29-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Tillman hit free agency at age 29 after a nine-year run with the Orioles. His final season as an Oriole was a total dud, and his downturn can be traced to the second half of his 2016 season when a sho...
Chris Tillman Contract Information:
Agreed to one-year, $10.05 million contract with the Orioles in January of 2017.
Tillman allowed four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out two batters through four innings during Sunday's win over Tampa Bay. He didn't factor into the decision.
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|2018 RotoWire Projections||Subscribe now to see our 2018 projections for Chris Tillman|
|Career (View All)||203||198||1||1,118.3||1,100||551||158||834||419||73||55||0||–||–||4.43||1.36|
Age is determined on July 1st of each season. Jump To: ▼ Advanced StatsNo No No
|Last 14 Games (Team)
3 Games Pitched: Avg. 3.0 IP/G
|Last 30 Games (Team)
5 Games Pitched: Avg. 2.7 IP/G
|Last 60 Games (Team)
10 Games Pitched: Avg. 2.8 IP/G
Chris Tillman Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
|Year||Age||Lg||Tm||G||GS||IP||K/9||BB/9||K/BB||HR/9||GB/FB Ratio||Strand %||Fastball||ERA||FIP||BABIP|
|2018 RotoWire Projections||Subscribe now to see our 2018 projections for Chris Tillman|
Chris Tillman Defensive Stats
|Year||Pos||Inn||PMFinal (?)||EXP Tot (?)||PM (?)||AirPM (?)||EPM (?)||InnHome (?)||PMH (?)||InnLHP (?)||PMLHP (?)||LEFT (?)||MID (?)||RGHT (?)|
|Year||Pos||SHAL (?)||MED (?)||DEEP (?)||CERS (?)||SBRS (?)||PSBRS (?)||BRS (?)||GDPRS (?)||OFARS (?)||GFPDMERS (?)||PMRS (?)||SZRS (?)||TRS (?)|
2017 Stat Review for Chris Tillman 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.
2018 Projected Stats Breakdown for Chris Tillman
2018 projections compared to top pitchers in 2016.
Chris Tillman: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Tillman is a great example of "better real life than fantasy pitcher." Three of his last four seasons have been solid ERA-wise despite a steady low-to-mid 4.00s FIP. The bottom line has been an average of 3.90 ERA in 190 innings with a modest 2.2 K/BB ratio supporting it. He's never posted a strikeout rate of 8.0 K/9 or better, nor has his walk rate ever been better than average. He is at the mercy of his BABIP and LOB rates, which landed at .293 and 68 percent, respectively, in 2015 when his ERA soared to 4.99. Perhaps most interesting is that he has deep, useful secondary arsenal. His three reliable secondaries have ranged from average to great, but they're usually supported by a mediocre-at-best fastball (except in 2014, which ended up being his best season). At 28, Tillman is unlikely to jump another level. He's the mid-rotation arm we've seen the last four years, best deployed in AL-only leagues, or better left for someone else's team.
Tillman entered the 2015 season trying to build on two-and-a-half seasons of success atop Baltimore's rotation, but things spiraled downward instead. It should come as no surprise that Tillman increased his BB/9 (2.86 in 2013 to 3.33 in 2015) and decreased his K/9 over the last two years (7.81 in 2013 to 6.24 in 2015). His BABIP bounced from the .260s in 2013 and 2014 to .293 in 2015, which would actually fall more in line with the league average. Surprisingly, Tillman has increased his groundball rate each of the last three years to 43.5% of batted balls last season. Despite the successes in each of the prior three seasons, all three of those seasons came with a FIP higher than 4.00, so it appears his actual ERA finally caught up in 2015. Tillman is a rebound candidate, but his historical FIP indicates he was a bit lucky in his prior success.
