Most fantasy baseball players already know who Aroldis Chapman is. The Cuban defector signed with the Reds back in January and is looking good for making the big league roster as the Reds’ fifth starter. Through 8.1 innings this spring, Chapman has a 1.04 ERA and 12 Ks. His fastball touches triple digits, and he has a good changeup to pair with it. Chapman has nasty stuff, and watching him will be a thing of beauty Situation – Aroldis Chapman
For how long, though We all know that Dusty Baker is the skipper for the Reds, which does not bode well for pitchers. Dusty has a habit of running his arms into the ground, and while it may be a coincidence that Mark Prior and Kerry Wood both saw their careers as starters essentially killed during their time pitching for Baker, one has to think Baker’s style and workload plays into it.
That being said, Chapman left yesterday’s game with back spasms. Major concern No, not at all. With Dusty running the show, it could be a nagging problem though. Keep your eye on this, it could cost Chapman the fifth starter spot and delay his arrival. Would it stop me from drafting him Absolutely not? Just keep your expectations in line, as you should with all starters.
In my FSWA Insiders League, we have a 180 maximum on games started, so if I can get 20 quality starts out of a guy he is worth it. Chapman fits that bill nicely, and I think he is a good value pick in the right spot. Dude’s ADP on ESPN.com is 209, as the 57th starting pitcher off the board. Guys going near him are Joe Blanton, Wade Davis, Mark Buehrle, Andy Pettitte, Derek Lowe, Mat Latos, and Francisco Liriano. The only two guys on this list worth owning over Chapman, in my opinion, are Liriano and Lowe. Liriano is only on the list because he could wind up the closer in Minnesota, by the way.
So keep your eye on the picks, and pull the trigger on Chapman when the value is right. He may not pitch all season in the bigs, but he will be well worth the 25 starts he does give you, at the least. Keep your eye on the back spasms as well, because they could drop his stock in your draft.