29-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Chris Volstad in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Chris Volstad Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Braves in October of 2015.
Volstad was given his unconditional release by the Braves on Saturday.
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Chris Volstad Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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2016 Stat Review for Chris Volstad As compared to the top 100 starting pitchers in 2015 (min 130 in)
A collection of stats that measure different skills.
A few general measures of a pitcher's effectiveness.
Balls in play avg. and % of runners left stranded.
Chris Volstad: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Chris Volstad.
The former first-round pick had a rough season in Chicago with an ERA of 6.31 and peripherals to match. The Royals claimed him off waivers in October, but ultimately was non-tendered when in November. Volstad does keep the ball on the ground, but that's about the only skill he displayed last year, and he still gave up 16 homers in just 111.1 innings. Perhaps at this point, he'll begin to garner interest as a relief option given his aforementioned ability to induce contact on the ground.
Volstad's first-round pedigree keeps getting him chances, but the Marlins ran out of patience with him, shipping him to the Cubs this offseason for Carlos Zambrano. Volstad did post a career-best GB/FB rate of 1.97 last year but couldn't get the grounders when he needed them, and once again gave up too many hits and too many homers. He'll get a fresh start in Wrigley, though that's a downgrade in park and only a minor upgrade defensively, especially if the Cubs insist on playing Alfonso Soriano in left field. That said, Volstad's still only 25, and last year's peripherals were encouraging. He should get a chance to slot into the Cubs rotation this spring.
Volstad got his HR/9IP back under control last year, but otherwise showed no signs of development at all. The Marlins are holding out hope that the former first-round pick can become an innings-eating mid-rotation starter, but his effort to add a slider to his arsenal didn't give him the strikeout pitch he still needs to find consistent success. He's only 24 and is by no means a lost cause, but once he hits arbitration and his price tag starts creeping up Florida's patience may wear thin in a hurry.
Volstad's career took a big step back in 2009, as his attempts to become more of a strikeout pitcher saw him leave far too many pitches up in the zone and resulted in a huge spike in his home-run rate (and, consequently, ERA) without an appreciable increase in his strikeout rate. His overall G/F rate remained a solid 1.61, but given his repertoire he'll probably have to get that number into the 2.0-range if he wants to have sustained success in the majors. Volstad's first-round pedigree will get him more chances, and he still has a good chance of developing into an asset as a mid-rotation starter, but he needs to radically change his approach on the mound to get there.
Volstad didn't generate quite as many ground balls in the majors as he or the Marlins would have liked, but that's about the only blemish on what was otherwise a very successful big league debut. The 2005 first round pick has yet to develop the strikeouts necessary to give him true ace potential, but on the other hand his floor is a lot higher than many young pitchers thanks to his ability to keep the ball in the park (just three home runs allowed in 175.1 innings in '08, including zero in 91 innings at Double-A). If he sharpens his control a little bit more and gets his GB/FB ratio back up in the 2.00+ range he maintained in the minors he should become a prototypical, inning-eating #2 starter.
The strikeouts haven't yet arrived in bunches for Volstad, and perhaps they never will despite his lanky 6-7 frame, but if he can maintain his better than 2.00 GB/FB ratio as he climbs the ladder the Marlins won't begrudge the trade-off. His two main pitches are his heavy low-90s fastball and diving curve, which given his size has already started the Roy Halladay comparisons rolling in. The question right now is whether the Marlins can avoid the "rushed to majors"/"complete collapse"/"career re-boot" aspects of Halladay's early days with the Blue Jays.
Volstad's numbers at Low-A weren't quite as good as fellow 19-year-old Aaron Thompson's, but it was still a very successful season for the 2005 16th overall pick. He has more upside than Thompson, featuring a low/mid-90s fastball and a work-in-progress curve coming at hitters from the top of a 6' 7" frame, and if and when it all clicks for Volstad he could blow through the Marlins system in a hurry. Be patient if you have him stashed in your minor leagues, as Volstad has definite ace potential.