah ($13), Mullins ($12), Sale ($11), Adley ($8), Ward ($8), Springs ($8), Tatis ($28), Soto ($28), Olson ($27), C. Walker ($10), J. Meneses ($8), C. Morel ($8), E. Cabrera ($8), Helsley ($8), Vargas ($8), Wright ($7).

Annual $5 increases I. Subsequent years… which 10 do you like in constructing the foundations of AL and NL teams?

Elmeg
Elmeg
Reply to  Grey
14 days ago

Need not go 5 and 5 – I prefer quality even in imbalance. Tatis and Soto for sure in NL, but I’m open otherwise if you think there is a better distribution.

Elmeg
Elmeg
Reply to  Grey
14 days ago

I think I could get Olson for at or close to $27 at auction.

Elmeg
Elmeg
Reply to  Grey
14 days ago

Thanks so much.

Despite the imbalance it would further tilt to AL – worth considering trading Wright ($7) for Casas ($8)?

Will
Will
16 days ago

Correa to the Twins for 6 yrs, $200 million. Pending physical of course.

per Jeff Passan

https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1612862245343563787

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
16 days ago

Gotta be arthritis or some other type of degenerative thing these teams are all concerned about.

Smitty
Reply to  Will
16 days ago

Leave it to the Twins to grab a “discount” stick

Smitty
Reply to  Will
16 days ago

Thanks Knoche! Need $10 Hernan?

Hernan
Hernan
Reply to  Smitty
15 days ago

as awful as it sounds, “I’m In!!!”….

Smitty
Reply to  Hernan
15 days ago

Great!

Philip
Philip
16 days ago

Good stuff as always, Grey. What do you think of this trade in a 20-team dynasty roto keep forever no salary 6×6 (ops/holds):

Dustin May, Esteury Ruiz, Vaughn Grissom
For Corbin Carroll?

Thanks homey!

The Great Knoche
16 days ago

We’re starting another $10 BestBall Format draft to occupy the time until draft season gets busy. Link is below. Password is razzball, all lower case.

https://bestball10s.shgn.com/signup/baseball?for=0;1599,114,13410,7200&private_code=00cb4r

The Great Knoche
Reply to  Grey
16 days ago

Retweet it please.

The Great Knoche
Reply to  Grey
16 days ago

Good idea. That works.

frankgrimes
frankgrimes
Reply to  The Great Knoche
15 days ago

Anybody know How is Ohtani handled in these?

frankgrimes
frankgrimes
Reply to  Grey
15 days ago

Cool cool

Smitty
Reply to  frankgrimes
15 days ago

1st Bestball for me, only DC’s so far. Like the concept, points will be different but defaulting to the best players week regardless will help my terrible weekly moves! LOL sounds fun!

frankgrimes
frankgrimes
Reply to  The Great Knoche
16 days ago

Im down

Smitty
Reply to  The Great Knoche
16 days ago

Thanks Knoche! Need $10 Hernan?

Nightpandas
Nightpandas
16 days ago

Good to see you again January Grey!

15 team keep 11
My keeper group : Vinny P, Albies, Gunnar, Tatis, Arozerena, SMarte, Judge, degrom, Alcantara and 2 from: Andrus, Happ, Chourio,, Casas, Luis Garcia (P), Sewald, JDuran, Ashby

Any thoughts on my Last two keepers?

Thanks boss

Jimmy
Jimmy
16 days ago

Hey Grey! Good post on a underrated under the radar guy! Do you think Alex Lange runs with the closer gig in Detroit?

Joe Buckyourself
Joe Buckyourself
16 days ago

Grey:
10 team dynasty
6×6 with obp and DT
6×6 with QS

Our Lg just added K-BB as a stat and combined Holds with Saves. So the 6 cats are ERA, Whip, k-bb, QS, SV/Holds, K

With saves and holds now together, does that de value closers a bit? What would be your strategy going forward?

I have Barlow, Holmes, E diaz, C Doval.
Thanks

Mikeal
Mikeal
16 days ago

OOO I already had this guy on my sleeper list! Perfect! you’re rubbing off on me (:p)

You’d addressed this yesterday a bit, but a follow up question

5×5, OPS/QS instead of the usual.

I have a $12 Varsho, and we’ve whittled it down to straight up for either Manoah or Rodon. Both $13. Who is a better bet? I’m assuming Manoah since he is younger and likely to be a good keeper for 2024 as well

Agree?

galica1234
galica1234
16 days ago

Grey!!!!

Awesome!!!

So, basically continue awaiting pick 45 in a standard RCL 12-teamer for your first pitcher right?

Cheers,
Ante

Swaggerjackers
Swaggerjackers
Reply to  galica1234
16 days ago

You know it!