Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes
32-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Hughes made just nine starts last season as he struggled with a biceps injury and recurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome. He struggled when on the mound with a 5.87 ERA and a career-low 89.7 mph average fastball. He had surgery in July, 2016 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome, where part of his rib was removed to relieve nerve pressure on his shoulder. His season ended in July again last year with the same issue. It's possible Hughes' career could be over given his health problems, but he's signed through 2019 at $13.2 million per year. He'll likely get a shot at the Twins rotation if healthy, but may need extensive time in the minors as he works his way back. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a three-year, $42 million contract extension with the Twins in December of 2014. Traded to the Padres in May of 2018. Released by the Padres in August of 2018.
Cut loose by San Diego
PFree Agent  
August 16, 2018
The Padres released Hughes on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
In addition to the money remaining on his contract for 2018, Hughes was due a $13.2 million base salary in 2019, so it was no surprise the Padres couldn't find any takers for him via trade or waiver claim after he was designated for assignment last week. The Padres ultimately elected to wash their hands of Hughes altogether, allowing the 32-year-old righty to explore his options elsewhere. The acquisition of Hughes was accompanied by cash and a draft pick from Minnesota in May (a competitive balance round B pick), so the Padres essentially bought a pick in exchange for taking on a portion of Hughes' remaining contract from the Twins. Given that he's supplied a 6.34 ERA and 1.65 WHIP over 23 appearances (two starts) this season between San Diego and Minnesota, Hughes will likely have to settle for a minor-league contract if he chooses to keep his career going.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-23%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-1%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-30%
BAA vs RHP
2016
 
 
-28%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .366 260 45 24 85 14 0 13
Since 2016vs Right .282 395 59 12 107 23 1 21
2018vs Left .317 70 16 8 19 3 0 4
2018vs Right .313 82 16 2 25 4 0 7
2017vs Left .383 101 17 7 36 7 0 7
2017vs Right .269 143 21 6 36 11 0 5
2016vs Left .385 89 12 9 30 4 0 2
2016vs Right .279 170 22 4 46 8 1 9
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-25%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-56%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-14%
ERA on Road
2016
 
 
-12%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 6.91 1.68 70.1 1 7 0 7.0 1.9 2.4
Since 2016Away 5.16 1.47 74.0 4 3 0 5.9 2.5 1.8
2018Home 8.82 2.02 16.1 0 0 0 8.3 2.2 2.8
2018Away 3.86 1.29 16.1 0 0 0 9.4 3.3 3.3
2017Home 6.43 1.57 21.0 0 3 0 7.3 2.1 2.6
2017Away 5.51 1.59 32.2 4 0 0 5.8 2.2 1.7
2016Home 6.27 1.58 33.0 1 4 0 6.3 1.6 2.2
2016Away 5.54 1.42 26.0 0 3 0 3.8 2.4 1.0
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Stat Review
How does Phil Hughes compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 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.
K/BB
3.20
 
