Danny Duffy
Danny Duffy
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
Kansas City Royals
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The veteran left-hander's 4.95 ERA and 1.33 WHIP during 2020 are similar to his numbers from the previous two seasons, and the 4.75 FIP indicates it was fairly reflective of his actual performance. Duffy did post his best strikeout rate (23.1%) since 2016 last season, but he also had the highest HR/9 (1.6) of his career. He's set to earn $15.5 million in the final year of his contract in 2021, and the Royals are likely hoping for a strong start that generates some interest on the trade market. Duffy's strikeout totals bring some fantasy potential, but the wins and rate stats lag behind significantly and limit the value of the strikeouts. He's poised to begin the season in the starting rotation and his spot should be fairly secure given Kansas City's other options, but there's a decent chance he doesn't finish the year with the club. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#495
ADP
$Signed a five-year, $65 million contract extension with the Royals in January of 2017.
Solid outing against Cardinals
PKansas City Royals
September 23, 2020
Duffy (4-4) earned the win Wednesday against the Cardinals after tossing 5.2 innings of one-run ball. He gave up six hits and one walk while fanning five.
ANALYSIS
Duffy delivered a strong outing in his final start of the season, and he managed to bounce back after a poor start in which he allowed six runs and seven hits across 3.2 innings at Milwaukee on Sep. 18. It was an up-and-down year for Duffy, who allowed four or more runs in four different starts but also gave up one or no runs five times.
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Pitching Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2017
2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Minor League Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
79
Last 10 Games
80
Last 5 Games
71
How many pitches does Danny Duffy generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Danny Duffy generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2018
Even Split
2020
 
 
-14%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-3%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-2%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2018vs Left .257 286 66 22 66 13 0 7
Since 2018vs Right .257 1203 247 116 273 49 4 47
2020vs Left .219 34 9 2 7 0 0 1
2020vs Right .254 208 48 20 46 10 0 9
2019vs Left .257 130 30 14 29 8 0 4
2019vs Right .249 425 85 32 96 20 1 17
2018vs Left .268 122 27 6 30 5 0 2
2018vs Right .263 570 114 64 131 19 3 21
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-22%
ERA on Road
2020
 
 
-28%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-2%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-38%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2018Home 5.30 1.44 159.2 8 10 0 7.2 3.5 1.5
Since 2018Away 4.15 1.35 182.1 11 12 0 9.2 3.8 1.4
2020Home 6.00 1.57 21.0 2 1 0 7.7 3.9 1.7
2020Away 4.33 1.19 35.1 2 3 0 9.9 3.3 1.5
2019Home 4.31 1.33 77.1 4 3 0 7.0 3.0 1.4
2019Away 4.39 1.28 53.1 3 3 0 9.3 3.4 1.5
2018Home 6.31 1.53 61.1 2 6 0 7.2 4.0 1.5
2018Away 3.94 1.46 93.2 6 6 0 8.8 4.1 1.2
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Danny Duffy 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.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 120 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.
  • BABIP
    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.
K/BB
2.59
 
