Barry Zito
Barry Zito
42-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Barry Zito in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor-league contract with the Athletics in February 2015.
Barry Zito: Announces Retirement
POakland Athletics  
October 19, 2015
Zito formally announced his retirement Monday.
This season had long been expected to be Zito's last, but the 37-year-old only made it official Monday. The lefty made just three appearances in the majors this season after taking 2014 off, but will end his career with 165 wins for the A's and Giants, three All-Star selections, and a Cy Young award.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Because of a 15-8 record and two impressive starts during the postseason, many in the media have hyped Zito’s comeback season. While it was certainly an improvement over his 2011 numbers, his 2012 season was a step back considering his 2009-2010 numbers. His 5.6 K/9 was the second lowest of his career, as his average fastball velocity dipped to a career-worst 83.9 mph. Zito increased the usage of his slider/cutter to 32.5 percent, which improved his numbers against left-handed hitters. However, he still posted a terrible 5.08 FIP against right-handed hitters. One should expect an ERA somewhere in between his 4.49 FIP and 4.92 xFIP in 2013.
Zito was considered a huge bust of a signing entering 2011, but at least he was an above average No. 5 starter. Last year, he was a total disaster, as he posted a 5.87 ERA with a 1.398 WHIP and a 32:24 K:BB ratio over 53.2 innings. His 84.1 mph average fastball velocity marked a career low, and he also missed the first start of his career thanks to an injury (foot). Zito hasn’t been released because of his exorbitant contract, but he’ll enter 2012 battling to be the team’s No. 5 starter.
Typically a slow starter, Zito finished April with a 1.53 ERA and a 0.877 WHIP last season. Keeping up with the reverse trend, he proceeded to struggle mightily after the All-Star break, posting a 4.70 ERA with a 1.8 K/BB ratio when he's usually at his best. Ultimately, Zito's 2009 was essentially identical to his 2010 campaign, and while that's a big improvement over his first two seasons in San Francisco, he continues to be one of the most overpaid players in the league. In fact, Zito was left off the Giants' playoff roster, which is pretty remarkable considering he's signed to a $126 million contract (three years to go). Zito is as durable as it gets, having never missed a start due to injury during his career, and he's absolutely one of the better No. 5 starters in baseball, but that's all he is at this point -- a No. 5 starter. He only has fantasy relevance in NL-only formats.
While Zito will never live up to his contract, he at least bounced back and acted as a decent No. 3 or 4 starter in 2009, finishing with a 4.03 ERA. His control (3.80 BB/9IP) remained a problem, but his strikeout rate (7.22 K/9IP) rebounded in a big way, as he regained some velocity on his fastball, which in turn made his changeup a far more effective pitch. Zito benefits from pitching in AT&T Park, and he posted a 2.83 ERA and 1.291 WHIP with 74 strikeouts over 86.0 innings after the All-Star break. He’s never missed a start during his entire career, so he’s as durable as they come. Zito isn’t going to suddenly become the Cy Young ace he once was, but there’s no reason why he can’t repeat last year’s performance in 2010.
Zito was awful in 2008, finishing 10-17 with a 5.15 ERA. It's hard to imagine after such a disappointing first year in a Giants uniform, but Zito was actually much worse during the second year of his $126 million contract. He had a pathetic 120:102 K:BB ratio over 180 innings and a 1.60 WHIP. His fastball often topped out at 85 mph, so there's very little reason for optimism. Zito’s deal ensures he’ll remain in San Francisco’s rotation, but he’s nothing better than a No. 5 starter these days. His contract is likely to go down as one of the five worst in major league baseball history.
Pitching in the first year of a seven-year, $126 million deal, Zito responded with a 4.53 ERA, 1.347 WHIP and a 131:83 K:BB ratio in 196.2 innings. This despite moving to the National League and one of the best pitcher’s parks in the game. Zito’s strikeout rate declined for the fourth straight year, as he got just 6.0 K/9 last season. His 3.81 walks per nine innings and 24 homers allowed were brutal as well. After finishing the first half with a 66:52 K:BB ratio, Zito had a 4.11 ERA, 1.228 WHIP and 65:31 K:BB ratio in 92 innings after the All-Star break, so there is some reason for optimism. Still, he has one of the weakest fastballs in major league baseball, so he'll need to rely on his curve and changeup more than ever. Since regained velocity isn’t likely, Zito is finished as an ace, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t provide value in fantasy leagues coming off such a disastrous 2007.
An ugly first and last start of the season didn't help his overall numbers, but there's still no mistake that Zito is a pitcher in decline. A declining strikeout rate per nine innings (6.89, 6.74, 6.14) and an increasing walk rate per nine innings (3.42, 3.51, 4.03) over the last three seasons don't bode well for his future. What you will get is an extremely durable innings-eater as Zito has yet to make less than 34 starts and toss less than 210 innings since joining the rotation for good in 2001. A move to the NL with the Giants suits him well. He'll rack up strikeouts and wins with his durability, and the pitcher-friendly environment will mask some of his flaws.
Zito rebounded a fair amount from a rough 2004, thanks mainly to renewed effectiveness against lefties (.215 BAA, down from .323). His peripherals in 2005 were nearly identical to 2002, when he went 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA, so there's still some elite production here if the A's can cobble together an offense. A bad April (6.60 ERA) and September (6.50 ERA) masked an impressive midseason run (ERAs of 3.49, 3.05, 2.51, 2.13 from May through August). He's the subject of trade rumors following the signing of Esteban Loaiza, but his career 3.52 ERA away from Oakland should allay fears that he's a product of a tough hitters park.
Zito's K/BB and K/IP ratios headed back in the right direction after a dip in 2003, but his ERA rose more than a full run since he allowed 30 more hits in 20 fewer innings. Lefties hit an unusually high .323 off him, so there's some of the explanation. You'd be hard pressed to find an 11-win starter that logged over 200 IP in 2004 with more upside than Zito, so bid knowing that 2004 lies outside his career norms and that there are some solid strikeout rates hidden among what looks on the surface to be a bad season.
Hard to call a 14-win, 3.30 ERA season a major disappointment, but the standard is set high when you win 23 games the year before. His K:BB ratio is headed in the wrong direction, and quickly at that. Zito's relatively high workload might be a cause for that. He's topped 200 innings at a relatively young age three years in a row. More importantly, Zito's pitch-count reached new highs in 2003, averaging 107.2 per start, second-highest in the American League (stat courtesy of The 2004 Bill James Handbook, published by Baseball Info Solutions).
There's a lot of innings on that left arm for a young pitcher, but the A's did a wonderful job with his pitch counts as he topped 120 pitches just once all year. A tepid April (one win, 4.81 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, and two of his five loses) saved AL hitters further embarrassment. If there's a guy who can improve on a 23-win, 2.75 ERA season, it's Zito.
More Fantasy News
POakland Athletics  
September 30, 2015
Zito lasted four innings in Wednesday's start against the Angels, giving up two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out two.
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Barry Zito: Will start Wednesday
POakland Athletics  
September 28, 2015
Zito will start Wednesday's game in place of Sonny Gray (hip), the Orange County Register's Jeff Fletcher reports.
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POakland Athletics  
September 26, 2015
Manager Bob Melvin said after Saturday's game that Zito could pitch again this season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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POakland Athletics  
September 22, 2015
Zito will start Saturday's game against the Giants, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reports.
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POakland Athletics  
September 20, 2015
Zito made his season debut Sunday, allowing two earned runs in his one inning of work.
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