Yusei Kikuchi

Yusei Kikuchi

30-Year-Old PitcherSP
Seattle Mariners
2021 Fantasy Outlook
On the surface, Kikuchi has had some rough sledding in his transition from pitching in Japan to pitching in the majors. Two consecutive season of bad ratios and a lack of wins while pitching for a perpetually rebuilding Seattle franchise. If you solely focus on the surface stats, you will miss the progress he is making as a pitcher. The southpaw added a new cutter in 2020 and made it his primary pitch, but like with anything new, it took some time getting used to. Kikuchi struggled with walks, but still struck out nearly a quarter of the hitters he faced and his expected stats do not look like they belong to a guy coming off a 5.17 ERA and 1.30 WHIP season. The cutter helped him greatly against righties as their weighted on-base average against him dropped 75 points year over year. Seattle is not a great team, but Kikuchi is a good pitcher whose surface stats create a strong buying opportunity in 2021. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#295
ADP
$Signed a three-year, $43 million contract with the Mariners in January of 2019. Contract includes $13 million player option for 2022.
Start skipped
PSeattle Mariners
September 28, 2021
Kikuchi's turn in the rotation is being skipped Tuesday and he may not make another start this season.
ANALYSIS
Tyler Anderson is starting Tuesday on short rest while top prospect Matt Brash was called up to piggyback Anderson. Logan Gilbert is listed as Wednesday's starter, so all signs point to Kikuchi moving to the bullpen over the final few games of the season. The 30-year-old lefty has a 7.82 ERA, 2.29 WHIP and 14:9 K:BB in 12.2 innings over his last four starts.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
88
Last 10 Games
79
Last 5 Games
74
How many pitches does Yusei Kikuchi generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Yusei Kikuchi generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-24%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-46%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-18%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-13%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .215 336 78 22 67 12 1 13
Since 2019vs Right .282 1237 247 108 313 68 8 53
2021vs Left .147 146 40 10 20 2 0 5
2021vs Right .271 520 123 52 125 26 2 22
2020vs Left .279 49 11 5 12 2 0 0
2020vs Right .228 137 35 13 28 9 1 3
2019vs Left .263 141 27 7 35 8 1 8
2019vs Right .304 580 89 43 160 33 5 28
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-1%
ERA on Road
2021
 
 
-9%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-2%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-9%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 4.99 1.35 178.2 5 15 0 8.4 3.2 1.7
Since 2019Away 4.96 1.45 187.0 10 9 0 7.7 3.3 1.5
2021Home 4.21 1.22 77.0 2 4 0 9.7 3.2 1.3
2021Away 4.61 1.41 80.0 5 5 0 9.0 3.9 1.8
2020Home 5.13 1.18 26.1 1 3 0 9.2 4.1 0.7
2020Away 5.23 1.45 20.2 1 1 0 8.7 3.5 0.4
2019Home 5.73 1.54 75.1 2 8 0 6.8 3.0 2.5
2019Away 5.21 1.49 86.1 4 3 0 6.2 2.6 1.6
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Yusei Kikuchi compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 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 2019 data (min 120 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.
  • BABIP
    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.
K/BB
2.63
 
K/9
9.3
 
BB/9
3.6
 
HR/9
1.5
 
Fastball
95.2 mph
 
ERA
4.41
 
WHIP
1.32
 
BABIP
.297
 
GB/FB
1.98
 
Left On Base
73.9%
 
Exit Velocity
83.8 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
6.1%
 
Spin Rate
2206 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
28.0%
 
Swinging Strike
12.7%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2016
Kikuchi fell far short of expectations in his first major-league season, posting a 5.46 ERA and 1.52 WHIP after recording a 2.50 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over three seasons in Japan. The 28-year-old struggled to miss bats, posting a 16.1 K% that would have ranked fourth worst among major-league starters had he logged enough innings to qualify, along with a middling 8.8% swinging-strike rate. The Mariners took measures to limit Kikuchi's workload as he adjusted to the rigors of the MLB schedule. The southpaw served up a whopping 36 home runs despite throwing only 161.2 frames, with right-handed batters teeing off to the tune of .304/.359/.545 against Kikuchi. He figures to have a rotation spot on a rebuilding Mariners club, but there is little reason to think a big improvement is coming in his second big-league season. Throw your dart elsewhere.
A three-time All-Star in Japan (2013, 2017, 2018), Kikuchi was 14-4 with a 3.08 ERA, an 8.4 K/9 and a 2.5 BB/9 in 2018. He has a mid-90s fastball that he uses to set up a plus slider. While not regarded in quite the same star tier of Shohei Ohtani or Yu Darvish, the 27-year-old lefty still projects as at least a solid mid-rotation starter in MLB. Kikuchi signed a three-year, $43 million deal with the Mariners, with a $13 million player option for a fourth year and a team option for a four-year, $66 million extension after the first three years. He was dominant in 2017, logging 217 strikeouts in 187.2 innings -- both career highs. Kikuchi was similarly dominant in 2018 until a shoulder injury caused him to miss a month, and while he was able to return, he wasn't quite the same after that. He will be adapting to a new schedule where he'll pitch more frequently, so we should not expect the 6-foot hurler to log more than 160 innings on a rebuilding Mariners team.
Kikuchi attracted attention as a high schooler for his hard fastball and stated desire to forego a pro career in Japan and jump straight to the majors. That didn't happen, and injuries have so far deterred him from reaching his potential. Still only 24, Kikuchi showed signs of improvement in 2015 and if he can put together a couple of healthy seasons, he could establish himself as a quality lefty.
More Fantasy News
Next start in question
PSeattle Mariners
September 23, 2021
Kikuchi may not take his next turn through the rotation, which is currently projected for Tuesday against the Athletics, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Struggles in short start
PSeattle Mariners
September 19, 2021
Kikuchi (7-9) took the loss against Kansas City on Saturday, allowing three runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out three over three innings.
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Whiffs eight in no-decision
PSeattle Mariners
September 12, 2021
Kikuchi allowed one earned run on six hits and one walk while striking out eight across five innings in the loss to the Diamondbacks on Sunday. He did not factor into the decision.
ANALYSIS
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Roughed up by Astros again
PSeattle Mariners
September 7, 2021
Kikuchi (7-8) allowed six runs (four earned) on three hits and four walks and didn't strike anybody out over just 1.2 innings as he took the loss Monday against the Astros.
ANALYSIS
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Blanks Astros
PSeattle Mariners
August 31, 2021
Kikuchi got a no-decision in Tuesday's 4-0 win over Houston, allowing four hits and two walks with four strikeouts across seven innings.
ANALYSIS
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