Saturday, December 29, 2018

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Josh James

Josh James, RHP, Astros.  DOB:  3/8/1993.  6'3", 206 lbs.

2018 AA:  0-0, 2.49, 21.2 IP, 15.78 K/9, 4.15 BB/9.
2018 AAA:  6-4, 92.2 IP, 12.92 K/9, 3.79 BB/9.
2018 MLB:  2-0, 2.35, 23 IP, 11.35 K/9, 2.74 BB/9.

Josh James is a rookie who may slip under some radars on fantasy draft day.  He's ranked as just the 95'th top prospect on MLB Pipeline.  People who know who he is may recall him as a reliever in the 2018 postseason, but he actually started in 24 of 39 appearances across 3 levels including 3 of 6 in the regular season for the MLB Astros.

James had a huge breakout in 2018 mainly due to a major increase in FB velocity from the low 90's to high 90's.  He attributes his late success to treatment of his sleep apnea and improved conditioning.   In addition to the FB he throws a good changeup that is his top secondary pitch and a slider which can be an out pitch at times.  He still struggles with command at times.

The command issues may eventually force him to the bullpen full time but with the Astros losing Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel to free agency and Lance McCullers Jr. to injury, James is the odds on favorite to win a rotation spot out of spring training even is Colin McHugh is ticketed for one of the openings.  If you target Josh James in the late-middle rounds of your draft or in the $5-10 range in auctions, you have a good chance of landing him for a great value.

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