Collin McHugh
Collin McHugh
32-Year-Old PitcherRP
Houston Astros
2019 Fantasy Outlook
McHugh is probably the best starting pitcher who didn't make a single start last season. After McHugh turned in four straight years with a FIP under 4.00, the Astros, with their embarrassment of riches on the pitching side, moved McHugh to the bullpen in 2018. He excelled there to the tune of a 1.99 ERA in 72.1 innings. Notably, his strikeout rate spiked from 22.9% to 33.2% thanks to a small velocity bump and increased slider usage, while he held his walk rate steady at 7.4%. He'd likely give back some of those gains should he return to a starting role, but starting would mean more innings, more strikeouts and more chances at wins. McHugh is talented enough to remain a fantasy factor even if he remains in the bullpen, as he can help anchor your ratios. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $5.8 million contract with the Astros in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Could be option to pitch Tuesday
PHouston Astros
July 14, 2019
McHugh could be deployed as the Astros' opening pitcher for Tuesday's game against the Angels, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
With Brad Peacock (shoulder) having experienced a recent setback and several potential fill-in options Triple-A Round Rock unavailable for one reason or another, the Astros are severely lacking in 40-man roster pitchers who are capable of making a spot start Tuesday. Though Houston intends to use McHugh in relief moving forward after he stumbled in his eight starts with the big club earlier this season, the team may have to temporarily deviate from that plan due to its lack of starting depth. Since McHugh hasn't tossed more than two innings in a game since May 7, he may struggle to factor into the decision if he does start Tuesday in what ultimately go down as a bullpen game for the Astros.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-14%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-28%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-41%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-26%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .232 394 101 39 81 25 1 11
Since 2017vs Right .200 448 130 28 81 21 2 14
2019vs Left .179 141 42 16 22 6 1 6
2019vs Right .250 147 33 10 33 10 1 6
2018vs Left .228 129 36 13 26 8 0 3
2018vs Right .135 154 58 8 19 1 1 3
2017vs Left .295 124 23 10 33 11 0 2
2017vs Right .218 147 39 10 29 10 0 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-36%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-26%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-13%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-83%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 2.69 1.07 90.1 8 2 0 10.7 3.1 1.1
Since 2017Away 4.20 1.16 113.2 6 7 0 9.8 2.9 1.1
2019Home 4.37 1.31 35.0 2 2 0 10.8 4.9 1.8
2019Away 5.94 1.05 33.1 1 3 0 8.9 1.9 1.4
2018Home 2.14 0.74 33.2 4 0 0 12.8 1.6 0.8
2018Away 1.86 1.06 38.2 2 2 0 10.7 3.5 0.7
2017Home 0.83 1.20 21.2 2 0 0 7.1 2.5 0.4
2017Away 4.97 1.34 41.2 3 2 0 9.7 3.0 1.3
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Stat Review
How does Collin McHugh 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.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 20 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
2.88
 
