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The Washington Nationals pitching rotation includes names such as Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Dan Haren. So who are we going to talk about today? Survey says: Ross Detwiler!

The “Rosswiler” will enter the season as the Nationals #5 starting pitcher. However, he should be flashing on everyone’s radar come draft day. The 26-year-old from Missouri State is poised for a breakout season in the nation’s capital this season.

If you owned Detwiler a season ago, you already understand his worth on a fantasy roster. In 2012, Ross made 27 starts for the Nationals. In those starts, he accumulated a 10-8 Record, 3.40 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 105 K, 52 BB. Those numbers may surprise owners who failed to snatch him up off the waiver wire in middle July.

So what does he throw? Last season, Detwiler threw 47% fastballs, 33% sinkers, 13% sliders, and 7% changeups. His fastball averaged 93 MPH. And did I mention he’s a southpaw? Detwiler has a chance to prove himself as a legitimate threat each and every time he steps on the mound this season. Many teams would view him as a potential #3 starting pitcher with upside. Meanwhile, the Nationals will be putting him in low-pressure situations and giving him great opportunities to gather wins along the way.

So why will Detwiler fall to owners late in drafts? First of all, being in the 5 hole of a rotation sometimes means his starts could be skipped over. However, Ross is looking to project around 30 starts in 2013. Also, his 5.75 K/9 and 2.85 BB/9 rates in 2012 don’t jump off the page. There have also been reports of the Nationals inquiring on starting pitcher Javier Vazquez. This could mean one of two things. Either Washington is worried about Dan Haren’s lingering back problems, or Ross Detwiler could potentially lose out on some starts.

As a fantasy sleeper, Ross Detwiler has a ton of intrigue. The Nationals easily have the talent to total around 100 wins in 2013, meaning ample W opportunities for starting pitchers. Also, as mentioned earlier, Detwiler is also only 26 years young. This means that he is just beginning to enter his prime. Plus, his arm is fresh. Detwiler has only pitched 336 innings in his 4 years with the Nationals. This means that the training wheels will begin to come off for the gifted lefty.

Now, it’s time to calculate Ross Detwiler’s fantasy value for 2013. Call me crazy, but I can see him amounting to a low-end #3 SP in mixed leagues. Detwiler plays on a very talented, young team, and will be the beneficiary of lopsided pitching matchups throughout the season. I have his 2013 projections down as: 30 GS, 200 IP, 12 W, 8 L, 3.35 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 130 K, 50 BB.

  1. Tony says:

    how nasty is the Nats rotation? wow

    • Jerome Puttler says:

      @Tony: Another reason he might not have been drafted or went cheap is because, Wang was supposed to to takeover the #5 spot once he got well. which i believe did happen temporarily!

  2. Stooler says:


  3. Ryan says:

    Played ball with this guy in HS and yes he does throw hard. I like your projection for him but think he will probably walk closer to 80 than 50, think his WHIP will be be 1.25+. I would also go over the 5.85k/9 you have projected for him. probably closer to 6.5-6.75k/9…so 145-150ks

    • slimsmitty

      slimsmitty says:

      @Ryan: His walks could definitely be higher, but I’m going with the idea that his command will improve as the season progresses. This would, in turn, improve the WHIP. Strikeouts could also be higher!

  4. Very good stuff! Detwiler wasn’t yet on my radar.

    Question: For long-term usage, who would be your top 3 of these: Detwiler, Mike Minor, Marco Estrada, Jon Niese, Homer Bailey, and Gavin Floyd?


    • slimsmitty

      slimsmitty says:

      @Fanthead: Detwiler, Minor, Bailey.

  5. Dlcb1 says:

    I normally like these articles, but this one is unconvincing. I guess the argument is that he throws hard and pitches for one of the best teams in the league. But there are plenty of pitchers with a good to great fastball that wouldn’t be rostered in most leagues. And the Nationals success last year was built primarily because of their pitching. Their hitting was slightly above league average, which is what you should consider when projecting wins. Detwiler’s FIP was over 4, his career WHIP is 1.34, his K/9 is awful, and his BB/9 is mediocre. Furthermore, he was never much of a strikeout pitcher in the minors; in 87 innings at AAA in 2011, he had a K/9 of 6.5, so you can’t really expect the strikeouts to increase. With limited upside and questionable playing time, Detwiler is type of pitcher I like to avoid.

  6. Jlove says:

    Yo where da short stopz at dis ruined my weekend

  7. Shmorgie S. Board says:

    I’m looking to join a money league. Which Forum should I check out?

  8. Allan Brownridge says:

    200 innings seems high for Ross this year.

    I think he’s someone you keep an eye on early in the season. Not sure he’s draftable in 12 team redraft leagues due to the underwhelming K/9

  9. jimbo says:

    Early on in my fantasy career i took notice of how much brad radke seemed to help the team that drafted him. While i always looked past him due to low k’s, he did win games and had helpful ratios. I’ve come to appreciate the value of boring-yet-helpful players…

    If you draft a solid core of pitchers, Ross is a great way to round out a roster. Comes cheap, adds to k’s, and most importantly won’t UNDO what your studs do in era/whip.

    Great find imo!

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