Blake Parker
Blake Parker
33-Year-Old PitcherRP
Minnesota Twins
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Parker had a tough time following up on his surprise success in 2017. His strikeout rate dropped nine percentage points (to 25.4%) while his home-run rate skyrocketed with 12 long balls allowed in 66.1 innings of work. Despite those issues, he kept his ERA as low as it was thanks to an abnormally high 89.4% left-on-base rate. The other concerning part of his game was a groundball rate that dropped from 47% in 2017 to 33.7% in 2018, turning him from a groundball pitcher to one with many risky flyballs. His home-run-to-flyball rate was mostly in line with 2017, so it was the change in batted-ball types that led to the surge in home runs more than any kind of unfortunate HR/FB fluctuation that we would normally look for when someone's home-run rate spikes this much. What looked like a nice, closer-worthy skill set pre-2018 is now a risky profile that should properly set his value for 2019. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $3.2 million contract with the Twins in January of 2019.
Finalizing deal with Twins
PMinnesota Twins
January 7, 2019
Parker agreed to a one-year, $3.2 million contract with the Twins on Monday, Jeff Passan of reports.
Parker has found a new home after being non-tendered by the Angels earlier in the offseason. The veteran right-hander figures to immediately join the late-inning conversation in Minnesota after posting a 3.26 ERA and 70:19 K:BB in 66.1 innings with Los Angeles in 2018. That said, Parker struggled with homers (1.6 HR/9) and indicators suggest his ERA was nearly a run better than it should have been (4.40 FIP), suggesting he may be better suited for a setup role while Trevor May takes the ninth inning.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
Even Split
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .223 281 72 20 58 13 0 8
Since 2016vs Right .212 328 99 24 62 11 1 12
2018vs Left .269 129 30 10 32 7 0 5
2018vs Right .231 147 40 9 31 4 1 7
2017vs Left .168 120 36 6 19 3 0 3
2017vs Right .176 134 50 10 21 6 0 4
2016vs Left .250 32 6 4 7 3 0 0
2016vs Right .250 47 9 5 10 1 0 1
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 1.39 0.75 83.0 5 1 12 10.7 1.9 0.6
Since 2016Away 5.24 1.51 66.0 1 3 11 9.5 3.5 1.9
2018Home 2.50 0.94 36.0 2 1 6 11.0 2.0 1.3
2018Away 4.15 1.58 30.1 0 0 8 7.7 3.3 2.1
2017Home 0.74 0.49 36.2 2 0 5 11.3 1.5 0.2
2017Away 4.70 1.24 30.2 1 3 3 11.7 2.9 1.8
2016Home 0.00 0.97 11.1 1 0 1 7.9 3.2 0.0
2016Away 13.50 2.50 6.0 0 0 0 7.5 7.5 1.5
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Stat Review
How does Blake Parker 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.
92.2 mph
Strand %
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Blake Parker
Mound Musings: The 2018 Season Pitching Awards Issue
124 days ago
Brad Johnson offers up his season-ending awards, good and bad, including the Biggest (Pleasant) Surprise trophy, which goes to Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
135 days ago
Erik Siegrist checks out the free-agent pool in the Junior Circuit, where Christin Stewart is likely to be one of the last name-brand prospects to get a big-league promotion.
Mound Musings: The AL Bullpen Shuffle
152 days ago
Brad Johnson checks in with unsettled AL bullpen assignments to see where they may be headed including in Los Angeles, where Blake Parker is the closer for now.
MLB Barometer: Surprise, Surprise
182 days ago
Derek VanRiper breaks down his MLB Barometer coming out of the All-Star break, keying on Reds shortstop Jose Peraza as his first riser of the week.
Mound Musings: Looking to the Future
187 days ago
Last Sunday, Brad Johnson had the chance to watch the Futures Game and analyze a few of the top quality young arms, including the Braves’ Kyle Wright.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Reliever volatility is a tough thing to forecast. Look at the seasons Parker put up in 2013 and 2017; very similar seasons across the board except that he was an extreme flyball pitcher in 2013 and was more groundball heavy in 2017. The time in between was marred by Tommy John surgery, but Parker made the most of his opportunity, striking out 17 of the final 18 guys he faced in spring training to earn and then keep a job in the bullpen all season. He is already 32 years old and has pitched for four different organizations; Parker looks a bit like Jason Grilli and has had a similar career path. A ceiling such as what Grilli did in his mid 30s is not a bad deal and he should enter camp as the favorite to win the closer role for 2018 after finishing the season in August and September striking out 33 percent of the batters he faced while holding them to a .155 average.
Someone in your NL-only league may have speculated on Parker for saves last year, and that owner would have done well if he were in a Triple-A league, as Parker saved 25 games for Iowa in 2014. To be fair, Parker did have a nice 21-inning run with the Cubs. Ignore the 5.14 ERA and look at some of the other numbers: 24:4 K:BB ratio, an inflated .374 BABIP, and a low 64 percent strand rate. It may not look like it, but Parker may have pitched better than teammate Neil Ramirez last year. Throw in his strong performance with the Cubs in 2013, and we may have a decent sleeper on our hands. If you don't believe in Hector Rondon or whoever the Cubs trot out there in the ninth inning this April, throw your dart at Parker, not Ramirez.
After starting the year in the minors, Parker pitched in relief for the Cubs during the last four months of the season and proved he belonged in the big leagues. A 55:15 K:BB ratio helped contribute to a 2.72 ERA and 1.165 WHIP in just 46.1 innings. He had a particularly-good six-week midsummer run when he got six holds and his only save, but despite pitching well the rest of the way, he only got one more hold, indicating that his team maybe didn't trust him in key situations. With a new manager in town and no established closer signed yet, Parker could get the opportunity to win the ninth-inning job, so keep an eye on him this spring.
The Cubs' Triple-A closer, Parker struck out 58 in just 51 innings and racked up 22 saves. He also did a fine job of keeping the ball in the park with just three home runs allowed. His biggest weakness is command - 27 walks is higher than we would like, but so long as the ball stays in the park, and the strikeouts are there, we can live with it. He'll vie for a bullpen role this spring with the big-league club.
More Fantasy News
Hits open market
PFree Agent
November 30, 2018
The Angels declined to tender Parker a contract for next season, Mark Feinsand of reports.
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Bypassed for another save opportunity
PLos Angeles Angels
September 19, 2018
Parker fired a scoreless inning while giving up a hit and striking out two in Tuesday's 9-7 win over the Athletics.
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Lifted from save opportunity
PLos Angeles Angels
September 10, 2018
Parker was credited with a hold after recording two outs in Sunday's 1-0 win over the White Sox.
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Notches 14th save
PLos Angeles Angels
September 3, 2018
Parker tossed a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit and striking out one as he picked up the save Monday against the Rangers.
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Collects 13th save
PLos Angeles Angels
September 1, 2018
Parker gave up a hit and a walk in a scoreless ninth inning Friday to pick up his 13th save of the season in a 3-0 win over the Astros.
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