Drew Smyly
Drew Smyly
30-Year-Old PitcherSP
Philadelphia Phillies
2019 Fantasy Outlook
When the Cubs signed Smyly prior to the 2018 season, they understood that he might not contribute much in his first season with the club. The southpaw spent the early portion of the campaign continuing to rehab from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in June of 2017, and he progressed to simulated games after the All-Star break. Just when he appeared to be closing in on a return from the disabled list, the Cubs opted to shut him down for the season. After the extra-long layoff, the hope is that Smyly will be fully healthy and ready to compete for a spot in the Rangers' rotation following a November trade. He turns 30 in June and his medical history is lengthy, but in AL-only leagues and deep draft-and-hold formats, there are worse late-round speculations. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a contract with the Phillies in July of 2019.
Early exit in no-decision
PPhiladelphia Phillies
August 21, 2019
Smyly didn't factor into the decision in Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Red Sox, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks over 3.2 innings while striking out four.
The southpaw tossed only 44 of 84 pitches for strikes before getting the hook, and while the light rain that fell throughout the game may have played a part in Smyly's inability to get the ball over the plate consistently, it's not like his struggles are anything new. He now has a 7.45 ERA through four starts in August (19.1 innings), but with the Phillies lacking alternatives for the rotation, he'll next take the mound Tuesday, at home against the Pirates.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
No Stats
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .346 86 16 8 27 5 1 11
Since 2017vs Right .265 300 70 38 68 13 2 15
2019vs Left .346 86 16 8 27 5 1 11
2019vs Right .265 300 70 38 68 13 2 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
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
No Stats
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Since 2017Home 7.58 1.64 46.1 1 4 0 9.7 4.5 2.9
Since 2017Away 6.27 1.74 37.1 1 2 1 8.7 5.5 2.7
2019Home 7.58 1.64 46.1 1 4 0 9.7 4.5 2.9
2019Away 6.27 1.74 37.1 1 2 1 8.7 5.5 2.7
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 Drew Smyly 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.
    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.
91.0 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
88.9 mph
Spin Rate
1959 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Drew Smyly
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
A strong showing last spring -- which he split between the Mariners and Team USA in the WBC -- signaled that Smyly was ready to bounce back from a poor 2016 season, but an elbow injury suffered in late March prevented him from being ready for the start of the season. His season was ultimately over for good when it was decided he would need Tommy John surgery in June. Smyly will not be ready to return until the middle of the 2018 season at the earliest, and it's possible he could miss the entire year. His respectable career marks of a 3.74 ERA and 8.7 K/9 make him worth holding onto in deep keeper leagues, but it's a long shot that he will pay off as a long-term stash in single-season leagues in 2018. The Cubs signed him to a two-year deal in December, likely banking on his Year 2 contributions with the club once he's completely healthy again.
The 27-year-old left-hander managed to stay healthy but struggled through the majority of the 2016 campaign. His first half of the season was particularly poor, with Smyly tallying just a pair of victories against 10 losses to go along with a 5.47 ERA. He rebounded in the second half to forge a 5-2 record and generate a more respectable 4.08 ERA, but still saw a significant drop in his K/9 and the home runs have become a major issue at this point (43 allowed in 242 innings over the past two seasons). There was no accompanying rise in BABIP to blame for his struggles in 2016, as that figure remained at a reasonable .291. A full offseason of rest will create further distance from the shoulder problems and he's relatively safe in his role even after a trade to Seattle, but Smyly remains a risk in the ratio categories.
After a pair of DL stints and just 66.2 innings pitched in 2015, Smyly is officially an injury risk who is more potential than performance at this point. He has spent some time in the bullpen so we can't just judge him strictly on the innings, but four DL stints, major shoulder issues in 2015, and a max of 153 innings as a big leaguer all ding his reliability, especially at 27 years old now. There is still a lot to like when he does pitch, including the strikeout surge from last season. He needed an 87 percent strand rate to limit the damage of a 1.5 HR/9 rate, but both were career outliers and should be expected to regress. His fastball has experienced a four percent jump in swinging-strike rate with Tampa Bay and the key difference has been elevating it. The pitch has been instrumental in cutting his platoon split with righties posting a .641 OPS against him with Tampa Bay, down from .799 with Detroit. Intriguing skills, but the health history has to temper expectations.