K/9
8.8
 
BB/9
2.8
 
HR/9
3.0
 
Fastball
90.6 mph
 
ERA
6.34
 
WHIP
1.65
 
BABIP
.354
 
GB/FB
0.63
 
Strand %
72.1%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2004
Hughes had his 2016 ruined by injury as he had season-ending surgery in July to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome, where part of his rib was removed to relieve nerve pressure on his shoulder. After four straight quality starts to open the season, Hughes lost his next five starts with a 7.33 ERA and complained of shoulder fatigue. He later was moved to the bullpen and suffered a broken knee when hit by a line drive. While sidelined, tests on his shoulder revealed a larger problem. Hughes' velocity and strikeout rates were at career lows last season. When healthy, he's shown outstanding control with the Twins, setting an MLB record for K/BB (11.6) in 2015. But his velocity has declined sharply the last two seasons and he hasn't stayed healthy, also missing a month with a back injury in 2015. However, he'll have a spot at the top of Minnesota's rotation if he shows he's healthy this spring, given his $13.2 million annual average salary through 2019.
Hughes struggled last season as he reverted to his travails with the long ball, giving up a league-leading 29 home runs. He continued to show impeccable control (0.9 BB/9) after setting the MLB record for BB/9 in 2014. However, he wasn't missing many bats as his strikeout rate plummeted to a career-low 5.4 K/9. Injuries may have been a factor as he spent a month on the DL with a back injury in August, which may have also contributed to a sharp drop in his velocity to a 90.7 mph average fastball. Hughes has alternated good and bad years the last six seasons, so there's some hope for a bounce-back season given his outstanding control and since he may have been unlucky with a career-high 13.5-percent HR/FB rate. He'll get every chance to rebound in Minnesota's rotation having signed a three-year, $42 million contract extension before last season.
Hughes move from the Big Apple to Minnesota was a huge success as the change of environment resulted in an impeccable 2014 season that saw him set a major league record for K/BB (11.6), as he had as many wins as walks (16) over 209.2 innings. Not only did he walk as many guys in the season as some pitchers do in a month, but he combined his superb control with 186 strikeouts, showcasing his ability to still miss bats while living in the strike zone. The move to Target Field may have been a big part of his success as he allowed the fewest home runs per inning in his career and half as many as his previous two seasons in homer-happy Yankee Stadium. While he's alternated good and bad years the last six seasons, there's every reason to think he can continue his success in 2015 as Minnesota's No. 1 starter.
Things took a turn for the worse with Hughes last season, as he put up a disastrous 4-14 record with a 5.52 ERA. Hughes' tendency to give up home runs is well documented, and while he did give up 24 long balls in 145.2 innings, he was way too hittable across the board, giving up 170 hits total in that span. Hughes' BABIP against of .327 was high, but not obscenely so, and there are questions as to his ceiling even in a more pitcher-friendly home park. Even with those concerns, the Twins signed Hughes to a three-year deal in December, which gives him the opportunity to pitch half of his games in an environment that suppresses power from hitters on both sides of the plate. He'll likely open the season as the Twins' No. 2 starter behind fellow free-agent addition Ricky Nolasco.
Hughes bounced back from his dreadful 2011 to have a decent season in 2012, but his tendency to give up homers held him back from further success. Hughes gave up 35 long balls in 191.1 innings, and surrendered a little more than a hit per inning, but his good control (Hughes averaged 2.2 BB/9) kept his ERA and WHIP in check. We've seen enough of Hughes at the major league level to know that the 26-year-old is unlikely to develop into the frontline starter he appeared to be in the minors, but as a league-average starter on a good team, Hughes is certainly useful in AL-only and deep mixed formats.
After winning 18 games in 2010, Hughes came into 2011 with high expectations and was a huge disappointment, giving up 16 runs in 10.1 innings before hitting the DL with a shoulder injury. Upon his return, Hughes had eight excellent starts in which he gave up two earned runs or fewer, and three disasters when he gave up six earned runs or more. Hughes said he's committed to working harder in the offseason to avoid the injury problems that plagued him in 2011. Despite that fact that it seems like he's been around forever, he's still just 25 and has untapped growth potential.
Hughes' first season as a full-time starter got off to a brilliant start, but he lost some steam in the second half, posting a 4.90 ERA and a 1.9 K/BB ratio after the All-Star break. However, he had never thrown more than 86 big league innings in a season before last year, so fatigue down the stretch undoubtedly played a role in his struggles. Now free of his innings restrictions, Hughes figures to be more consistent and may even improve on last year's 7.5 K/9IP. He should earn plenty of wins as well with the Yankees' potent offense backing him up.
Hughes opened 2009 as a starter but lasted just seven outings before the Yankees elected to shift course and transition him to the bullpen. He eventually emerged as the chief setup man for supercloser Mariano Rivera, recording a 1.40 ERA and racking up a blistering 65:13 K:BB ratio in 51.1 innings out of the bullpen. The Yankees plan to move him back to the rotation for 2010, though he'll have to compete for the role this spring. Remember that he’s just 23 years old, so expect an innings restriction similar to Joba Chamberlain’s last year if he does stick as a starter.
Injuries derailed the Yankees' young phenom again last season, as he made just 14 starts -- eight with New York -- and compiled 63 innings during his second run at the big leagues. Just one year ago, the Yankees wouldn't pull the trigger on a deal centered around Hughes to put Johan Santana in pinstripes, but now it seems that the organization's patience with their potential young ace is being tested. Manager Joe Girardi said that his place in the rotation isn't guaranteed, but Hughes' excellent stint in the Arizona Fall League -- 2-0, 3.00 ERA, .198 BAA and 38:13 K:BB in 30 innings -- should give him the leg up on a rotation spot provided that the Yankees don't go overboard to rebuild their corps of starters via free agency. Keep in mind that he'll turn just 23 in June, and that none of his ailments over the last two seasons have been of the elbow or shoulder variety. There's still plenty to like here.
The Yankees are hoping that Hughes will be the ace of their rotation before too long, and while he might be slotted into the middle of the rotation in 2008, it shouldn't be long before he knocks Chien-ming Wang off the perch as the club's No. 1 starter. His numbers as a rookie weren't as strong as the hype might have called for, but remember that Hughes was carrying a no-hitter through 6.2 innings in his second career start before a severe hamstring strain and subsequent ankle injury cost him three months. Hughes should begin to fully deliver on his potential as one of the game's premier young hurlers by season's end.
One of the most coveted pitching prospects in all of baseball, even the prospect-peddling Yankees were unwilling to move Hughes when the trade deadline approached last July. He'll turn 21 years old this June, and he's already torn up hitters through the Double-A level, holding opponents to a .176 average in 21 starts for Trenton in 2006. He should start the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but if any question marks arise from the back of the New York rotation, Hughes may be the answer as early as this season.
Hughes is the best pitching prospect in the Yankees system. He's just 19 years old and struck out 93 in 86 1/3 IP at two levels in 2005. He should start 2006 at Double-A, and it's not unreasonable to think he'll be in the Yankees rotation by mid-2007. Given the Yankees' renewed focus on keeping their youngsters around, there's a better-than-even chance he'll make it to the Bronx.
The big Californian drafted out of high school can get up to 95 mph with his fastball but needs to refine his secondary pitches a great deal. He's raw with a huge potential but will need a good deal of instruction to become a proficient starter.
More Fantasy News
Designated for assignment
PSan Diego Padres  
August 10, 2018
Hughes was designated for assignment by San Diego on Friday.
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Activated from DL
PSan Diego Padres  
July 6, 2018
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Lands on DL
PSan Diego Padres  
Back
June 21, 2018
Hughes was placed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with a right rhomboid strain.
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Set for bullpen role
PSan Diego Padres  
May 29, 2018
Hughes will be available for Tuesday's game against the Marlins and is slated to work out of the bullpen initially, Jay Paris of MLB.com reports.
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Dealt to Padres
PSan Diego Padres  
May 27, 2018
Hughes was traded to the Padres on Sunday in exchange for minor-league catcher Janigson Villalobos, cash considerations and the 74th pick in the 2018 first-year player draft.
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