2016 Fantasy Baseball Bullpen Previews: American League Central

Source: Jon Durr/Getty Images North America

Source: Jon Durr/Getty Images North America


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David Robertson was great for the Yankees and he’s was great for the White Sox last year as he tallied 34 saves. He doesn’t carry any durability concerns, and has fantastic strikeout stuff without sacrificing control. His K/9 last year was eighth best among qualified relievers and his 1.85 BB/9 was a career-best. Robertson gets to work in that 92 MPH fastball with ease.

The one caveat is that his line-drive rate shot up to 30.2 percent from 23.2 percent, with all of that coming out of his share of ground balls generated. His hard hit rate went from 28.1 percent to 32.2 percent, however his soft contact rate also rose from 14.4 percent to 20.1 percent. Something to keep in mind, but you should be confident in Robertson going into 2016.

Nate Jones hasn’t logged many innings in the past two years as he’s dealt with a myriad of injuries, but when you look past the obvious injury risk you see a pitcher who has plus strikeout stuff who many have forgotten about. He has the benefit of a small sample size from last year working in his favor, as in only 19 innings pitched he struck out 37.5 percent of batters faced, which puts him right behind Dellin Betances’ rate.

While the rest of Chicago’s bullpen isn’t fluff, they aren’t as potent as Jones is when he’s healthy. He’ll rack up holds and should step into the ninth should something happen to Robertson.

Matt Albers might get some looks for holds as well, considering he posted a 1.21 ERA in 37.1 innings pitched for the White Sox last year. He only struck out 28 and his true skills are that of a low-3s ERA guy, but he has significantly improved his command these past few years and generates grounders in nearly 60 percent of at bats against him with a 26.1 percent soft contact rate. That’ll raise some eyebrows and gain trust from an organization.

Jake Petricka is another ground-ball inducing type, but doesn’t bring any excitement with strikeouts, and suffers from excessive walks. His WHIP has never been below 1.37 at the major league level, so it’s difficult to see him as being all that relevant. Zach Duke is a lefty you might remember from his days as a starter for Pittsburgh, and he’s done well as a reliever since. He can rack up strikeouts (he had 66 in 60 innings pitched last year), but his command took a huge step back last year (2.61 BB/9 to a lousy 4.75 BB/9).

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