Joakim Soria
Joakim Soria
35-Year-Old PitcherRP
Oakland Athletics
2019 Fantasy Outlook
As a veteran hand in an inexperienced White Sox bullpen, Soria headed into 2018 with the hopes of being the team's primary closer. He performed fairly well, converting 16 of 19 save opportunities and producing a 2.56 ERA with the South Siders as part of manager Rick Renteria's closing committee. Soria's stock took a hit when he was dealt to the Brewers at the trade deadline, not because his performance declined, but because he didn't sniff the ninth inning the rest of the season. He continues to put up good strikeout and walk numbers (75:16 K:BB in 60.2 innings) and his fastball hasn't lost any velocity with age. Additionally, his 2.40 FIP suggests he could've posted better numbers with a little more luck. He inked a two-year deal with Oakland, where he will be limited to setup duty behind Blake Treinen. Even if Treinen gets hurt, it's not a lock that the A's would give Soria the ninth inning over fellow ex-closer Fernando Rodney. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Athletics in December of 2018.
Nabs win in extras
POakland Athletics
May 11, 2019
Soria (1-2) struck out three over two perfect innings to earn the win in extra innings against the Indians on Friday.
The veteran reliever came through with a pair of scoreless frames after closer Blake Treinen had already done the same immediately before him. The strong showing was an extension of Soria's recent body of work that's now seen him generate five straight scoreless efforts and nine over his last 10 appearances overall. Soria's current 4.66 ERA is largely the byproduct of a pair of four-run blowups, but the former closer has otherwise been effective as one of several setup options for manager Bob Melvin.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .257 269 60 18 64 10 3 4
Since 2017vs Right .199 315 102 27 56 11 1 1
2019vs Left .227 51 11 5 10 1 1 0
2019vs Right .200 46 12 4 8 2 0 0
2018vs Left .259 119 24 7 29 5 1 3
2018vs Right .194 136 51 9 24 6 1 1
2017vs Left .269 99 25 6 25 4 1 1
2017vs Right .205 133 39 14 24 3 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 4.14 1.08 67.1 7 3 5 11.2 2.5 0.4
Since 2017Away 3.08 1.26 73.0 1 7 12 9.7 3.2 0.2
2019Home 4.15 1.00 13.0 1 1 0 9.7 3.5 0.0
2019Away 5.06 1.31 10.2 0 2 0 8.4 3.4 0.0
2018Home 3.54 0.96 28.0 2 0 5 11.3 1.0 1.0
2018Away 2.76 1.29 32.2 1 4 11 11.0 3.6 0.3
2017Home 4.78 1.25 26.1 4 2 0 12.0 3.8 0.0
2017Away 2.73 1.21 29.2 0 1 1 8.8 2.7 0.3
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Stat Review
How does Joakim Soria 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.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 20 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.
    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.
92.7 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
88.5 mph
Spin Rate
2329 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Joakim Soria
The Z Files: Oh, What a Relief It... Isn't?
21 days ago
Todd Zola takes another look at the value of high-strikeout middle relievers, such as the Mets' Seth Lugo, in the current run-scoring environment.
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64 days ago
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111 days ago
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Mound Musings: See You in September
267 days ago
Brad Johnson helps navigate this tricky time of year by highlighting pitchers who are worth keeping an eye on during the season’s final month, like Michael Wacha, who’s September outlook is a bit murky.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Despite being 33 years old, Soria continues to produce. He missed some time with an oblique injury and amassed seven blown saves, but he was lights out for much of the season. His 3.70 ERA is lofty at first glance, but he ran into an enormous amount of bad luck. Batters produced a .338 BABIP off him, the highest mark of Soria's career. The veteran posted a 10.3 K/9 (his best mark since 2013), procured 20 holds and allowed just one home run all season, leaving indicators much better than his actual ERA (2.23 FIP, 3.08 xFIP). Between his strong peripherals and another uptick in average velocity last season, Soria seems to be aging like a fine wine. He was traded to the White Sox this winter, and appears poised to open the year as their closer, although they will likely attempt to flip him this summer. Still, barring further offseason moves to solidify their bullpen, Soria could net 20-plus saves at a very affordable price tag in drafts.
Soria's velocity ticked up again in 2016, this time to a career-high 92.5 mph, but that was about the only good news for the veteran. He finished the season with career highs in ERA (4.05), FIP (4.36) and WHIP (1.46), and he needed extra rest between appearances as the season winded down. The Royals continued to use him in a setup role despite his struggles. A three-year deal signed before the 2016 season means Soria probably isn't going anywhere soon, but it's hard to see him getting regular save opportunities as long as Kelvin Herrera is healthy. Soria is also on the wrong side of 30 and has undergone two Tommy John surgeries, so he's a major injury risk as well.
Soria’s 92.4 mph average fastball velocity last season was the highest of his big league career. Still, he struggled in a seventh-inning role at times and didn’t show the type of dominance with Pittsburgh that he displayed for many seasons in the American League. The 32-year-old registered 24 saves (23 with Detroit) but was also charged with six blown saves. Despite some bumps, Soria earned a three-year deal in free agency to return to Kansas City where he began his MLB career in 2007. With Wade Davis seemingly cementing himself in the closer role on the run to the World Series, Soria seems likely to pitch in the eighth inning to begin the year.
