Rick Porcello
Rick Porcello
29-Year-Old PitcherSP
Boston Red Sox
2018 Fantasy Outlook
At a glance, Porcello's 2017 campaign looks a lot like his 2015 one, leaving his AL Cy Young Award season from 2016 as an outlier. Home runs were up league-wide, leaving many pitchers with higher-than-ever home-run rates allowed. Porcello was no exception, as he posted a career-worst 1.68 HR/9 while his HR/FB rate (14.7 percent) was in the range of previous seasons. He allowed more hard contact than ever (38.3 percent hard-hit rate), as only his slider graded out as an above-average pitch in 2017. Yet somehow, Porcello managed to post the highest swinging-strike rate of his career (9.4 percent), which continues to support his three-year increase in strikeout rate during his time in Boston. On the plus side, he's been durable, having made 33 starts in consecutive seasons. If he can reduce the hard contact on balls in play, a push closer to the 4.00 ERA mark is possible in 2018, but asking for more improvement than that is likely a stretch. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed four-year, $82.5 million extension with Red Sox in April of 2015 that will keep him in Boston through the 2019 season.
Picks up 17th win
PBoston Red Sox
September 15, 2018
Porcello (17-7) picked up the win Saturday against the Mets, allowing three runs on two hits and one walk across five innings. He struck out five.
ANALYSIS
Porcello was sharp through three innings but stumbled in the fourth, allowing a single and a walk before serving up a three-run homer to Brandon Nimmo. He responded with a scoreless fifth inning, and the Red Sox posted four runs in the bottom half of the frame to put him in line for the win. The right-hander was pulled after the fifth inning with the Red Sox looking to limit his innings down the stretch to keep him fresh for the playoffs. Porcello now owns a respectable 4.30 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 187:45 K:BB across 31 outings (184.1 innings) this season. Next up will be a road start against the Indians.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-2%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-1%
BAA vs LHP
2017
Even Split
2016
 
 
-4%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .249 1253 282 69 289 63 6 44
Since 2016vs Right .255 1300 275 56 309 55 5 44
2018vs Left .237 367 96 23 79 14 3 15
2018vs Right .240 411 91 22 90 14 0 12
2017vs Left .286 427 88 29 112 27 1 21
2017vs Right .287 458 93 19 124 27 2 17
2016vs Left .225 459 98 17 98 22 2 8
2016vs Right .235 431 91 15 95 14 3 15
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-19%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-23%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-32%
ERA on Road
2016
 
 
-10%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 4.42 1.22 305.1 27 16 0 8.2 1.7 1.3
Since 2016Away 3.57 1.14 305.1 23 12 0 8.3 2.0 1.3
2018Home 4.88 1.08 86.2 7 4 0 8.4 1.9 1.8
2018Away 3.78 1.23 97.2 10 3 0 9.8 2.5 0.9
2017Home 5.43 1.52 112.2 7 11 0 8.5 2.2 1.6
2017Away 3.67 1.25 90.2 4 6 0 7.3 2.1 1.8
2016Home 2.97 1.03 106.0 13 1 0 7.6 1.1 0.7
2016Away 3.31 0.99 117.0 9 3 0 7.7 1.5 1.2
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Stat Review
How does Rick Porcello 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.
K/BB
4.16
 
