John Danks
John Danks
35-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for John Danks in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor league deal with the Braves in December 2016 that includes an invite to spring training. Released by the Braves in March of 2017.
Will be released by Atlanta
PFree Agent  
March 20, 2017
Danks will be granted his release by the Braves, Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors reports.
ANALYSIS
Danks inked a minor-league contract with the Braves in December and received the opportunity to audition for a rotation spot with the big club in spring training, but he was unable to beat out Mike Foltynewicz for the fifth starter role after getting lit up for seven runs on 14 hits and six walks over 9.2 innings in Grapefruit League play. The 31-year-old, who was out of baseball after being released by the White Sox last May, may need to prove himself in the minors with another organization before he gets another look at the big-league level. Danks hasn't turned in a sub-4.50 ERA in a season since 2011.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring John Danks
Collette Calls: Ignoring the Noise of Spring Training
May 4, 2016
Jason Collette reminds us not to put too much stock into spring training stats and to remain patient with proven fantasy commodities struggling early in the season.
The Saber's Edge: Assessing Pitcher Skills Growth, Decline
May 4, 2016
Jeff Zimmerman analyzes pitchers who have seen a skills growth or a skills decline this season and what it means for fantasy owners. Why are Dallas Keuchel's strikeouts down this year?
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Good Week Ahead for Harvey
April 30, 2016
Paul Sporer ranks this week's starting pitchers, including the Mets' Matt Harvey, who has increased his swinging-strike rate his last two starts and now gets to face two strikeout-prone teams.
DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks
April 28, 2016
David Ortiz has crushed right-handed pitchers during his career, and he's doing even better this season.
FanDuel MLB: Thursday Value Plays
April 28, 2016
The available catchers for Thursday's slate don't generate much enthusiasm, but James Seltzer explains why Stephen Vogt is worthy of consideration.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Danks was able to make 30 starts for the second consecutive season in 2015. Unfortunately, only a few of those starts were good. He threw two complete games, but also failed to escape the sixth inning in 16 of his starts. Danks’ strikeout percentage continues to hover in the mid-teens, and it will be difficult for him to prevent runs in front of the White Sox’s defense while he fails to generate swings and misses. He enters the final year of his contract profiling as the team’s fourth starter.
Danks got a full 190-plus innings under his belt in 2014 after two seasons marred by injury, but was a far less interesting pitcher than he was from 2008-2011. The lefty pitched in front of a below-average defense, but that did not appear to harm him much, as his 4.74 ERA aligns with his 4.76 FIP. He will likely fill out the No. 3 or 4 spot in the rotation, assuming he stays within the organization this year.
Danks missed the first two months of the season as he continued to recover from 2012 shoulder surgery. While he remained healthy for the rest of the season, he clearly was not the same pitcher as he was during his 2008-11 peak. His fastball averaged a career-low 89.3 mph, and he reacted by throwing more two-seamers than four-seamers. He exhibited expert command of the strike zone with a career-best 1.8 BB/9, but he missed the 6.0 K/9 mark for the second straight season. The lack of strikeouts, combined with some bad home-run luck and playing in front of a laughable White Sox defense resulted in just four wins in 22 starts. He remains under contract with the Sox for the next three years, and he should fill the No. 2 or 3 spot in the rotation for 2014.
It looked like Danks would take over the White Sox's top starter spot after signing a five-year extension in December 2011. Unfortunately, his season ended after nine disappointing starts, and he underwent shoulder surgery in August. He had some velocity issues during those nine starts, and he had a career-low 5.0 K/9, but we may be able to attribute some of those struggles to his shoulder issues. He should finish his rehab in time for spring training, and would move back into the middle of the rotation if that happens.
Danks suffered from some bad luck in 2011. He opened the year with an 0-8 record over his first 11 starts, and his .313 BABIP marked the first time that rate was above .300 since 2007. His skills actually improved, as Danks lowered his walk rate for the second year in a row, while delivering the second-highest strikeout rate of his career (7.13 K/9IP). Not surprisingly, his xFIP of 3.79 suggests he pitched better than his 4.33 ERA would lead you to believe, so some improvement should be expected. Now signed through 2016, he could start the year as the White Sox's No. 1 or 2 starter.
