30-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Christian Friedrich in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Christian Friedrich Contract Information:
Agreed to a minor league contract with the Padres in March of 2016.
Friedrich (elbow) cleared waivers and elected to become a free agent Monday.
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Christian Friedrich Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Christian Friedrich Defensive Stats
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2017 Stat Review for Christian Friedrich As compared to the top 100 starting pitchers in 2016 (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.
Christian Friedrich: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Christian Friedrich.
The Padres signed Friedrich to a minor league deal in March and the start of his 2016 campaign was delayed by injury. With a mere five wins and poor ratios to boot, few rotisserie league owners were able to extract as much value from Friedrich's left arm as the Padres managed to over his 24 appearances (1.8 fWAR). Friedrich's success hinges on the quality of his slider and changeup, as he doesn't overpower opposing hitters with his fastball, and his curveball has never been a consistently good offering. Friedrich should be considered a frontrunner to begin 2017 as one of the team's rotation members. Long term, however, his eventual landing place may be the bullpen, as he showed much better splits against lefties (21.1 percent strikeout rate, 6.5 percent walk rate) than he did against righties (16.7 percent strikeout rate, 9.9 percent walk rate) last season.
In his first full season coming out of the bullpen, Friedrich saw some very minor improvement from his rough experiences in the past. His ERA was a lofty 5.25, but it came as an improvement from his 2014 ERA of 5.92. The jury is still out on the 28-year-old's ability to find a niche as a lefty specialist, as he allowed a middling .268 batting average to left-handed batters last season. He was hammered by right-handed batters to the tune of a .369 batting average, Friedrich may make it as a lefty-on-lefty bullpen arm if he can make strides in that department, but he won't be used in any high-leverage spots anytime soon.
Since offering glimpses of frontline starter potential in the low minors, things have spiraled downhill for Friedrich. The 27-year-old struggled mightily during his first exposure to the majors in 2012, missed nearly all of 2013 due to back issues, and was mostly dreadful across stops at Triple-A and the majors last season. After posting a 7.89 ERA over 13 Triple-A outings and a 9.45 ERA in three starts with the Rockies, Friedrich was moved to relief in a last-ditch effort by the Rockies to salvage some value from the 2008 first-rounder. The transition was bumpy at first, but the lefty came into his own following his promotion back to the majors in August. Though it was only a sample of 9.1 innings, Friedrich yielded just three hits and demonstrated an ability to pound the strike zone (11:2 K:BB ratio). The Rockies will attempt to determine in spring training if Friedrich’s late breakout was for real, and if so, he could become the bullpen’s top option against left-handed hitters.
Last season was effectively a redshirt campaign for Friedrich, who was dogged by back spasms throughout spring training and saw the problems resurface after four starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs before he was shut down for good. Though he should be ready to go for spring training, Friedrich won’t have a particularly good chance at claiming an Opening Day starting spot for the Rockies following the lengthy break in his development. Instead, Friedrich will likely be plugged into the Triple-A rotation and must first show an ability to induce more groundballs, which was his downfall in his 16 starts with the Rockies back in 2012. That flaw was glaringly apparent at Coors Field, where Friedrich was annihilated by hitters to the tune of a .351/.402/.612 line, including 10 homers.
Friedrich opened the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs, producing five strong starts before getting summoned to a struggling Rockies rotation. Friedrich did little to stop the bleeding, especially at Coors Field. While Friedrich held batters to a .383 slugging percentage and a 3.77 ERA on the road, those numbers jumped to .612 and 8.92 at home. He was particularly besieged by a 15.4 percent HR/FB rate, surrendering 10 of his 14 home runs at Coors Field. Now fully recovered from a back issue that sidelined him for the rest of the season in August, Friedrich will be one of several young starters competing for a rotation spot. Even if he is sent to Triple-A to start the season, Friedrich figures to make at least a few starts with the Rockies at some point, with any success predicated on reducing his home-run rate.
Friedrich seems to have hit a wall at Double-A, repeating at Tulsa and carrying a 5.00 ERA while getting knocked around by opposing hitters for the second straight season. In addition to the elevated home-run rate (1.35 HR/9IP), Friedrich lost strikeouts (8.06 K/9IP down to 6.96) and showed minimal growth beyond an improved walk rate (3.62 BB/9IP down to 2.91). Still, the former first-round pick was added to the Rockies' 40-man roster in November and the Rockies will be patient, given the team's investment in him. Wait until he shows signs of dominating hitters the way he did at High-A again before investing.
Friedrich, the Rockies 2008 first-round pick, had a disappointing and injury plagued 2010 season. He experienced a sore left elbow and was the recipient of a line drive off that same elbow, before a strained lat muscle eventually sidelined him permanently. The elbow injuries, a dip in his velocity, and a bout with the long ball resulted in a 5.05 ERA and 1.550 WHIP at Double-A Tulsa. Still, he possesses a live fastball and fantastic curveball, both of which are capable of getting major league batters out. Assuming he can shake off the injury bug, Friedrich should regain his top prospect status and profile as someone for fantasy owners to watch as the season progresses.
Friedrich is a left-handed starting pitcher with dazzling stuff who was a first-round draft pick in 2008. He throws a fastball that can touch the mid-90s with late life and his curve is an outstanding pitch with great spin and rotation that he can use in any count. Friedrich has a very smooth, polished delivery and opened eyes at Low-A and High-A last season. He could be a fast-mover in the Colorado system and a September callup isn't out of the question depending on the health of the Rockies' rotation later in the season.
The Rockies' 2008 first-round pick was considered the most polished lefty in the draft class after Brian Matusz, so his performance as a pro was mildly disappointing. Friedrich has the pitches to be a mid-rotation starter in the majors and get there quickly, possibly the middle of '10. He does not have No. 1 starter upside.