There was a lot to like from Tillman’s 2013 season. A gaudy win-loss record earned him an All-Star bid, but he retroactively earned it with a strong finish to the season. Hoping to build on that, he opened 2014 with a 1.71 ERA in his first four starts before a seven-run shellacking in Toronto sent him on a nine-start skid that resulted in a 7.25 ERA. The big issue during that skid is the same issue that has plagued Tillman throughout his career: home runs. His 1.3 HR/9 made it tough to buy into his 2.93 ERA from 2012, and he followed it up with a 1.4 HR/9 in 2013, which put his 3.71 ERA in doubt. With that in consideration, his 5.20 ERA through his first 13 starts last year wasn’t too surprising when paired with his 1.3 HR/9. However, he substantially improved his fastball command from mid-June on, spurring a 0.7 HR/9 and 2.38 ERA in his final 21 starts. Though he’s seemingly been around forever, 2014 was just his second full season as a major leaguer, and this is still a growth profile. If he could pump the strikeouts up some, Tillman could become a force in all formats.
Tillman capitalized on a strong finish to his 2012 season by finally putting things together and earning an All-Star selection in 2013. However, a 4.42 FIP for 2013 shows that caution should be exercised. Tillman allowed 33 home runs and had an 80.5% strand rate, which was sixth highest in the league. Tillman and A.J. Griffin were the only qualified pitchers in MLB who had an ERA under 4.00 and allowed more than 26 home runs. Nonetheless, on the heels of his quality 2013 campaign, Tillman is likely to be named the Orioles' Opening Day starter.
Tillman had consistently disappointed at the MLB level since his 2009 debut, but he finally put some success together after receiving a July promotion. The problem is that Tillman's success appeared to ride on an insane .221 BABIP in 2012. Tillman has historically struck out a batter per inning in the minors. His 6.9 K/9 in 2012 was a career best, but his average in MLB over the last four years is closer to 6.0. Tillman is out of options, which means the Orioles would have to dangle him on waivers if he does not make the team. That could help him play his way into a rotation spot out of spring training, but his 2012 pace seems unsustainable given the aforementioned good fortune on balls in play.
Tillman, one of the key pieces of the trade which sent Erik Bedard to Seattle, has yet to launch as an Oriole. He struggled again in 2011, limping to a 5.52 ERA in 13 starts. For another season, Tillman still couldn't strike out twice as many as he walked, and a .348 BABIP doomed him. At 23, there is still plenty of time for Tillman to find it, and the Orioles won't be in any rush to jettison him either. Give it another year as beneath the young pitcher struggling with his control is a talented arm that dominated throughout his time in the minors against much older competition.
While Tillman's overall numbers were disappointing last season, he occasionally flashed the form that had scouts excited about him, including a start at Texas in which he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Besides Tillman's control problems, which have been a feature at each minor league step, Tillman's velocity dropped by nearly two mph on all three of his primary pitches. It probably would help matters if the O's didn't continually yank him up-and-down from Triple-A Norfolk like they did last season. We're not ready to cut bait on Tillman's potential, but we're also not willing to advise using anything more than a reserve pick on him.
Tillman's highly anticipated debut came with some growing pains. Unlike his counterpart Brian Matusz, Tillman did not close the season well. However, Tillman threw a career-high in innings between Triple-A and Baltimore and any rookie pitcher is expected to struggle at times. The future looks bright as Tillman has the stuff of a front of the rotation starter, but the question is when the light will come on. He has proven himself in the minors and will be in the rotation out of spring training this season.
While Adam Jones was the trendy name in the Erik Bedard deal, Tillman was the biggest prize. After an 11-4 season at Double-A, with a 3.18 ERA Tillman is the farthest along of the Orioles' top pitching prospects and is one of the better pitching prospects in baseball. Tillman turns 21 in April and will not be rushed to the big leagues. Expect him to get a full season in Triple-A, with a chance for a September call-up.
Tillman was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season as he led all Mariners minor leaguers with 139 strikeouts in 135.2 innings between Low-A and High-A. Tillman earned a quick promotion after posting a 3.55 ERA and a 2.6:1 K:BB ratio at Low-A Wisconsin but initially had trouble acclimating to the hitter-friendly California League. He had a 9.29 ERA in his first seven starts through June, but slowly improved to the point that he posted a 1.82 ERA in six August starts. Tillman pitches in the mid-90s and has a plus curve but needs to improve his control (4.04 BB/9 last year). A second-round pick in 2006, Tillman is just 19 and needs more time to refine his mechanics and command.