Danks set career highs in innings (213), strikeouts (162), wins (15) and WHIP (1.216) in 2010 all the while holding opposing batters to a .237 average. He might have been the White Sox's best starting pitcher, and he established himself as one of the better left-handed pitchers in the American League. His fastball gained a mile per hour from the previous two years, but he also used it less frequently. He posted a respectable 3.79 ERA in 17 home starts despite allowing 13 of his 18 home runs at U.S. Cellular Field. He should slot once again toward the top of the White Sox's rotation, and his stats should improve as he enters his age-26 season.
Danks solidified himself as one of the White Sox’s top starters in 2009. He threw a complete game (against the Indians) and topped 200 innings for the first time in his career. His strikeout rate dipped below 7.0 K/9IP for the first time in his short MLB tenure, but just barely. He used his slider to greater success and only went to his fastball about 50 percent of the time. Danks should be the third starter in the rotation to open 2010.
One of a number of Don Cooper success stories in '08, Danks learned a cut fastball that helped him attack right-handed batters and keep the ball in the park while not blowing up his walk rate or pitch counts. Last year was the upper end of his range thanks to a low home run rate. Like Mark Buerhle, though, Danks should be good for 200 innings and an ERA that runs from 3.50 to 4.50 depending on where the fly balls land.
Danks struggled for much of 2007, finishing up with a 6-13 record, a 1.540 WHIP and a 5.50 ERA. He's always had issues with the long ball and this season was no exception as he was taken deep 28 times. Danks doesn't feature lights-out stuff so he'll probably struggle again as a 23-year-old pitching in the big leagues, but it's far too soon to write him off. He'll begin the spring penciled in as the No. 4 starter, but will still need a strong spring to hold onto his job with some other young talent bidding for spots in the rotation.
Twenty one-year-old pitchers reaching Triple-A are a pretty rare breed, which puts Danks in pretty rare company before you start to consider his numbers. His numbers held up pretty well after a mid-season promotion from Double-A Frisco (67 hits, 72:34 K:BB rate in 70.2 innings at Triple-A; 74 hits, 82:22 K:BB rate in 69.1 innings at Double-A). Texas had been slow to promote Danks, having been burned by Juan Dominguez and Edinson Volquez in recent years, but he could see some time in the majors in 2007 after being traded to the White Sox. While he may not break into the rotation with Chicago this season, he could be an anchor for years to come.
Advancing to Double-A as a 20-year-old is an accomplishment in and of itself, so some struggles are to be expected. Danks pitched well in a 10-start audition in the California League before appearing in 18 games at Double-A Frisco. He didn't pitch particularly well (117 H, 34 BB in 98.1 IP), leading to a 5.49 ERA, but he did manage to fan 85 batters. He's got plenty of time to develop.
Danks struggled a bit after being promoted to high Single-A Stockton, but still managed 48 K in 55 IP despite a 5.24 ERA. He's just 19 years old and has to stay healthy first and foremost.
Texas' #1 pick in the 2003 June draft, Danks was plucked out of a Texas high school. Whether he follows the career path of Todd Van Poppel or Josh Beckett remains to be seen.
More Fantasy News
Inks minor league deal with Atlanta
PAtlanta Braves  
December 12, 2016
Danks signed a minor league deal with the Braves on Monday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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PFree Agent  
May 3, 2016
Danks declined his assignment to the minors Tuesday, electing free agency instead, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
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PChicago White Sox  
April 29, 2016
Danks (0-4) pitched five innings, allowing six runs, nine hits and two walks while striking out four in Thursday’s lopsided loss to the Orioles.
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PChicago White Sox  
April 25, 2016
Danks is scheduled to make his next start Thursday in Baltimore, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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PChicago White Sox  
April 21, 2016
Danks (0-3) put 10 men on base Thursday -- five hits and five walks -- but was able to limit the damage to two runs in a losing effort. He struck out just two.
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