SpartyOn4

Josh James 2020 Outlook

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Astros pitching coach Brent Strom talks about 5th starter competition

Cliff’s notes - it’s between James, Framber Valdez and Austin Pruitt. Peacock is going to the pen and Whitley to AAA. Strom also said James has been very impressive and they’re altering his delivery, modeling it after Cole.

James was a disappointment last season and had some control issues, but he still struck out 37.6% of the batters he faced and hit 100 on the radar gun. He’d seem to be the favorite out of those 3, certainly has the most upside.

Fantrax ADP is 370 - going around the likes of Shoemaker, Eovaldi, Yamamoto, Mahle and Miley. I’d take a flyer at that point.

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Really nice late round gamble. Has potential to be in the top of the league in K rate. Probably some inning limitation concerns and has really struggled with finding the strike zone, but the potential is there and he is free at drafts.

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6 hours ago, Sidearmer said:

Really nice late round gamble. Has potential to be in the top of the league in K rate. Probably some inning limitation concerns and has really struggled with finding the strike zone, but the potential is there and he is free at drafts.

I wish he was free in my drafts!  I'll own him in most leagues

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PitcherList ranked him the #63 SP for this season and gave him a pretty glowing writeup.

Quote

63. Josh James (Houston Astros) – With every day, I feel like pushing James higher up the ranks. Do you remember October 2018 when I ranked James around #50? I was stoked for a proper year inside the rotation of the Astros until he had a quad injury in late February that took him out of the rotation battle. This year it’s a bit more of the same, but with even more opportunity. The top two spots are locked, but then it’s 120 innings of McCullers mixed with a likely hefty chunk to Urquidy, but then… who? Peacock is hurt and likely out of the conversation. Even Francis Martes just got a full-season suspension. Without an FA signing, James becomes the clear #5 option and we should be very excited.

I’ve been calling Urquidy a James-mini. MINI. James throws harder. He has a better changeup. He has a better slider. HE HAS A BETTER EVERYTHING. Why are you yelling? Because I’m excited and even typing this makes me question why I’ve passed on him in mocks thus far. Sure, we’re waiting for more confirmation before the hype engine starts, and he isn’t the arm that would be super-efficient to go 6+ frames often, but his career 36% strikeout rate (even with most of it in relief) will translate to the rotation. It was a 16% SwStr rate last year. He has three pitches and 97 mph velocity. This is a chance you want to take.

Innings wise, it may be tough to expect more than 160. Being in relief for nearly a full year translates to strong workload, and I wouldn’t worry about a 120-inning limit or so. This could be wonderful, and I’m very much game for this dart throw.

Nick’s Reluctant Projection: 3.90 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 29% K rate in 140 IP

 

Edited by SpartyOn4

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24 minutes ago, hockeyfan77 said:

I wish he was free in my drafts!  I'll own him in most leagues

 

His ADP is in the 370 range, can't get much freer than that!

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4 minutes ago, Sidearmer said:

 

His ADP is in the 370 range, can't get much freer than that!

I'm not doubting that, is just that in my latest (and only draft this year) he was  #220: is a K/9 league so his K's are kinda valued more

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Verlander injury probably locks James in for the rotation to start the season. He's allowed just 1 H and 0 BB this spring in 5 IP with 5 K.

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31 minutes ago, SpartyOn4 said:

Verlander injury probably locks James in for the rotation to start the season. He's allowed just 1 H and 0 BB this spring in 5 IP with 5 K.

Who becomes the 5th starter then Valdez?

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3 minutes ago, BigPapi44 said:

Who becomes the 5th starter then Valdez?

Most likely. He's having a good spring too, I wasn't taking it for granted that James would beat him out. Now they should both get a chance.

Austin Pruitt is the other guy in the competition and he seems really unexciting - no strikeouts in 6 spring IP so far.

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9 minutes ago, BigPapi44 said:

Who becomes the 5th starter then Valdez?

 

4 minutes ago, SpartyOn4 said:

Most likely. He's having a good spring too, I wasn't taking it for granted that James would beat him out. Now they should both get a chance.

Austin Pruitt is the other guy in the competition and he seems really unexciting - no strikeouts in 6 spring IP so far.

