Can put this Tony Gonsolin sleeper in the same bucket as my Rowdy Tellez sleeper. The numbers were just too good to not write it. Tony Gonsolin also has the feel to me like a “smart” person’s sleeper, which means he’s not a sleeper if you’re in a league with a “smart” person. Those quotes are short for “people who think they’re smart and drive the price of a guy up to the point where they are no longer sleepers or at all reasonably priced.” You can see why I shortened it with quotes. There’s no explanation for why I spelled it out anyway. In some friendly, office leagues, where Karen pops are head in and is like, “Hey, what are you guys doing? A fantasy sports draft? Fun!” then she goes directly to HR to get you all busted — Don’t draft on company time; Karens says. But in those leagues, no one’s drafting Tony Gonsolin, so he will be a sleeper in those leagues. Also, he feels like the kind of guy that ESPN barely ranks, then next year they talk about how great he is, approximately 18 months after us. I can understand the trepidation with drafting Gonsolin. Is he in the rotation? I don’t know. That’s a bit of a bummer and why he might be slightly overrated in “smart” leagues and not talked about at all at ESPN. They (ESPN) are not not talking about him because they’re smart enough to know Gonsolin won’t get the innings. No, they’re not not talking about him because they think their audience won’t know him, and they’re 100% geared towards telling people what they know already. Quadruple negative equals a positive there. Again, the numbers were too good; Gonsolin needed a sleeper post for those of you in not “smart” leagues, which are the real smart leagues. This is not a confusing post at all! So, what can we expect from Tony Gonsolin for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Psyche! Before we get into the Tony Gonsolin sleeper, just wanted to announce all my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now. So II, the Tony Gonsolin sleeper:
There’s not too many pitchers who are in the top 20 for Swinging Strike rate; top 15 for First Strike Rate; top 30 fewest for Contact rate, and the top eight for Swing rate. There’s deGrom, Maeda, Plesac and one more guy. I’ll let Dolly Parton tell you who: Gonsolin, Gonsolin, Gonsolin, Gonnnnnnnsolin. I’m begging of you please don’t take my man before I get to draft him. Gonsolin, Gonsolin, Gonsolin, Gonnnnnnnsolin. Please don’t take him just because you can, and you read this post and want to jump the gun on me. Tony Gonsolin has some kind of special numbers when it comes to contact rates. Ace-like. Just the Swinging Strike rate (14%) and the Swing rate (50.9) alone. To put that to you in real world terms, he’s around the strike zone, and hitters are ready to get on him, until the ball falls out of the zone and they miss.
Tony Gonsolin operates with mostly a four-seamer (47.5% of the time), and it produced a .191 BA and .270 SLG. He had the fifth best fastball in the majors but, wait, there’s more! His split finger that he threw 29.8% of the time produced a 42.2% Whiff Rate. But if you like that, wait until you hear this! His slider was thrown 16.7% of the time, produced a .156 BA and .219 SLG, and 47.1% Whiff Rate. On Statcast, they compare him to Zach Plesac, and, yeah, that makes sense, except at no point did Gonsolin leave the team’s quarantine to attend a pizza party at Shakey’s. Gonsolin is an ace, just waiting for a rotation spot. Which brings us to the problem going into this post and where we’re still at. Dodgers have a solid five in front of him. Thankfully, no pitchers stay healthy, and, in a year after no pitchers threw more than a few dozen innings, it’s going to be even more pronounced. It’s mostly pronounced: Cur-sh-aw-wil-bray-ache-daun. Or Julio Urias and Dustin May, while lovely, will wrestle with innings limits. Finally, is David Price even pitching this year? Gonsolin may not be penciled in for a rotation spot, but he should still see ~125 IP, and, with his stuff, it can make him a top 40 starter. For 2021, I’ll give Tony Gonsolin projections of 8-3/2.97/1.02/117 in 121 IP with a chance for way more.