K/9
9.1
 
BB/9
2.2
 
HR/9
1.3
 
Fastball
90.4 mph
 
ERA
4.30
 
WHIP
1.16
 
BABIP
.299
 
GB/FB
1.38
 
Strand %
67.4%
 
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
A year after generating the ire of Boston's baseball followers, Porcello won the AL Cy Young award and a league-high 22 games. Sure, he had a league-high support of 6.61 runs per game in his starts, but much of this was for real. He accented his career-best ERA by striking out 5.91 batters to every walk, and he posted his best control rate thanks in large part to a stellar first-strike percentage (64.2). He stopped throwing the four-seamer as often, something coaches harped on him about in 2015. Still, many pitfalls remain, including his underwhelming ability to overpower hitters and a dwindling groundball rate. That 3.89 xFIP and .269 BABIP showed how much good fortune he enjoyed, as well. Though he'll remain a useful fantasy arm, he doesn't boast the profile of a mixed-league ace or even a solid SP2.
Prior to 2015, Porcello was a pretty consistent starter in Detroit, known for his sinker and coming off his first 200-inning season. The Red Sox liked him so much, they inked him to a four-year, $80 million deal. The move made sense on one level - locking up a young starter for his prime years - even though the AAV was over market. Porcello struggled early, getting away from the sinker and replacing it with very hittable four-seamers. The home-run rate climbed and his ERA was north of 5.00 from May until the end of the season. He had a mid-season turn on the disabled list due to a triceps injury, during which he found his arm slot and committed to throwing more sinkers and changeups and less fastballs. He was much better after his return - strikeouts were up, homers were down - and there's hope Boston will have a decent No. 2 starter.
Porcello arguably had the best season of his career in 2014. He won a personal-best 15 games while hurling a career-high 204.2 innings. He also picked up the first three shutouts of his career. The 26-year-old righty showed improved control, posting a career-best walk rate of 1.8 BB/9. Despite the evident growth, Porcello did regress in some areas. After striking out 7.2 batters per nine in 2013, he regressed back to 5.7 K/9, which is more in line with his career norm. He also saw a dip in velocity, as his fastball average dropped nearly one mph to 90.5. But Porcello’s bread and butter remained his ability to induce groundballs at a high clip. The Tigers infield defense struggled last year, and his numbers should improve with the move to Boston in the offseason. With six years under his belt, it’s unlikely Porcello will ever develop into much of a strikeout pitcher, but he has the skills to eat innings and pick up his fair share of wins while posting a decent ERA and WHIP.
While Porcello still hasn’t lived up to the promise he showed as a rookie in 2009, he did take significant enough strides in 2013 to be considered a decent middle-of-the-rotation option. Porcello posted the best winning percentage of his career (.629) en route to a 13-8 campaign while posting a 4.32 ERA and career-high 142 strikeouts. The biggest boost to his fantasy value came with his increased strikeout rate (7.2 K/9), which easily bested his previous high (5.5 K/9). Some of Porcello’s improvement is attributed to his improved breaking ball, switching from the previously heavy-used slider to a curveball that became his go-to off-speed pitch. All the while, Porcello remained an extreme groundball pitcher who also effectively limits free passes (2.1 BB/9). As his xFIP (3.19) hints, Porcello could have been even more impressive with a better defense behind him. Luckily for Porcello, Detroit has taken the necessary steps to improve their infield defense this offseason, as the trade of Prince Fielder should lead the way for Miguel Cabrera to move back to first base, and having Jose Iglesias around for the entire season at shortstop certainly won’t hurt. The trade rumors should cease after the Tigers decided to flip Doug Fister to Washington in December. Entering his age-25 season, Porcello still hasn’t hit his ceiling, but the strides he has made in 2013 have him headed in the right direction. He’ll once again be a breakout candidate for fantasy owners looking to fill out the back end of their rotation.
On the surface, the 2012 season looked like another season stuck in neutral for Porcello. The former first-round pick finished 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA while making 31 starts for the third time in four seasons. Despite the lack of huge statistical jump, Porcello showed some improvements in his fourth season. He gained velocity on his fastball, jumping from an average of 90 mph though his first three seasons to 92 last year. Porcello also posted career-best marks in strikeouts (5.5 K/9), groundball rate (2.2 GB/FB) and FIP (4.02). His .350 BABIP also hints at a bout of bad luck. As a groundball pitcher with low strikeout totals, Porcello is not the best fit with Detroit's weak infield defense, but there are signs of a potential turnaround for the 24-year-old righty. His spot in the rotation could be in danger after Detroit re-signed Anibal Sanchez, but come Opening Day we expect Porcello to be in a starting rotation, whether it is for the Tigers or another major league squad. He is still young enough to live up to his pedigree and should be a solid rotation filler in deeper formats.
