Carl Edwards Jr.
Carl Edwards Jr.
27-Year-Old PitcherRP
Chicago Cubs
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Edwards was heavily used in his first full season as a member of the Cubs' bullpen, making a team-high 73 appearances while working as a key piece of the bridge to closer Wade Davis. He was effective against hitters on both sides of the plate despite a 14.5 percent walk rate (5.2 BB/9), as he parlayed his ability to miss a lot of bats (12.8 K/9) and to induce weak contact (24.0 percent hard-hit rate) to excellent results. Edwards has been very effective while featuring a two-pitch arsenal since joining the big club for good in 2016, pairing a mid-90s fastball with a devastating curveball. He appears likely to remain in a setup role with Brandon Morrow signing with the Cubs in the offseason, but Edwards should still offer value in deeper formats as a high-leverage reliever with plenty of strikeouts and good ratios. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $594,000 contract with the Cubs in March of 2018.
Blows lead against Nats
PChicago Cubs
September 14, 2018
Edwards allowed one run on one hit and a walk in two-thirds of an inning Thursday against the Nationals.
After retiring the first two batters he faced in the seventh inning, Edwards walked Victor Robles and then gave up a double to Trea Turner to squander the lead. Pedro Strop suffered a hamstring injury later in the game and is expected to miss multiple weeks, leaving the ninth inning open in Chicago. While Edwards had posted a minuscule 0.75 ERA in his last 16 appearances entering play Thursday, he had more walks (11) than strikeouts (10) in that span and that wildness and volatility may prevent him from getting the first look in Strop's absence.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .167 267 76 28 39 6 1 3
Since 2016vs Right .140 341 134 51 40 8 0 9
2018vs Left .247 87 18 9 19 3 1 0
2018vs Right .155 121 46 18 16 5 0 2
2017vs Left .119 129 41 16 13 2 0 2
2017vs Right .148 133 53 22 16 1 0 4
2016vs Left .146 51 17 3 7 1 0 1
2016vs Right .108 87 35 11 8 2 0 3
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2016Home 3.60 1.13 74.0 5 4 1 12.1 4.8 0.8
Since 2016Away 2.36 0.96 76.1 3 3 1 12.9 4.6 0.6
2018Home 1.80 1.08 25.0 2 1 0 11.9 4.0 0.4
2018Away 3.00 1.46 24.0 1 1 0 11.6 6.0 0.4
2017Home 3.58 1.16 32.2 3 2 0 12.1 5.8 0.8
2017Away 2.41 0.86 33.2 2 2 0 13.4 4.5 0.8
2016Home 6.23 1.15 17.1 0 1 1 12.5 4.2 1.6
2016Away 1.45 0.48 18.2 0 0 1 13.5 2.9 0.5
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Stat Review
How does Carl Edwards Jr. 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.
94.6 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The second year of Edwards' tenure in the bullpen was a success as he pushed his strikeout rate to a career-high 37.7 percent while issuing walks at his lowest rate (10.1 percentage) since his 2013 stint at High-A. Armed with a high-90s fastball and steady curveball, Edwards has the arsenal necessary to become a shut-down option at the back of the bullpen. Not surprisingly, his elevated strikeout rate was supported by a 17.8 percent swinging-strike rate -- the sixth-highest mark among relievers with 30 or more innings pitched -- and his 2.87 FIP was nearly a full run below his ERA. Even if he's not positioned to handle save situations regularly for the Cubs with Wade Davis in town, Edwards may emerge to have value in deeper formats where setup men are utilized as he's earning the trust of manager Joe Maddon while showing the ability to handle hitters from both side of the plate (LHH posted a .191 wOBA against him, RHH posted a .210 mark).
A 49th-round draft pick by the Rangers in 2011, Edwards rose through the ranks of the Cubs' system after he was acquired in 2013 to become arguably the organization's top pitching prospect. A shoulder strain cost him significant development time in 2014, and unfortunately he was converted to a reliever last year, with mixed results. In 55.1 innings in the minors in 2015, he struck out 75 and allowed just 26 hits — including only one home run. Unfortunately, he also walked 41, leading to a 1.21 WHIP, which is a bit high for a pitcher with a minuscule .139 BAA. The Cubs did give him a late-season run, and would probably like to see more of him this year, but until he gets the walks down he'll struggle against MLB hitters. Still, this is a special skill set, so the skinny right-hander could find himself closing someday.
Edwards, the Cubs' top pitching prospect, appears to have the 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame that he's credited with. He's very skinny, and most of that frame comes from Edwards' long legs. If he were graded purely off of stuff and production to this point in his career, Edwards would likely be much higher on prospect lists. Walks have been an occasional issue for Edwards, as he's issued 73 free passes in 182 innings, but he's offset that with 220 strikeouts and just two home runs allowed as a professional. It's also worth noting that Edwards has been excellent against Top 20 prospects, carrying a 26.1% K% and allowing a .188 average against them over the past two seasons. Durability is the primary concern with Edwards, especially after a right shoulder strain cost him nearly four months to begin the 2014 season. He'll likely return to Double-A to start 2015, with the hope of pushing his way to the big leagues before season's end, but a strict innings cap seems likely.
A 49th-round pick in 2011, Edwards has more than exceeded expectations in the minors, and is probably the best piece (not Mike Olt) acquired in the Matt Garza trade. He's been unhittable in the minors, even when he was promoted to High-A Daytona after the deal. His strikeout rate has been above 11.0 K/9 at every stop so far (with respectable walk rates to boot). The 6-foot-2 right-hander might only need one more year in the minors before he's starting games at Wrigley Field. He looks like a gem.
More Fantasy News
Tosses clean inning for 17th hold
PChicago Cubs
August 16, 2018
Edwards pitched a perfect eighth inning in Thursday's 1-0 win over the Pirates to record his 17th hold of the season.
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Handed second loss
PChicago Cubs
August 5, 2018
Edwards (3-2) took the loss in Sunday's 10-6 decision to the Padres, allowing a single run in an inning of work. He gave up a hit and a walk while striking out one.
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Picks up win
PChicago Cubs
July 25, 2018
Edwards (3-1) picked up the win Wednesday against the Diamondbacks, striking out two in a pair of scoreless innings.
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Back from paternity list
PChicago Cubs
July 17, 2018
Edwards was activated off the paternity list Monday.
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Placed on paternity list
PChicago Cubs
July 14, 2018
Edwards was placed on the paternity list Saturday.
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