Mitch Keller
23-Year-Old PitcherSP
Pittsburgh Pirates AAA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The Pirates continued their slow, methodical approach to Keller's development in 2018. Keller encountered little resistance at any point during his time with Double-A Altoona -- he allowed more than three runs just twice in 14 starts -- but nonetheless the team waited until the final day of June to bump him up to the next level. While the results took a turn for the worse after the leap to Triple-A, the peripherals were fine (24.2 K%, 0.52 HR/9). Keller's walk rates haven't been especially good at the higher levels, but he commands the fastball well. Fastball command is something a lot of young arms struggle with upon arrival to the big leagues, but that shouldn't be too much of a concern with Keller. He can keep the ball on the ground and the strikeout totals should be useful, if unexciting. Considering his path to this point, it seems likely that Keller will spend much of the first half back at Triple-A before finally cracking the big-league rotation. Read Past Outlooks
Good showing Monday
PPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
June 25, 2019
Keller gave up one run in 7.1 innings for Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday, striking out six while allowing six hits and no walks.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Keller receive a promotion shortly after the 10-day period following his June 18 demotion ends. His performance Monday was encouraging as he didn't issue a walk. Keller, who has relied on fastball usage for 64.3 percent of his pitches in three MLB starts, may look to vary his repertoire upon his return to the majors. His fantasy stock has likely trended lower following a 10.25 ERA with Pittsburgh, but his pedigree and minor-league success suggest he might be a good buy-low candidate.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
No Stats
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BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .353 20 6 2 6 0 0 0
Since 2017vs Right .405 41 9 4 15 4 1 1
2019vs Left .353 20 6 2 6 0 0 0
2019vs Right .405 41 9 4 15 4 1 1
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 at Home
ERA at Home
No Stats
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Since 2017Home 3.60 1.20 5.0 0 0 0 10.8 3.6 0.0
Since 2017Away 15.43 3.00 7.0 0 1 0 11.6 5.1 1.3
2019Home 3.60 1.20 5.0 0 0 0 10.8 3.6 0.0
2019Away 15.43 3.00 7.0 0 1 0 11.6 5.1 1.3
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 Mitch Keller 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.
95.6 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
88.2 mph
Spin Rate
2515 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Pirates Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Mitch Keller
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
5 days ago
Despite a poor start to the season, Jan Levine thinks Jesus Aguilar's recent form qualifies him as an excellent addition.
DraftKings MLB: Tuesday Picks
31 days ago
Adam Zdroik looks over Tuesday's slate, keying on Justin Verlander as an easy choice against the Reds.
FanDuel MLB: Tuesday Breakdown
31 days ago
Chris Bennett reviews Tuesday's jam-packed slate and sees no reason to start fading Yordan Alvarez yet, as the Astros' left-handed hitters get a plus matchup in Cincinnati against Anthony DeSclafani.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
33 days ago
He may not be hitting too well of late, but Jan Levine thinks Chris Taylor can turn it around if the Dodgers provide him sufficient playing time.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Busy Week for Double Dippers
34 days ago
Todd Zola's weekly pitcher rankings feature a familiar face and the return of an old friend to the top in the busiest week of the season for two-start options.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Keller commands one of the best fastballs in the minors -- a mid-90s weapon with late life that can miss bats in and out of the zone. The pitch is so good that it’s all he needs to get through a minor-league lineup once and sometimes even twice. He also features a potentially plus curveball that works as an out pitch, but his changeup lags well behind as a fringe offering. His top two pitches and excellent command will carry him to the majors, but he needs to improve his changeup to reach his ceiling as a top-of-the-rotation horse. A back strain caused him to throw fewer innings in 2017 than in 2016, but he went to the Arizona Fall League to build up his innings in advance of what is likely to be his final season in the minors. He had a chance to generate a lot of hype in the AFL, a la Brent Honeywell last season, but evaluators weren’t particularly impressed by his showing, even though the stats were impressive.
The Pirates 2016 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Keller compiled a 9-5 mark with a 2.35 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 130.1 innings split between Low-A and High-A. Perhaps even more impressively, he posted a 138:19 K:BB. The 20-year-old didn't allow a single run in six of his last seven starts, including two postseason outings. He offers a mid-90s fastball, above-average curveball and a solid changeup that serves as his third-best pitch. He struggled with his control as a rookie in 2015 (16 walks in 19.2 innings) but control wasn't an issue last year. Additionally, he managed to stay healthy in 2016 after forearm issues sidelined him for most of his second professional season. Keller will likely start 2017 at High-A Bradenton with a potential midseason move to Double-A. The 2014 second-round pick is as exciting as organization mate Tyler Glasnow, but for different reasons. Glasnow's top selling point is his ceiling while Keller's is his mid-rotation floor.
A second-round pick in 2014, Keller appeared in only 19.2 innings for Bristol last year because of forearm tightness. The results weren’t promising (5.49 ERA, 16 walks) but it’s possible the 20-year-old righty might be suffering from a more severe injury. He showed promise in 2014, registering a 1.98 ERA in 27.1 innings, but the fact that he saw so little action last summer gives cause for concern. Keller offers swing-and-miss stuff, but he needs to stay on the diamond throughout 2016 to maintain his prospect status.
A second-round pick in the 2014 draft, Keller got his first taste of professional action in the Gulf Coast League. The 18-year-old right-hander registered a 1.98 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 27.1 innings with a 29:13 K:BB ratio. He reaches the mid-90s with his fastball, but struggles with control issues. Keller, who received a $1 million signing bonus, is expected to pitch in rookie ball for Morgantown in 2015.
More Fantasy News
Sent back to minors
PPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
June 19, 2019
Keller was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday.
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Yields four runs in no-decision
PPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
June 18, 2019
Keller allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks across five innings in a no-decision against the Tigers on Tuesday.
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Will make third start this week
PPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
June 16, 2019
Keller will start at home against the Tigers on Tuesday, general manager Neal Huntington said on SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh.
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Early exit in no-decision
PPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
June 13, 2019
Keller didn't factor into the decision in Wednesday's 8-7 extra-innings loss to Atlanta, coughing up six runs on 10 hits and two walks over three innings while striking out two.
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Summoned ahead of start
PPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
June 12, 2019
Keller was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis ahead of his scheduled start Wednesday against the Braves.
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