Kelvin Herrera
Kelvin Herrera
29-Year-Old PitcherRP
Chicago White Sox
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Herrera entered 2018 needing to show the Royals' brass he was healthy and effective, building up his trade value. Check, check and check as Herrera twirled a sparkling 1.05 ERA and 0.82 WHIP, fanning 22 in 25.2 innings while notching 14 saves through June 14. That was enough for the Nationals to deal for him. Herrera began in a setup role before stepping in at closer when Sean Doolittle broke his toe. Unfortunately, Herrera also hit the DL in early August with right shoulder tightness. After a two-week stay, he returned to throw a clean ninth inning Aug. 21. In his next appearance five days later, Herrera suffered a torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot while running to cover first base, requiring season-ending surgery. Health provided, Herrera will likely battle Alex Colome for the closer role in spring training after signing a two-year, $18 million deal with the White Sox in free agency. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a two-year, $18 million contract with the White Sox in January of 2019. Contract includes a $10 million vesting option ($1 million buyout) for 2021.
Returns to action
PChicago White Sox
May 9, 2019
Herrera allowed a two-run home run without retiring a batter in Wednesday's 5-3 loss to Cleveland.
Herrera, who missed time since Sunday with a back issue, came on in the bottom of the ninth inning with a man on and served up a walkoff bomb to Jose Ramirez. It was the sixth time in the last nine appearances he's allowed runs. After a hopeful start to 2019, Herrera now has a 5.82 ERA and 17:6 K:BB over 17 innings.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .277 267 53 27 65 9 3 9
Since 2017vs Right .250 297 65 14 70 10 5 10
2019vs Left .341 51 5 5 15 1 0 2
2019vs Right .266 70 19 6 17 2 1 2
2018vs Left .230 80 20 5 17 2 1 3
2018vs Right .265 104 18 5 26 2 0 3
2017vs Left .282 136 28 17 33 6 2 4
2017vs Right .229 123 28 3 27 6 4 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 5.33 1.41 74.1 6 8 22 8.0 2.9 1.5
Since 2017Away 2.44 1.28 55.1 1 1 21 8.5 2.8 1.1
2019Home 6.48 1.56 16.2 2 3 0 9.2 3.8 1.1
2019Away 6.75 1.82 9.1 0 0 0 6.8 3.9 1.9
2018Home 3.42 1.23 23.2 1 2 9 6.5 2.3 1.5
2018Away 1.31 1.16 20.2 1 1 8 9.1 1.7 0.9
2017Home 6.09 1.47 34.0 3 3 13 8.5 2.9 1.6
2017Away 1.78 1.18 25.1 0 0 13 8.5 3.2 1.1
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Stat Review
How does Kelvin Herrera compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 20 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
95.5 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
85.5 mph
Spin Rate
2158 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kelvin Herrera
Mound Musings: Checking the NL Bullpens
31 days ago
Brad Johnson looks at National League closer situations, where in San Francisco closer Will Smith is doing so well, he may be a target in trade talks later this season.
Mound Musings: Life, the Universe and Everything
66 days ago
Brad Johnson outlines what he focuses on when comparing pitchers or deciding whether to start specific pitchers. He also details the struggles of dealing with injuries like the one sustained by Luis Sererino.
Spring Training Job Battles: Final Update
81 days ago
On the eve of Opening Day, Erik Halterman runs down the list of winners and losers in his final Job Battles update.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
84 days ago
Erik Siegrist serves up the first batch of waiver options of the season in the American League, where Eloy Jimenez's surprise contract signing has the top prospect in the White Sox's Opening Day lineup.
Oak's Corner: Targets Outside the Top 100
86 days ago
On the eve of a big draft weekend, Scott Jenstad delves into players he’s targeting outside the top 100, including Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Entering 2017, Herrera was expected to be a reliable closer, based on a solid five-year run as one of the best setup men in the game. He recorded a 2.57 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 106 holds in that span, with 360 whiffs in 354.1 innings, closing 12 games in 2016. However, a big drop in strikeouts with an increase in walks and homers resulted in a subpar season, and he was ultimately stripped of ninth-inning duties down the stretch. That said, coming out of the break, Herrera seemed to turn it around, until he strained his forearm in mid-August. Even pitching hurt, Herrera surrendered only two of seven homers in the second half. Curiously, Herrera’s fastball velocity was normal, but he threw his slider four-to-five mph faster while adding two mph to his changeup, rendering both much less effective than previous seasons. The cost-conscious Royals will likely give Herrera another chance for saves, if only to build up his trade value. Invest with care.
