What do you think of when you see AA? If you said Aaron Ashby, then you are the nerdiest of fantasy nerds. Kudos! While Ashby is on the shortlist for me, I have to admit that Alcoholics Anonymous and American Airlines were front and center. The beautiful thing about the simulation…err….universe that we live in is that there are connections galore. Alcoholics Anonymous consists of humility, discipline, and a spiritual awakening. American Airlines has vehicles that fly above the clouds but can plummet to the earth due to a confluence of factors. That sums up Ashby for fantasy baseball. He can strikeout batters with the best of the best yet he’s been dropped in 12.6% of ESPN leagues over the past week. Is this a time to be humble and acknowledge the current reality over his last two starts (10 earned runs allowed) or is it a time for analytical discipline in order to achieve the upcoming spiritual awakening?

Ashby is 6’2″, 181 pounds, and throws from the left side. He was selected by the Brewers in the fourth round of the 2018 MLB draft.

Throughout his minor league career, he showed a penchant for striking out batters, as the K/9 was over 10 in three seasons. He did a good job of limiting the big flies but control was the big bugaboo, posting a BB/9 over 4 twice.

Last season, he made his MLB debut and pitched 31 2/3 innings in The Show. The K/9 was 11.08 while the BB/9 was 3.41. The swinging strike rate was a 13.3%. This season, the K/9 is 11.01 while the BB/9 is 4.09. The swinging strike rate is 12.8%.

He was in and out of the rotation early on because of the deep pitching staff for Milwaukee. But then injuries struck and he has started the last four games. He went 5 2/3 innings against San Diego, striking out five without allowing an earned run. He followed that up with 12 strikeouts in six innings while giving up only one earned run against the Cubs.

The last two starts haven’t been so good. He faced the Padres again, but this time San Diego got him for four earned runs. Ashby did strike out nine in six innings, though. In his most recent start, the Nationals bombed him for six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He only struck out two.

This prompted the rage drop by many. Was it warranted? That’s what we are going to try and decipher.

Washington has been tough against left-handed pitching all season. While they are only 28th in ISO, they have struck out the fewest times against them. So, the matchup wasn’t a particularly good one. Digging into the log for that particular game, Ashby allowed a whopping 13 hits but the BABIP was .522, so he did experience some misfortune.

The Nationals made great contact and the swinging strike rate was only 8.7%. That’s not shocking because Washington has been the best in those departments all season long. Still, Ashby got them to chase outside the zone 49.1%. The fastball looked fine, as it averaged 96 mph.

Ashby has allowed 10 earned runs in the last two starts but he was facing the Padres for the second time in a week and a Nationals team that’s been tough against left-handed pitching all season.

I have not seen anything that points to a fundamental change. It’s baseball. Bad outings happen and, the elevated BABIP from his most recent start shows that he was unlucky.

Ashby has a swinging strike in the 13% range. Only 18 other pitchers can lay claim to that. Ashby has a K/9 over 11. Only nine pitchers have a K/9 over 10.

The big bugaboo for Ashby is the walk rate of 4.09, and that will always cause turbulence anytime you board Ashby Airlines. That said, the upside is too much to ignore. If he’s been dropped, I’d scoop up because you cannot find this kind of upside often. Now, if the Brewers rotation gets healthy and he goes back to being a long reliever or spot starter, then I can understand eschewing him.

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Luvdarooks
Luvdarooks
11 days ago

For this year ROS, and next year who better in a 6×6 QS net wins
GILBERT
or
BAZ

Son
Son
Reply to  Luvdarooks
10 days ago

Gilbert this season.

Baz for the future

Laura Holt
12 days ago

Hey Son, nice work as always! I drafted Ashby all over the place this winter, though I was most interested in him in NL-only/keeper leagues. The walk rate is normally a deal breaker for me and it’s hard to tell if he’ll reach his potential this year, but I just think there’s future upside here, and glad to see your findings point to a fair amount of bad luck lately. Also enjoying watching the Mets announcers analyze him during the game right now; they always have great insights on young players IMO.

Son
Son
Reply to  Laura Holt
12 days ago

Thanks, Laura! Rudy and I drafted him on our OC squad. He was all over him. Unfortunately, we dropped him right before Peralta got hurt. We are dumb dumbs. Yeah, young pitchers with control issues are tough to handle but sometimes you gotta live a little! =) Good to know on Mets announcers. Aaaaand I just saw that Ashby left game with trainers. It’s my fault!

Laura Holt
Reply to  Laura Holt
12 days ago

…And now I’ve jinxed him and he’s given up a homer and left with the trainer. I’m telling you though, Ashby 2023!

Son
Son
Reply to  Laura Holt
12 days ago

Lol. It’s your fault!!!

I’m voting for Ashby 2023 as well. I was looking at Kershaw’s earlier years and there are some similarities. Kershaw had control issues early in his career. Made improvements in year 3 and it wasn’t until year 4 until he got it under….”control”

Laura Holt
Reply to  Son
12 days ago

Ha! Anyway, Kershaw is an interesting comp! I’ve just been hoping the Brewers find a way to turn him into some version of Burnes 2.0…

Son
Son
Reply to  Laura Holt
12 days ago

I’m good with that. Their recent track record provides optimism

Don't be a Hader
Don't be a Hader
12 days ago

Which of these high upside young starters with high upside has the highest perceived value to use in a trade? Baz, Strider, Ashby, Megill, Sandoval.
In other words, who would you try and trade first?

Son
Son
Reply to  Don't be a Hader
12 days ago

I’d say Strider and Baz would probably have the most value right now but beauty is in the eye of the beholder

KailuaBoy
KailuaBoy
12 days ago

I was getting ready to Drop him for S Gray? In my IL spot.

Grey
Admin
Reply to  KailuaBoy
12 days ago

Son don’t get no aloha, brah

Son
Son
Reply to  Grey
12 days ago

Yeah!! Wait…Are you saying I shouldn’t get an aloha or that I should?

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Son
12 days ago

Son absolutely should get an aloha

Son
Son
Reply to  Grey
12 days ago

Agreed. Thank you, Grey

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Son
12 days ago

Aloha (the bye one)

Son
Son
Reply to  Grey
12 days ago

Kaumaha

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Son
12 days ago

Yeah, you lost me

Son
Son
Reply to  Grey
12 days ago

Sadness

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Son
12 days ago

The worst Madness cover band

Son
Son
Reply to  Grey
12 days ago

Ha! We’ve gone completely off the rails. I need a drink, and I don’t drink anymore!

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Son
12 days ago

Haha, same same

Chhhh
Chhhh
Reply to  Grey
12 days ago

But an awesome one man metal band from Chicago.

Son
Son
Reply to  KailuaBoy
12 days ago

I would not but that’s me. Follow your gut, it usually knows