Merrill Kelly
Merrill Kelly
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
Arizona Diamondbacks
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Kelly had a decent return to stateside baseball in 2019 after a successful KBO career, and was having a rather nice start to 2021 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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#500
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.
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
Kelly missed over a month after testing positive for COVID-19, yet he handled close to a normal workload (82 pitches) against Los Angeles. The right-hander wasn't sharp, however, giving up double-digit hits for the second time this season while fanning only one batter and notching just four swinging strikes. Things could have been worse for Kelly -- the Dodgers had runners on second and third when he departed in the fifth frame, but Sean Poppen managed to secure the final out to prevent either runner from scoring. Kelly should be able to handle a full workload in his next start, which is likely to come at home versus Atlanta early next week.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2021 MLB Game Log
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Scoring
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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
90
Last 5 Games
89
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
 
 
-22%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-32%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-10%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .248 713 126 53 163 33 5 17
Since 2019vs Right .268 808 180 44 200 40 3 36
2021vs Left .233 302 52 20 65 13 2 6
2021vs Right .299 317 67 15 88 16 2 13
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
 
 
-36%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-39%
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 3.35 1.14 185.1 12 9 0 8.1 1.8 0.9
Since 2019Away 5.21 1.41 176.1 11 17 0 7.1 3.1 1.7
2021Home 3.38 1.13 77.1 4 3 0 7.2 1.9 0.6
2021Away 5.56 1.45 69.2 3 7 0 7.4 2.5 1.8
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
3.40
 
K/9
7.3
 
BB/9
2.1
 
HR/9
1.2
 
Fastball
91.8 mph
 
ERA
4.41
 
WHIP
1.28
 
BABIP
.312
 
GB/FB
1.42
 
Left On Base
69.4%
 
Exit Velocity
82.9 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
4.3%
 
Spin Rate
2296 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
26.0%
 
Swinging Strike
9.4%
 
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
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
3 days ago
The season may be winding down, but Jan Levine continues to offer a number of NL names to get you through the fantasy schedule.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Good News, Bad News?
4 days ago
Todd Zola ranks the week's starting pitching, which offers plenty of double-dippers but only a few quality arms like Robbie Ray with two starts.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
10 days ago
Among his list of candidates, Jan Levine profiles a number of recent injury returnees who should be able to immediately help you out.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: The Race to 200 Innings
11 days ago
Todd Zola ranks the week's starting pitching as top-ranked Gerrit Cole likely will be with the great majority of starters who won't reach 200 innings this year.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
24 days ago
A certain Cubs outfielder has been hot of late and Jan Levine urges you to get him while you can.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
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
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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In mix for Wednesday's start
PArizona Diamondbacks
Illness
September 14, 2021
Kelly (illness) could be available to start Wednesday against the Dodgers, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Bullpen scheduled for Monday
PArizona Diamondbacks
Illness
September 12, 2021
Kelly (illness) will throw a bullpen session Monday before the Diamondbacks decide on his next steps, MLB.com reports.
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Throws four innings
PArizona Diamondbacks
Illness
September 11, 2021
Kelly (illness) threw four innings and 66 pitches in a rehab start with the Diamondbacks' rookie-level Arizona Complex League affiliate Thursday, MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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