 

Don't sleep on Cristian Javier

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I like this guy a lot I just don't see any scenario where he pitches more than 120 innings. It would be one thing if he was going to start the year, pitch his 120, and then stop, you could draft him, use him, then cut loose. But it's not going to work like that. He's going to get jerked around and have starts skipped at the last second (I'm weekly lineups) or get sent down to pace him.

I'm not trying to say he's not worth grabbing, just that he's one of those young guys that's going to require constant maintenance and if I can't rely on him to make both of his starts that week then I probably should let someone else deal with it.

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36 minutes ago, GrapeJuice said:

I like this guy a lot I just don't see any scenario where he pitches more than 120 innings. It would be one thing if he was going to start the year, pitch his 120, and then stop, you could draft him, use him, then cut loose. But it's not going to work like that. He's going to get jerked around and have starts skipped at the last second (I'm weekly lineups) or get sent down to pace him.

I'm not trying to say he's not worth grabbing, just that he's one of those young guys that's going to require constant maintenance and if I can't rely on him to make both of his starts that week then I probably should let someone else deal with it.

 

Your'e not wrong, but his price is so deeply discounted it doesn't really matter. I agree he will probably be a pain and someone that might be dropped but if I could get some good starts from him early on its worth his price.

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He pitched 137 innings in 2018 when he was primarily starting with 100+ in 2015 and 2016, and was only reduced in 2019 due to bullpen. He's not a super young prospect being 27 this year, so I could see them turning him loose and letting him get 150+. I'm much more worried about him ended up in the bullpen if he can't control the walks, than the innings he'll start if he's pitching well enough to stay in the rotation. 

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4 minutes ago, mavsfan23 said:

He pitched 137 innings in 2018 when he was primarily starting with 100+ in 2015 and 2016, and was only reduced in 2019 due to bullpen. He's not a super young prospect being 27 this year, so I could see them turning him loose and letting him get 150+. I'm much more worried about him ended up in the bullpen if he can't control the walks, than the innings he'll start if he's pitching well enough to stay in the rotation. 

I agree. I think he’ll end up in the bullpen when Verlander comes back. The k rate is sexy but I’ve watched him pitch several times and he’s incredibly frustrating to watch. He’s constantly falling behind hitters and giving out free passes to weak hitters. He won’t be pitching deep into games so while the k/9 will look nice, his overall k’s won’t be anything to get too excited about. He had a WHIP of 1.32 out of the bullpen last year so he’ll also likely hurt you in that category.

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yesterday's performance was a good test. he got blown up in the first then settled down and rolled for the 2nd and 3rd.

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for those that have drafted (redraft) is he a hold or does the delay kill all his value/chance of starting? was he trending as the sp5 pre verlander inj?

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13 minutes ago, colepenhagen said:

for those that have drafted (redraft) is he a hold or does the delay kill all his value/chance of starting? was he trending as the sp5 pre verlander inj?

Yes, definitely - nothing has changed his prospects of ending up as their fifth.

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If anything he gets a boost because he was going to be innings limited this year. In a half season he should be a starter for the whole year.

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On 7/16/2020 at 9:50 AM, Gandalfthecat said:

Surely there's some big upside here if he gets into the rotation? 

 

With Urquidy on the injured list, I would think James's odds for the rotation are pretty good?  The Astros options after Verlander, Greinke, and McCullers don't seem too inspiring.  James has great K rate and good division and ballpark, so I definitely see upside here. 

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Posted (edited)

Officially the number 4 starter now (with the bonus of a juicy matchup vs the Mariners to start the season).  Considering the K upside and the team context, I'd have to put James right up there with Rich Hill as my favorite late-round pitchers after pick 200.

Edited by FootballFan101

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3 hours ago, FootballFan101 said:

Officially the number 4 starter now (with the bonus of a juicy matchup vs the Mariners to start the season).  Considering the K upside and the team context, I'd have to put James right up there with Rich Hill as my favorite late-round pitchers after pick 200.

Well the "temp" number four starter.  Urquidy will get that title when he returns which could be very soon.  But James could hang in as the fifth.

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He was really bad vs the worst lineup in baseball...in a very short season it's really hard to justify holding on to him. Someone talk me off the ledge...

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