At the trade deadline, Smyly was 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and had struck out 20 percent of the batters he faced. He was then shipped to Tampa Bay as part of the David Price deal and things took a different course. He made seven starts for the Rays and posted a 1.70 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, and struck out 25 percent of the batters he faced. The amazing part is the Rays barely made a tweak to his mechanics as they typically do not like doing many changes during a season. Smyly increased the strikeouts with sequencing more than a new pitch, and there is a very good chance the team teaches him a changeup this offseason as every pitcher within the organization is encouraged to throw the pitch. There is some concern with Smyly since his innings total jumped from 76 to 153 last season, which is why the team shut him down in early September. He will not come at a discount in 2015.
After working as a starting pitcher and reliever for Detroit in 2012, Smyly was moved to a full-time role in the bullpen last season. The 25-year-old lefty excelled in his new role, finishing 6-0 with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 63 appearances. He improved both his strikeout rate (9.6 K/9), walk rate (2.0 BB/9) and limited the long ball (0.5 HR/9). The young southpaw was lights-out against left-handed hitters (.189 BAA), but he also limited right-handed hitters to a .242/.374/.293 line, proving that he’s far more than a situational pitcher. Originally a starter, Smyly has a steady five-pitch arsenal at his disposal. His fastball usually sits in the 90-92 mph range. He also mixes in a curveball with plus-pitch upside, a cutter and a changeup that needs some work. While none of his pitches are dominant, Smyly does a great job locating and keeping hitters off balance. The Tigers traded Doug Fister to the Nationals in December, opening the door for Smyly to take a permanent spot in the rotation and making him an excellent sleeper for 2014.
Smyly was an early-season surprise in 2012, as he earned the No. 5 spot in the rotation out of spring training. The 23-year-old lefty got off to a great start in April, posting a 1.23 ERA and 22:8 K:BB in 22 innings, but his performance dropped off in May and he eventually lost a spot in the rotation when Detroit acquired Anibal Sanchez in a midseason deal. Despite the up-and-down season, there was plenty to like with Smyly. He aptly mixed in a low-90s fastball with an effective slider to post a 3.99 ERA while striking out nearly one hitter per inning (8.5 K/9). The big question mark with Smyly is whether or not he can earn a spot in the Opening Day rotation again. With the Tigers' decision to re-sign Sanchez, Smyly will be left battling out for a rotation spot with Rick Porcello, who would likely hold the edge. Keep a close eye on Smyly's competition this spring, as he could be a decent rotation filler for mid-sized leagues.
Selected in the second round by the Tigers in 2010, Smyly has quickly moved up the team’s prospect list. He impressed during his first season in the minors, going 11-6 with a 2.07 ERA and 130:36 K:BB ratio while splitting time between High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie. The 22-year-old southpaw’s two best pitches are a sinking 89-92 mph fastball and a mid-80s cutter. He also mixes in a curveball and change-up but needs to refine both pitches. Unless the Tigers go out and sign a proven veteran prior to spring training, Smyly is expected to compete with fellow prospects Jacob Turner, Duane Below and Andy Oliver for the final spot in the rotation. Despite being named as part of the competition, Smyly is a long shot to earn a place on the Opening Day roster, but he could see his first cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2012 if he shows continued success in the upper levels of the minors. He’s worth keeping an eye on in keeper leagues.
More Fantasy News
Surrenders five earned runs
PPhiladelphia Phillies
August 15, 2019
Smyly allowed five earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six across five innings Thursday against the Cubs. He did not factor into the decision.
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Struggles in no-decision
PPhiladelphia Phillies
August 9, 2019
Smyly took a no-decision during Friday's win over the Giants, allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out four over 5.2 innings.
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Falls to 2-6
PPhiladelphia Phillies
August 4, 2019
Smyly (2-6) took the loss after surrendering five runs on four hits and a walk while striking out seven over five innings Sunday against the White Sox.
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Fires seven scoreless frames
PPhiladelphia Phillies
July 30, 2019
Smyly (2-5) earned the win Tuesday against the Giants after giving up only four hits and one walk over seven shutout innings. He recorded five strikeouts.
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Receives another start
PPhiladelphia Phillies
July 28, 2019
Smyly is listed as the Phillies' scheduled starter for Tuesday's game against the Giants.
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