While not as solid as his rookie season, Porcello was able to bounce back from a down 2010 campaign to show he’s still capable of living up to his first-round pedigree. For the second time in his three-year career, Porcello finished 14-9. He lowered his ERA from 4.91 to 4.75 while posting a career-best 104:46 K:BB ratio in 182.0 innings. The low strikeout totals still don’t invoke a pitcher with Porcello’s type of arsenal, so there’s still plenty of room for growth in the category for the young gun. At 23, Porcello has already proven he’s a capable major league pitcher, but he’ll need to continue showing progression in making batters swing and miss before taking that next step.
After a stellar rookie campaign, Porcello took a step back in 2010, finishing the season 10-12 with a 4.92 ERA and 1.389 WHIP in 27 starts. While Porcello started the 2010 season slowly, he was able to turn things around after a brief stint in the minors, posting a 6-5 record and 4.00 ERA after the break. The 22-year-old sports a mid-90s fastball and solid secondary pitches, which includes an improving slider that induces loads of groundballs. Unfortunately, his solid arsenal hasn't translated into high strikeout totals, as Porcello has managed just 4.7 K/9IP through two seasons. Despite his struggles last season and lack of strikeouts, the former first-round pick remains an intriguing talent with plenty of upside. That upside alone makes him worth looking at late in drafts as you fill out your rotation.
The former first-round pick completed his rapid ascent to the majors last year by being a surprise addition to the rotation out of spring training. The 21-year-old right-hander didn’t disappoint, finishing 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA and 1.336 WHIP in 170.2 innings. The one area where he didn’t impress was in strikeouts (89), but that total should increase as Porcello matures and learns how to keep hitters off balance by mixing in his secondary pitches better with his upper-90s fastball. The Tigers were understandably cautious with Porcello, as the team limited his innings and pitch counts during his first season of professional ball, but we should continue to see improvements in most categories as the reins are loosened.
Porcello, Detroit's top pick in 2007, posted a 72:33 K:BB ratio in 125 innings at High-A Lakeland as a 19-year-old. Porcello did not use his slider for most of the season, which enabled him to focus on his curveball and change-up. Don't let the lack of strikeouts scare you away from him in your prospect drafts. The lack of a slider likely accounted for the lower-than-expected strikeout numbers from a pitcher who works in the mid-90s with his fastball. Porcello could get a chance to compete for a rotation spot in the spring but that would be rushing him. It is more likely that the Tigers push him up to Double-A, and at 20-years-old he'll be among the youngest players at that level. The future looks bright.
Universally regarded as the best high school pitcher in the 2007 draft class, Porcello fell to the bottom part of the first round due to his ties to agent Scott Boras and a scholarship to North Carolina. Porcello didn't pitch after being drafted as the Tigers opted to have him start a throwing program. He can hit 97 mph and works in the mid-90s with his fastball. He has a plus change-up and two quality breaking balls. The Tigers think he could be the anchor of their rotation down the road but like all young arms, he'll need to stay healthy.
More Fantasy News
Workload will be limited Saturday
PBoston Red Sox
September 14, 2018
Porcello will be limited to five or six innings in his start Saturday against the Mets, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.
ANALYSIS
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Surrenders four earned runs
PBoston Red Sox
September 9, 2018
Porcello allowed four earned runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out six across 5.2 innings Sunday against the Astros. He did not factor into the decision.
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Being set up for postseason
PBoston Red Sox
September 5, 2018
Porcello will get extra rest after his next scheduled start Sunday, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Strikes out five in win over Braves
PBoston Red Sox
September 4, 2018
Porcello (16-7) tossed five innings of one-run ball Tuesday to earn the win against the Braves. He struck out six.
ANALYSIS
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Surrenders four earned runs
PBoston Red Sox
August 30, 2018
Porcello allowed four earned runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out seven across five innings Thursday against the White Sox. He did not factor into the decision.
ANALYSIS
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