For the fourth straight season, Herrera registered at least 20 holds, joining Tony Watson as the only relievers to accomplish the feat. Skills-wise, Herrera took his game to a new level, combining a return to a double-digit strikeout rate with a precipitous drop in walks. Integral to Herrera's improvement was throwing fewer fastballs, dropping from 75 percent heaters to 60, while introducing a plus slider to his arsenal. Herrera's fantasy owners got a bonus when the dominant righty assumed closing duties while Wade Davis was on the disabled list, converting all 10 of his save opportunities in that span. With Davis getting dealt to the reigning world champs in the offseason, the ninth inning will belong to Herrera going forward. He was useful even when he was not getting saves on a regular basis, and now he should be viewed as a top-10 closer, as he has the skills and has shown himself capable of handling the role.
Herrera has now posted two straight stellar seasons and is a major reason for the success of the Kansas City bullpen. He led the team in holds at 21 and struck out 64 batters in 69 innings, which led to the first All-Star selection of his career. Herrera throws in the upper-90s and complements it with a changeup in the upper-80s, which makes him very tough to hit. He will likely continue to fire bullets at the back end of the Kansas City bullpen in 2016.
Herrera was nearly untouchable in the second half of 2014, allowing just two earned runs after the All-Star break and failing to surrender a single home run on his way to posting a spectacular 1.41 ERA. A 3.50 xFIP suggests that his home ballpark and 85.5% strand rate may have partially contributed to that earned run average, however, and it's also worth noting his .274 BABIP represented a three-year low. The right-handed reliever relied more on his fastball than in any other of his major league seasons, and rightfully so, as he was able to blow by hitters and often hit triple-digits on the radar gun. Despite the improved ratio numbers, Herrera's strikeout rate dipped a bit last season, as he fanned nearly three less batters per nine innings than he did in his career-best 2013 campaign. He's once again in line to take on a seventh-inning role in front of Wade Davis and closer Greg Holland in 2015, which likely limits his fantasy value to leagues that count holds. However, if either Holland or Davis succumb to injury or a severe cold streak, Herrera would then be a solid candidate for an immediate add.
After an outstanding showing in 2012, Herrera was slated to bridge the gap between middle relief and closer Greg Holland and man the eighth inning. However, while his strikeout rate climbed to an impressive 30.2%, command issues haunted him regularly on the hill. His K/9 jumped from a 2.2 to 3.2 in 2013, he continuously fell behind in counts and often just served the ball up over the plate, which resulted in a disastrous 18 percent HR/FB. The Royals worked hard at trying to correct the issues, sending him down to the minors on more than one occasion, but ultimately deemed the problem more mental than mechanical. He enjoyed a fantastic month of August, but fell back into his struggles once again to close out the season. Herrera is just 24 years old and has far too much promise to put much stock into one bad season. Look for him to get back on track in 2014 and return to the level of dominance that made him one of the more feared relievers in 2012.
When Herrera raced through the Royals system, going from High-A to the majors in a single season back in 2011, the hope was that he would provide strong bullpen support in 2012, but expectations were still kept in check. After a strong spring, Herrera earned himself a permanent spot in the bullpen and went on to have a fantastic season, finishing up with a 2.35 ERA and 77 strikeouts over 84.1 innings. He posted a 3.7 K/BB, a 0.4 HR/9 and an extremely impressive 80.9 percent strand rate which was why he was Ned Yost's most trusted reliever and made a team-high 76 appearances. Herrera will likely remain in his setup role to open the 2013 season but with 98 mph heat and a very deceptive 87 mph changeup, do not be surprised if he is mentioned as a candidate for saves if the Royals need closer help at some point.
Herrera saw all that the Royals farm system had to offer in 2011, as he spent time at High-A Wilmington, Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, before eventually getting a cup of espresso in the majors. Pitching solely out of the bullpen, Herrera racked up 70 strikeouts and 15 walks with a 1.60 ERA over 67.2 innings in his minor league travels. Armed with a 96-mph fastball that he can command for strikes, Herrera was named the Pitcher of the Year in the Royals minor league system. Only 22, he's ready to help in the bullpen, possibly even at the back end of it in a setup role this season.
More Fantasy News
Good to go Wednesday
PChicago White Sox
May 8, 2019
Herrera (back) is available to pitch Wednesday against the Indians, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
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May be available Wednesday
PChicago White Sox
May 7, 2019
Herrera (back) said he would likely be ready to pitch Wednesday at Cleveland, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Plays catch Monday
PChicago White Sox
May 6, 2019
Herrera (back) played catch Monday, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
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Battling back stiffness
PChicago White Sox
May 5, 2019
Herrera (back) is considered day-to-day after being diagnosed with back stiffness, Scot Gregor of the Chicago Daily Herald reports.
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Leaves with injury
PChicago White Sox
May 5, 2019
Herrera exited Sunday's game against the Red Sox with an apparent back injury, Scott Merkin of reports.
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