Yusei Kikuchi
28-Year-Old PitcherSP
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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, $66 million extension after the first three years. He was dominant in 2017, logging 217 strikeouts in 187.2 innings -- both career highs. Kikuchi was similarly dominant in 2018 until a shoulder injury caused him to miss a month, and while he was able to return, he wasn't quite the same after that. He will be adapting to a new schedule where he'll pitch more frequently, so we should not expect the 6-foot hurler to log more than 160 innings on a rebuilding Mariners team. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a three-year, $43 million contract with the Mariners in January of 2019. The contract includes a $13 million player option for 2022, which can be voided by a four-year, $66 million team option.
Lasts four innings in no-decision
PSeattle Mariners
July 14, 2019
Kikuchi allowed three runs on two hits and four walks across four innings in a no-decision Sunday against the Angels. He struck out three.
ANALYSIS
It was a strange start for Kikuchi, who pitched well over his first four innings aside from a solo home run off the bat of Kole Calhoun. Unfortunately, he allowed the first two hitters to reach before his removal in the fifth and watched as the bullpen allowed both to score. This lackluster outing is a bit discouraging after Kikuchi turned in a stellar performance in his previous start. He will look to get back on track in his next start at home against this same Angels team.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-7%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-7%
BAA vs RHP
2018
No Stats
2017
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .293 88 17 6 24 3 1 5
Since 2017vs Right .272 362 59 31 88 19 0 15
2019vs Left .293 88 17 6 24 3 1 5
2019vs Right .272 362 59 31 88 19 0 15
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-1%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-1%
ERA on Road
2018
No Stats
2017
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 5.05 1.38 46.1 2 4 0 7.0 3.3 2.3
Since 2017Away 4.98 1.52 56.0 2 2 0 6.4 3.2 1.3
2019Home 5.05 1.38 46.1 2 4 0 7.0 3.3 2.3
2019Away 4.98 1.52 56.0 2 2 0 6.4 3.2 1.3
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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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 this season's data (min 70 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
2.05
 
K/9
6.7
 
BB/9
3.3
 
HR/9
1.8
 
Fastball
92.8 mph
 
ERA
5.01
 
WHIP
1.46
 
BABIP
.302
 
GB/FB
1.49
 
Left On Base
66.9%
 
Exit Velocity
88.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
7.6%
 
Spin Rate
2201 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
37.1%
 
Swinging Strike
9.0%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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2016 Fantasy Outlook
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
Unlucky in loss
PSeattle Mariners
July 5, 2019
Kikuchi (4-6) pitched seven innings in a loss Friday, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk. He struck out five in the 5-2 loss to the Athletics.
ANALYSIS
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Remains on track for next start
PSeattle Mariners
Personal
July 2, 2019
Kikuchi (personal) is still awaiting the birth of his first child, but he remains on track to make his next start Friday against the Athletics, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Leaves team with baby on way
PSeattle Mariners
Personal
June 30, 2019
Kikuchi left the Mariners on Sunday due to his wife being in labor with the couple's child, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Shaky in no-decision
PSeattle Mariners
June 29, 2019
Kikuchi didn't factor into the decision in Saturday's 6-5 extra-inning loss to the Astros, giving up five runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks over five innings while striking out five.
ANALYSIS
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Turns in eventful quality start
PSeattle Mariners
June 23, 2019
Kikuchi (4-5) allowed three runs on five hits and five walks across six innings to earn the win Sunday against the Orioles. He struck out three.
ANALYSIS
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