Robert Stephenson
Robert Stephenson
25-Year-Old PitcherSP
Cincinnati Reds
10-Day DL
Injury Shoulder
Est. Return 9/25/2018
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Is Stephenson's strong finish to the 2017 season (2.50 ERA, 1.27 WHIP over 50.1 innings) real or a mirage? The 2011 first-round pick was routinely getting cuffed around at the big-league level prior to that end-run, frequently falling behind in the count and then getting punished after putting runners on. He stopped throwing his curveball, and started using his slider and changeup more often, bringing positive results. His fastball remains a big problem -- it was a whopping 17.1 runs below league average last year, albeit not quite as bad later in the season. And therein lies a problem -- it's not as if Stephenson can scrap his fastball. Maybe he can change his grip, or find a better way to improve his location, but at the end of the day, he's going to need a decent fastball to get by. The Reds owe it to themselves to see if he can do that, but you owe it to yourself to invest no more than an endgame pick to find out if he'll be successful. Read Past Outlooks
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Not on current road trip
PCincinnati Reds
Shoulder
September 17, 2018
Stephenson (shoulder) isn't with the Reds on their current road trip, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports.
ANALYSIS
As a result it's unlikely that Stephenson will be activated before the end of the season. "It's winding down. It's becoming less likely," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "If he were to get an inning or two in during that last series against Pittsburgh, that would be fine. He'd have to show he's absolutely 100 percent for us to warrant putting him out there for a couple of innings."
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-1%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-4%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-3%
BAA vs LHP
2016
 
 
-7%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .272 283 55 44 63 13 0 13
Since 2016vs Right .270 333 73 40 76 23 1 10
2018vs Left .333 31 6 7 8 3 0 2
2018vs Right .346 32 5 5 9 3 0 0
2017vs Left .250 165 34 28 33 6 0 5
2017vs Right .259 218 52 25 48 16 1 7
2016vs Left .289 87 15 9 22 4 0 6
2016vs Right .268 83 16 10 19 4 0 3
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-49%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-17%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-43%
ERA at Home
2016
 
 
-63%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 3.89 1.43 76.1 6 4 1 9.7 5.1 1.1
Since 2016Away 7.58 2.00 56.0 1 7 0 7.3 6.5 2.2
2018Home 10.80 3.60 1.2 0 0 0 10.8 21.6 0.0
2018Away 9.00 2.30 10.0 0 2 0 8.1 7.2 1.8
2017Home 3.54 1.37 48.1 4 3 1 10.6 4.7 0.7
2017Away 6.19 1.87 36.1 1 3 0 7.2 6.9 2.0
2016Home 4.10 1.41 26.1 2 1 0 7.9 4.8 1.7
2016Away 10.97 2.16 10.2 0 2 0 6.8 4.2 3.4
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Stat Review
How does Robert Stephenson 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.
K/BB
0.92
 
K/9
8.5
 
BB/9
9.3
 
HR/9
1.5
 
Fastball
93.2 mph
 
ERA
9.26
 
WHIP
2.49
 
BABIP
.407
 
GB/FB
1.00
 
Strand %
63.0%
 
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
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Stephenson is one of the Reds' most highly-touted prospects, but the window for him to make it as a starting pitcher is closing. He can miss bats with a three pitch-mix -- highlighted by a fastball that routinely sits in the mid- to upper-90s -- but he struggles to locate with consistency. Stephenson made eight starts for the big club in 2016, seeing mixed results. His tenure with Cincinnati started well enough, as he went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in his first two starts in the big leagues. He was sent back to Triple-A afterward and stayed there until September, and he was far less successful upon his return. In six September starts, he only got through five innings once and amassed a 7.56 ERA and 1.88 WHIP thanks to a 5.4 BB/9 and 2.5 HR/9. Stephenson is still an intriguing arm, but if he doesn't take that next step in his development, we could see him in the Cincinnati bullpen before the end of the year.
Stephenson's start to the 2015 season at Double-A Pensacola raised a lot of concerns in Reds-land. It began in spring training, when a sore shoulder prevented him from seeing any meaningful action against big league hitters. That spilled over to the regular season, where he really struggled to throw strikes despite repeating the level. However, he made an adjustment in late May and with that came a big spike in his strikeout rate along with a semblance of control. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Louisville at the beginning of July, but missed out on a September callup to the big leagues due to a forearm strain that put him on the DL. He'll probably start 2016 back at Louisville, if for no other reason than to slow down his service time, but expect him to be up with the Reds by midseason.
Stephenson hit the Double-A wall in 2014, and the wall hit right back, giving him his worst professional season. Stephenson's command, in part defined by how he uses his stuff, was his big problem. His walk rate skyrocketed to 12.3%, and all too often he would fall behind hitters and resort to challenging them with his 97 mph fastball high in the strike zone. Shockingly enough, Double-A hitters were better equipped to handle it when they knew it was coming. The Reds seem confident that he'll adjust accordingly with another year of experience. Keep in mind that he hit Double-A as a 21-year old, and remain optimistic about him despite the down year.
After a couple of rocky starts in April, Stephenson dominated both Low-A and High-A last season before landing in Double-A Pensacola to finish the year. The Reds took a slow approach to developing him after making him their first-round pick out of high school in the 2011 draft, and it is starting to pay dividends, as most prospect lists out there have him leapfrogging Billy Hamilton as the Reds' top prospect. His fastball has been clocked as fast as 101 mph (albeit on scoreboard radars, which are notoriously fast) and he typically works in the 96-98 mph range. A hamstring injury limited his innings last year, which isn't all bad given that he was just 20 years old. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him spend most of the year in Double-A, but a 2015 major league debut seems likely.
The Reds' first-round pick in 2011, Stephenson made his professional debut last season and impressed at two levels, striking out a combined 72 batters in 65 innings. The Reds will probably take a deliberate approach with Stephenson, though they're faced with the conundrum of going from an extreme pitcher's park at Low-A Dayton to a hitter's park at High-A Bakersfield. The Reds avoided that with Daniel Corcino, skipping him right from Dayton to Double-A Pensacola, so we'll see if they take that approach here as well.
Stephenson was the Reds' first-round pick in the 2011 June draft. A high school pitcher from California, Stephenson signed late and will make his professional debut in 2012. He's a big right-hander who throws in the mid-90s. The Reds tend to move their high school draftees along slowly, so Stephenson may not even make it to Low-A Dayton this season, barring a stretch of dominance in rookie ball.
More Fantasy News
Placed on DL
PCincinnati Reds
Shoulder
August 30, 2018
Stephenson was put on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Monday due to shoulder tendinitis.
ANALYSIS
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Moves to bullpen
PCincinnati Reds
August 26, 2018
Stephenson will shift to the Reds' bullpen effective Sunday, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
ANALYSIS
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Reds going to five-man rotation
PCincinnati Reds
August 26, 2018
The Reds are moving back to a five-man rotation next week, even though they were unable to trade Matt Harvey, MLB.com's Matthew Martell reports. The new rotation is not guaranteed to include Stephenson.
ANALYSIS
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Allows nine hits in loss
PCincinnati Reds
August 22, 2018
Stephenson fell to 0-2 on the season after allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings Wednesday against the Brewers, striking out four.
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Exhibits poor control again
PCincinnati Reds
August 15, 2018
Stephenson didn't factor into the decision in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to Cleveland, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks over 1.2 innings while striking out two.
ANALYSIS
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