K/9
9.9
 
BB/9
3.4
 
HR/9
1.6
 
Fastball
90.6 mph
 
ERA
5.14
 
WHIP
1.19
 
BABIP
.268
 
GB/FB
1.25
 
Left On Base
62.3%
 
Exit Velocity
88.0 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
6.6%
 
Spin Rate
2524 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
29.5%
 
Swinging Strike
12.0%
 
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
McHugh's 2017 campaign got off to an ominous start as an early-spring dead arm turned into a right elbow impingement, delaying his debut until July 22. He started 12 contests, providing a timely shot in the arm to the Astros over the second half. McHugh's numbers were an improvement over his disappointing 2016, in part due to allowing only seven homers in 63.1 innings. He also significantly improved versus right-handed batters (.694 OPS against in 2017 versus .777 in 2016), incorporating a slider to complement the cutter he throws versus lefties. McHugh's career 22 percent strikeout rate and seven percent walk rate are both better than league average, portending success if he can continue minimizing homers. McHugh will contend for a spot in a crowded Astros rotation, but the acquisition of Gerrit Cole probably means he'll start the season working out of the bullpen like he did during the 2017 postseason. Unless his role is clarified in the spring, don't pay for more than 125-130 innings.
Those who bought in on McHugh in 2016 were left mostly disappointed as he turned in damaging ratios along with modest totals in wins and strikeouts. However, it was not a disastrous season by any means, and he in fact improved in several areas, most notably with his strikeout rate (22.2 percent) -- a rebound supported by his third straight season with a swinging-strike rate north of 10 percent. Unfortunately, a pair of disastrous outings (13 combined earned runs over the span of two innings) marred his overall numbers. He threw roughly 20 fewer innings than he did in 2015 despite making one additional start as manager A.J. Hinch was quick to give him the hook on his off nights. Home runs were a problem (25 allowed), but an improvement there in 2017 could return McHugh to mixed-league prominence. While there is some uncertainty at the back of the Houston rotation, McHugh should be secure in his role entering spring training.
After a 2014 breakout that put him in the AL Rookie of the Year conversation, McHugh entered last season with an assured rotation spot with the Astros. The 28-year-old picked up right where he left off, going 3-0 with a 2.92 ERA in April before suffering his first loss of the season on May 12. McHugh wasn't at his best from May through July, but a strong August (1.89 ERA) and four wins in September attributed to solid numbers overall, as he finished 19-7 with a 3.89 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 171:53 K:BB ratio over 203.2 innings. While his 19 wins were tied for third-best in the majors, his strikeout rate (7.6 K/9) dipped slightly, but that may be attributed to less use of his curveball and slider. The right-hander will open 2016 in the upper half of Houston's rotation after earning his first postseason victory with a win over the Royals in Game 1 of the ALDS.
McHugh opened 2014 in the minors after a disastrous spring (14.29 ERA), but he received a quick call from Houston when Scott Feldman's injury opened up a spot in the rotation. Once he arrived, he never looked back, going 11-9 with a 2.73 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 157:41 K:BB in 154.2 innings (25 starts). His curveball and slider were particularly effective, attributing to a career-best 9.1 K/9 ratio. McHugh's impressive season put him in the AL Rookie of the Year conversation, and while he didn't win the award, he definitely assured himself a spot in the Astros' starting rotation to open 2015.
The fifth spot in the Rockies' rotation was a continual trouble spot throughout the second half of the season, and McHugh was arguably the worst of those who filled the role, going 0-3 with a 9.95 ERA in his three starts. Despite his quality minor league numbers, McHugh has been abysmal over his 47 innings in the big leagues, with his strikeout rate bottoming out and an inability to avoid the long ball proving to be his biggest pitfalls. McHugh will compete for an Opening Day roster spot, in a role to be determined, with the Astros during spring training after being claimed off waivers in December.
McHugh held his own after a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo last season, carrying a 70:29 K:BB and finding a way to retire hitters without an overpowering arsenal. After throwing 129 innings between two levels in 2011, McHugh was likely out of gas by the time he broke through to the big leagues, having already logged 148.1 innings over 25 starts between Binghamton and Buffalo. If there are any openings in the rotation when the season begins, McHugh figures to be in the mix to handle a temporary spot as the team's fifth starter, but he will have to fend off Jeremy Hefner and youngsters Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Zack Wheeler to keep that spot.
More Fantasy News
Will remain in bullpen
PHouston Astros
June 29, 2019
McHugh is not being considered for a spot start next Tuesday when the Astros need a fill-in for the injured Brad Peacock (shoulder), Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Mops up Tuesday's win
PHouston Astros
June 26, 2019
McHugh returned to action and pitched a scoreless ninth inning in which he allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout during Tuesday's 5-1 win over the Pirates.
ANALYSIS
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Back in action
PHouston Astros
June 25, 2019
McHugh (elbow) was activated from the 10-day injured list Tuesday, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Targeted for Tuesday return
PHouston Astros
Elbow
June 22, 2019
McHugh (elbow) threw for a second straight day Saturday, striking out one in one inning for Double-A Corpus Christi.
ANALYSIS
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Set for two more rehab appearances
PHouston Astros
Elbow
June 19, 2019
McHugh (elbow) will make at least two more minor-league rehab appearances, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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