Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fantasy Focus: 2016 Impact Rookies- Blake Snell

Blake Snell, LHP.  DOB: 12/4/1992.  6'4", 180 lbs.  Organization:  Rays

A+:  3-0, 0.00, 21 IP, 11.57 K/9, 4.71 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.43.
AA:  6-2, 1.57, 68.2 IP, 10.35 K/9, 3.80 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.24.
AAA:  6-2, 1.83, 44.1 IP, 11.57 K/9, 2.64 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.29.

Blake Snell was drafted in the compensation first round out of HS in Washington state.  He moved slowly at first and the Rays were patient with him, but the raw talent was always there.  He had an explosive breakout in 2015 after starting the season with 21 scoreless frames in high A ball.  He pitched another 25 scoreless innings to begin his AA experience for a total of 46 consecutive scoreless IP.  As you can see, his command improved with each higher level.  He was eventually named Minor League Player of the Year by both BA and Fox Sports.

Snell has filled out his lanky frame considerably and is almost certainly heavier than his listed weight of 180 lbs.  He maximizes his height advantage with a high 3/4 release point that produces an extreme downhill plane.  His FB sits mid 90's and his is not afraid to come inside to RH hitters with it.  He also has a slider, curveball and changeup that are all average to plus offerings.

The Rays have a surplus of SP's at the MLB level, so there is no need for them to rush Snell.  He will likely start the 2016 season in AAA to solidify the gains he made last year.  If he pitches like he did in 2015, he will force the issue by midseason and get the call.  He will be rosterable immediately in all fantasy formats.

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