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tonycpsu

Jeff Samardzija 2018 Outlook

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2017 was another solid, if unspectacular season from The Shark.  SP32 according to the ESPN player rater in 2017 after being SP38 in 2016, with a "meh" 4.42 ERA despite a cool 1.14 WHIP.  Owners like myself were probably waiting all season for his ERA to trend closer to his ~3.6 FIP/xFIP, but that never materialized.  Still, SP32 was a nice return for a guy who went at 165 (42nd SP) in drafts.

 

He's not an elite strikeout pitcher, but he added a little more swing and miss to his game last year with an 8.88 K/9.  That might come down, or maybe it's his new normal in an era when hitters are swinging for the downs and not afraid of high K-rates if some balls leave the yard.  Either way, I see him as a strong buy for 2018.

 

Here is a chart I made of the ADP tiers from the 2-early industry mocks, where Shark is going 158th overall:

 

image.thumb.png.894049b915c3eed96f90a2872f0b848c.png

 

The names in the 6th SP tier there are a whole lot of of upside plays (McCullers, Castillo, Bauer, Bundy).  I don't blame anyone for wanting those guys as their SP3/4 instead of a boring low floor guy like Samardzija, but I think there's a *lot* of room for profit.  I'd certainly take Shark over anyone else in that tier except McCullers, Cstillo, and maybe Bauer, and I think I like him a lot more than guys in the next tier like Jon Gray, Price, and Hendricks.

 

Here's another chart, this one showing ADP compared to the weighted sum of their ESPN player rater rankings from 2016 and 2017,  with 2017 weighted double as compared to 2016:

 

image.thumb.png.8cbfe47d373d5692144b89515323eaf2.png

 

Guys toward the upper right of the graph are "undervalued" if you believe in their 2016 and 2017 production, while guys toward the bottom left are being overdrafted based on what they gave you the last two years.  Samardzija shows up in the reddish-orange group above the line, near guys like Iglesias (not directly comparable because he was an RP), Pomeranz, Maeda, Tanaka, Roark, and Chase Anderson (the unlabeled point near Roark.)  None of those guys are winning leagues for you, and neither is Samardzija, but if you went with upside gambles in your early SP picks, or if you passed on SP entirely in the early rounds and want a high floor, Shark seems like a great target.

 

Especially with all the talk of teams benching their starters after a couple of times through the order, a guy who goes out there and gives you 200+ quality innings with a plus WHIP and makes meaningful K contributions is going to be huge in 2018.  The team isn't going to win a lot, but he's going to have a lot more chances to get wins than a lot of guys ahead of him in the rankings who will be getting yanked after 5 innings.  Innings matter, people!

 

I expect to be taking Samardzija at least a round or two earlier than he was going in industry drafts, and I think he deserves consideration as a top 30 SP for teams that took risks elsewhere.

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Posted (edited)

He's a solid SP3 in 12 team leagues. He'll likely be drafted in the 9th round in a lot of leagues. 

Edited by Fuzzy_Slippers

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On 1/8/2018 at 7:18 AM, Fuzzy_Slippers said:

He's a solid SP3 in 12 team leagues. He'll likely be drafted in the 9th round in a lot of leagues. 

Would feel more comfy in the P4-5 range, but more of the safer variety, the grab the ball every 5 days, go out and put up your avg 3.85ERA with a 1.20WHIP.  His walks were amazingly low which allowed him to lower his WHIP at a time when most pitchers WHIPS were skyrocketing.  Obviously good pitchers park.  

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I copied your tier chart! Thanks. 

As far as shark, he's fine for in Roto as like an SP4, but he's too volatile in h2h for my blood.

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