The Tigers acquired Soria prior to the 2014 trade deadline to help cure their bullpen woes. He seemed like the ideal fit, as he was putting together a good campaign in Texas. In 35 appearances with the Rangers, Soria was lights out, posting a 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and stellar 42:4 K:BB ratio with 17 saves in 33.1 innings. That success didn’t carry over to Detroit, as Soria posted a 4.91 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 13 appearances. Soria also struggled in his two playoff appearances, which instilled very little confidence in Tigers fans who were probably unaware of his dominance in Texas. Heading into the 2015 season, Soria is arguably the Tigers' best relief pitcher on paper. He’s slated to begin the season in an eighth-inning setup role, which makes him the top option to assume closing duties if Joe Nathan struggles again in 2015. At the very least, Soria is a good handcuff option for Nathan owners, but he’s also worth a stash if you’re making speculative picks based on potential in-season closer changes.
Soria came off the disabled list in July, pretty much as expected, following his second career Tommy John surgery in 2012. Like most returning from that surgery, he struggled at times with his control upon his return (14 walks in 23.2 innings), though the accompanying 28 strikeouts show that he's got plenty of ability left post-surgery. Joe Nathan's departure via free agency leaves the door wide open for Soria to emerge as the closer by Opening Day, as his primary competition figures to be Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers if the Rangers stick to internal options.
Soria missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery and he is now hoping to make a return for the 2013. The Rangers gave him a two-year deal in the offseason to continue his rehab, and possibly take over as their closer in 2014 as Joe Nathan's contract is up after this season. Do not be surprised if his return from the operation takes a bit longer this time around, although the Rangers have enough bullpen depth to avoid rushing him back too quickly. By most accounts, Soria will be ready to join the Texas bullpen in June if everything progresses as expected with his rehab.
Thought to be one of the most dependable closers in the game going into the season, Soria experienced failure for the first time in his career in 2011. He had 60 strikeouts, 17 walks and seven home runs allowed with a 4.03 ERA over 60.1 innings. It's those seven home runs that really did him in as four of them drove in two runs or more. While still hovering around 9.00 K/9IP, Soria's strikeout rate has decreased each of the last two seasons. This is no fluke as his swinging-strike rate has also fallen each of the last two seasons. His velocity however has not decreased, so owners should remain optimistic that Soria can get back to being among the elite closers in baseball for the 2012 season.
Already one of the game's best closers, Soria posted arguably his best season as a pro in 2010. He induced a groundball nearly 50 percent of the time a batter put the ball in play while averaging better than a strikeout per inning en route to a 1.78 ERA. He may not be able to duplicate those numbers, but it's clear the 26-year-old will be one of the top closers in the game for awhile as long as he stays healthy. Even playing for the Royals, who haven't shown any inclination to trade the All-Star, hasn't been able to slow his ascent.
Soria has quietly become one of the best closers in the game and had another dominant season in 2009. He strikes out better than a batter per inning with outstanding control (69:16 K:BB ratio). After a one-month stint on the disabled list in May, Soria returned to convert 30 of 33 save chances including all 10 of his opportunities in September. With his job security, he'll be near the top of any fantasy rankings of closers.
Wow. Soria has gone from a Rule 5 draft pick to one of the league’s elite closers in a matter of two seasons. He saved 42 games for a team that was not all that good, and had his second consecutive sub-1.00 WHIP. Neither righties nor lefties could hit better than .171 off him, and he allowed just 19 walks in 63 games. The Royals figure to improve in 2009, which would potentially create more save opportunities, but they will have to re-solidify the path to Soria after trading some of the bullpen’s key middle relievers.
Soria went from Rule 5 draft pick to a consistent closer in 2007 when called on to fill in for the injured, then traded, Octavio Dotel. He saved 17 out of 21 chances, to go with a WHIP of 0.942. He is a former starter, and there are some musings of moving him back to the rotation, but he is too good of an anchor to the bullpen. As long as the team progresses as it should, there is no reason to believe Soria can’t rack up 25-plus saves.
Soria was plucked from the San Diego system during the Rule 5 draft based mostly on his work in the Mexican Winter League, where he tossed a perfect game. The Royals don't appear to have a solid bullpen entering camp, so Soria may find himself in the thick of things early.
More Fantasy News
Unravels in loss
POakland Athletics
March 30, 2019
Soria (0-1) failed to record an out in a loss to the Angels on Friday, allowing four earned runs on three hits and a walk.
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Strong performances continue
POakland Athletics
March 26, 2019
Soria was credited with a hold in an exhibition win over the Giants on Monday, allowing a hit and recording a strikeout over a scoreless second inning.
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Makes spring debut
POakland Athletics
February 28, 2019
Soria (hip) retired two of the five hitters he faced in Wednesday's 5-3 Cactus League loss to the Dodgers.
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In line for debut
POakland Athletics
February 25, 2019
Soria (hip) is slated to make his Cactus League debut Wednesday versus the Dodgers, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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Nearing return to game action
POakland Athletics
February 24, 2019
Soria (hip) is nearing a return to game action, Jane Lee of reports.
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