Merrill Kelly

Merrill Kelly

33-Year-Old PitcherSP
Arizona Diamondbacks
2022 Fantasy Outlook
Kelly defied the odds with a successful return following surgery to remedy Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Successful is relative, meaning Kelly exhibited nearly identical skills to 2019, his last full, healthy campaign. However, those skills translate to a below average pitcher with a pedestrian strikeout rate, supported by a mediocre 9% swinging strike mark. Kelly throws five pitches with only his curve (12.5%) and changeup (17.5%) topping a double-digit swinging strike level, but combined he throws them about one-third of the time. A tweak in mix could miss more bats, but even if it manifested, the impact isn't worth chasing in Kelly's age-34 campaign. Sure, take a shot in draft and hold, but there are better options for a roster spot in standard formats. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#445
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks in December of 2018. Diamondbacks exercised $4.25 million team option for 2020 in October of 2019. Diamondbacks exercised $5.25 million team option for 2021 in November of 2020. Diamondbacks exercised $5.25 million team option for 2022 in November of 2021.
Arizona exercises 2022 option
PArizona Diamondbacks
November 3, 2021
The Diamondbacks have exercised Kelly's $5.25 million club option for 2022, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
ANALYSIS
Kelly was limited to five games during the shortened 2020 campaign, but he made 27 starts in 2021 and posted a 4.44 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 130:41 K:BB across 158 innings. The 33-year-old should enter spring training with a secure spot in Arizona's 2022 starting rotation.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
90
Last 10 Games
89
Last 5 Games
93
How many pitches does Merrill Kelly generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Merrill Kelly generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-7%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-21%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-32%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-10%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .249 730 129 54 167 35 5 18
Since 2019vs Right .268 839 188 49 206 40 3 37
2021vs Left .235 319 55 21 69 15 2 7
2021vs Right .296 348 75 20 94 16 2 14
2020vs Left .173 54 12 2 9 2 0 2
2020vs Right .254 71 17 3 17 4 0 3
2019vs Left .274 357 62 31 89 18 3 9
2019vs Right .247 420 96 26 95 20 1 20
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-30%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-27%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-26%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-36%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 3.53 1.15 191.1 12 10 0 8.1 1.8 1.0
Since 2019Away 5.06 1.41 181.1 11 17 0 7.1 3.2 1.7
2021Home 3.78 1.15 83.1 4 4 0 7.5 1.9 0.8
2021Away 5.18 1.45 74.2 3 7 0 7.4 2.8 1.7
2020Home 2.13 1.11 12.2 1 1 0 7.8 1.4 1.4
2020Away 2.89 0.91 18.2 2 1 0 8.7 1.4 1.4
2019Home 3.49 1.15 95.1 7 5 0 8.8 1.8 1.1
2019Away 5.42 1.49 88.0 6 9 0 6.6 3.9 1.7
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Merrill Kelly 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 2019 data (min 120 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
3.17
 
K/9
7.4
 
BB/9
2.3
 
HR/9
1.2
 
Fastball
91.8 mph
 
ERA
4.44
 
WHIP
1.29
 
BABIP
.310
 
GB/FB
1.47
 
Left On Base
69.9%
 
Exit Velocity
82.8 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
4.5%
 
Spin Rate
2291 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
26.0%
 
Swinging Strike
9.2%
 
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 Merrill Kelly
Rounding Third: XFL Lessons Learned
90 days ago
Jeff Erickson reviews what went right and what went wrong in one of his quasi-dynasty leagues, the XFL, where he expects to contend this year.
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94 days ago
Jeff Zimmerman offers a simple rule of thumb for determining pitchers who have lost some talent versus those who have simply been unlucky.
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121 days ago
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DraftKings MLB: Wednesday Breakdown
121 days ago
Mike Barner sets the tone for Wednesday’s DraftKings offering, recommending a Red Sox stack against the Orioles.
FanDuel MLB: Wednesday Targets
121 days ago
Chris Morgan checks out Wednesday's slate and recommends Xander Bogaerts as part of a Red Sox stack against the Orioles.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2021
2020
2019
Kelly had a decent return to stateside baseball in 2019 after a successful KBO career, and was having a rather nice start to 2020 until something did not feel right five starts into the season. Examinations revealed Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which required surgery in September. The track record of full recovery from the surgery is not great -- just ask Tyson Ross, Matt Harvey, Mike Foltynewicz and Alex Cobb among others. Yet, Arizona still picked up Kelly's $5.25 million option for 2021 believing that Kelly will make a full recovery and be a contributor in some capacity. You do not need to make any sort of investment in the pitcher until you see some positive results from his post-surgery self. A first-year return to a similar skill level is incredibly unlikely.
Kelly, who signed with Arizona last December following a four-year stint in the KBO, led the Diamondbacks with 183.1 innings in 2019, though he struggled with consistency, going 13-14 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.32 WHIP across 32 starts. Kelly allowed too much loud contact (9.5 Barrel% and 42.2 Hard%), which, coupled with his flyball tendencies, resulted in a 1.4 HR/9. He also showed noticeable home/away splits, performing much better at home -- likely due in part to Chase Field's humidor. The righty flashed an uptick in velocity in his first four starts in September, resulting in a 1.00 ERA and 9.3 K/9. His final start of the year was not so pretty, but it was a strong finish overall and that should have him pretty well locked into a rotation spot for 2020. Keep an eye on his velocity in spring training, because if Kelly maintains the increased velo, he could be a significant profit earner as a late-round pick.
Kelly signed with Arizona and will get a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation after three seasons playing in South Korea's top professional league. An eighth-round draft pick by Tampa Bay, he got as far as Triple-A, where he had a 2.76 ERA and 8.5 K/9 in 2014, before going overseas. Kelly thrived in the KBO with a 3.80 ERA in four seasons while leading the SK Wyverns to the 2017 championship. His 4.09 ERA from 2017 doesn't look great, but it ranked in the top 10 in a hitter-friendly league, and he had a 9.0 K/9 with outstanding control (2.1 BB/9). Kelly says his velocity improved while in South Korea to the low-90s from the high-80s while in Triple-A. He'll be trying to make a unique transition as few players have moved to Major League Baseball from the KOB, and he's also doing so without any major-league experience. He's a fantasy baseball wild card.
More Fantasy News
Settles for no-decision
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 30, 2021
Kelly hurled five scoreless innings against San Francisco on Wednesday, allowing three hits and four walks while striking out four. He did not factor in the decision.
ANALYSIS
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Surrenders six runs in loss
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 23, 2021
Kelly (7-11) allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings as he took the loss against Atlanta on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Knocked around in loss
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 15, 2021
Kelly (7-10) suffered the loss against the Dodgers on Wednesday, pitching 4.2 innings and allowing four runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out one.
ANALYSIS
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Activated for Wednesday's start
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 15, 2021
Kelly (illness) was activated from the COVID-19 injured list ahead of his start against the Dodgers on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Will start Wednesday
PArizona Diamondbacks
Illness
September 15, 2021
Kelly (illness) is scheduled to return from the COVID-19 injured list to start Wednesday's series finale with the Dodgers, MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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