Fantasy Nomad

In between looking up stats, watching, & traveling to games, I host the Fantasy Nomad Show for RotoInfo.com covering all things Fantasy Sports Related. FSWA member.

Spring Training Impressions-Prospect Edition: Garrett Richards

Baseball is a sport you can gain an abundance of information just from looking at the box score. This strategy of data mining can be misleading at times, especially during Spring Training. Angels right handed pitching prospect Garrett Richards’ recent outing is a perfect example of how a player’s final stat line could deceive it’s viewer in to thinking the player underperformed. On the surface, Richards allowed four hits, two earned runs, a walk and with one strike out in two innings pitched. Not very impressive right? Well if you watched Richards pitch those two innings you would have saw that one of the runs would not have scored had LF Ryan Langerhans not decided to play hot potato with a routine base hit, which allowed a runner to advance from first to third, then score on a sacrifice fl by the next batter. That runner does not eventually score if Langerhans fielded the ball cleanly and held the runner at second. In addition, Garrett Richards  did not get any breaks from the home plate umpire, whose strike zone seemed pretty tight. One case in particular stands out, instead of a strike’em out throw’em out, the home plate umpire called a full count pitch to Adam Dunn a ball, thus skewing Richards stat line even more. Add all this up, throw in an additional error by the Angels defense and it’s surprising Richards stat line wasn’t worse.

Garrett Richards stat line was less then impressive, but visual analysis shows that his performance should actually be viewed as a positive outing.  Credit should be extended to the young Richards for keeping his composure, as others around him let him down. Unlike some other young pitchers, who have taken the mound this spring and struggled, including Jacob Turner, Tyler Skaggs, Julio Teheran, and Randall Delgado, Richards displayed great control, kept the ball down in the zone, and only allowed one hard hit ball to a left handed dominate Chicago White Sox line up.

Although you may find Garrett Richards name in some Top 100 prospect rankings, he doesn’t carry the same name value as many of his contemparies. Use Richards lack of popularity to your advantage in dynasty leagues, if he continues to pitch well this spring. And, if Angles current fifth starter candidate Jerome Williams is out longer due to injury, or comes back and is ineffective , then you should consider taking a late round flyer on Garrett Richards in AL only leagues and/or NFBC deep mixed league formats, as Richards surely will get an opportunity to make some starts as the season and he progresses.

Written by The Fantasy Nomad Michael Pichan

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