K/9
9.1
 
BB/9
3.5
 
HR/9
1.6
 
Fastball
92.2 mph
 
ERA
4.95
 
WHIP
1.33
 
BABIP
.297
 
GB/FB
0.82
 
Left On Base
68.9%
 
Exit Velocity
82.3 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.3%
 
Spin Rate
2194 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
23.9%
 
Swinging Strike
10.6%
 
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
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
Duffy's career year was in 2016. The Royals rewarded his efforts with a new five-year deal, and 2019 was the third year of that deal in which Duffy failed to achieve anything close to what he did in that 2016 season. His workload, his strikeout rate and his FIP were all at or near his career worsts in 2019 despite the fact three of his four pitches had positive pitch values. He has struck out over 20 percent of the hitters he faced the past four seasons, but that is essentially where his fantasy value is as a pitcher. The Royals do not provide him with a lot of run support, and he has permitted his fair share of runs in each of the past two seasons. He has lost two miles per hour off the fastball that earned him his current deal, and that is unlikely to return in his 30s. Unless he is moved to a contending team, he is essentially a one-category pitcher, and those strikeouts come with ratio risk.
After he had surgery to remove loose bodies from his left elbow after the 2017 season, the hope was that Duffy would return to his 2016 form. Unfortunately, that didn't come to fruition as left shoulder tendinitis led to Duffy’s worst season since his 2011 rookie campaign. Right-handed batters gave him even more trouble than normal while lefty swingers were much more productive. To be fair, some of the splits disparity from previous seasons emanated from a bloated BABIP versus left-handers, but in general, Duffy’s velocity remained down with worse control. Of note is he reintroduced a curve, which was basically dormant since 2014. It was his most effective pitch though he only threw it 10% of the time. Don’t target him, but the cost will likely be right to see if a healthy Duffy can return to some level of prominence.
His performance when on the field was solid, but Duffy's 2017 season was marred by injuries and a DUI arrest. The lefty missed more than a month in the middle of the campaign with an oblique issue and later battled elbow inflammation. Surgery was ultimately deemed necessary to remove loose bodies from the elbow, but Duffy was expected to have a normal offseason. Duffy's strikeout rate fell from 25.7 percent to 21.4 percent last year, coinciding with a two-mph drop in average fastball velocity, but nevertheless he shaved nearly 40 points off his FIP thanks to sharp control and a reduction in home-run rate. He continues to post dramatic platoon splits, with righties beating up on him (.329 wOBA last season) while lefties flounder (.199 wOBA), and at this point it seems he may never figure out right-handers, but there is some hope that Duffy's velocity and K-rate will rebound with better health in 2018.
Duffy had a breakout season in transitioning to the rotation from the bullpen after two months, showing excellent skills in 26 starts. There was some slowdown in September as his velocity tailed off and home runs became a big issue (nine in 36 innings). Duffy enjoyed career-bests in strikeout rate, walk rate, and swinging-strike rate, though some of his control gains with the fastball seemed to come at the expense of his command with the pitch yielding career-worsts in home run rate and hard-contact rate. An excellent slider and changeup hid the declining velocity until September (though his 94.5 mph average in Sept. is nothing to sneeze at). He has a great foundation with premier velocity and two swing-and-miss secondaries. If his finish was more fatigue from a career-high 179.7 innings pitched than the league figuring him out, then there's a lot more success to come. The homer issue preaches some caution, but there's still upside to bid on.
Duffy has been with Kansas City for parts of five seasons with nearly all of his appearances coming as a starting pitcher. In that time, he’s 24-30 with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP, and his strikeout rate has declined each of the previous four seasons. He has done some limited work in the bullpen, and his stuff has looked better in that role than it has as a starting pitcher. Kansas City does not currently have the pitching depth that would allow Duffy to move to the bullpen to help set up Wade Davis in 2016, but that could change in the near future. He’s mostly a fastball/breaking ball type of pitcher and the lack of a good changeup leaves him susceptible to righties, who have hit 40 of the 44 home runs against him in his career. Duffy is endgame material as is, but a potential move to the bullpen reduces his value.
Opportunity knocked for Duffy early in the 2014 season, as a spot in the starting rotation opened up in early May after Bruce Chen hit the disabled list with a bulging disc in his back. The left-handed Duffy took the reins and never looked back, finishing the season with a 9-12 record, 2.53 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. A career-low .239 BABIP may have helped him out a bit, in addition to the fact that he stranded 77.2% of baserunners, but the southpaw was able to provide fantasy utility in most formats nonetheless. Potential fantasy owners may want to exercise caution before reaching too far for Duffy, however, as a 4.42 xFIP suggests that his ERA may be a bit understated, though he'll likely continue to catch breaks in the spacious Kauffman Stadium with an exceptional defensive unit behind him. He threw a career-high 149.1 innings in 2014 (with an extra 4.2 in the postseason), and should expect to surpass that workload in the upcoming year, provided he stays healthy, but keep in mind he did undergo Tommy John surgery once already in June 2012.
Duffy underwent Tommy John surgery early in the 2012 season and finally made it back to the mound for the Royals around the start of the second half last season. However, he made just five starts before landing back on the disabled list with tightness in his forearm. Rather than try to push him into a second return during the 2013 season, the club opted to shut him down for the duration of the year with the assumption that he would be fully rested and rehabbed by the time spring training opened in 2014. Duffy has a solid four-pitch arsenal and high strikeout potential, but command has always seemed to be a bit of an issue. Though he posted a K/BB over 2.50 throughout his time in the minors, he failed to produce one over 1.71 during his 133 innings at the major league level. Of course, that could have also had something to do with his arm troubles leading up to surgery. If all goes well during spring training, he should slot in as the team's third or fourth starter when the regular season begins.
Duffy's 2-2 record with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.6 K/BB through 27.2 innings in 2012 were almost irrelevant as he was plagued with elbow problems early on and eventually shut down at the beginning of May to have Tommy John surgery. He is still in the midst of his recovery and likely won't be ready until some time around midseason in 2013. However, at just 24 years old and loaded with promise, he is obviously a pitcher to monitor when looking for help in the second half. Throughout his time in the minors, he exhibited tremendous strikeout potential, often posting a double-digit K/9 and finishing off hitters with either his 95 mph fastball or an even more impressive looping curve. With the prospect of him coming back to the rotation with his arm even stronger, Duffy could be one of those sneaky second-half sleepers that that can boost a fantasy rotation and lift you up in at least three of the standard pitching categories.
Duffy made his big league debut in 2011, after spending the first month of the season at Triple-A Omaha. A starter, he had 87 strikeouts and 51 walks with a 5.64 ERA over 105.1 innings. Armed with a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s, Duffy struck out over a batter per inning at nearly every stop in the minors, often with good control and command of his pitches. At the major league level he's going to need to rediscover that control as his walk rate was 4.36 BB/9IP in his rookie season. Only 23 years old, Duffy should be snapped up in keeper leagues and by those speculating for strikeouts in deeper leagues.
Duffy made a bizarre departure from the Royals in March to "reassess his life priorities" before returning to the team three months later. Upon his return, Duffy was effective, posting a 2.74 ERA over 62.1 minor-league innings. The Royals plan to give him a chance to pitch his way into the Opening Day rotation this spring, but he's yet to pitch an inning above the Double-A level.
Duffy is a left-handed starting pitcher with outstanding upside. His command and his ability to throw strikes set him apart from most prospects his age. He went 9-3 with a 2.98 ERA in High-A in last season and his 125:41 K:BB ratio over 126.2 innings pitched is excellent. Duffy was selected for the Futures Game and he should be considered an up-and-coming pitcher in the Royals' rotation. He must increase his stamina so he can get deeper than the fifth inning. It is likely he will spend 2010 between Double-A and Triple-A preparing for a debut as a starting pitcher late in the season or in 2011. Duffy should be considered in keeper leagues and is someone to watch very carefully.
More Fantasy News
Struggles in loss to Brewers
PKansas City Royals
September 18, 2020
Duffy (3-4) gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks over 3.2 innings in a loss to the Brewers on Friday. He struck out five.
ANALYSIS
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Starting Friday
PKansas City Royals
September 17, 2020
Duffy will start Friday's game against the Brewers, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
ANALYSIS
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Next start date uncertain
PKansas City Royals
Not Injury Related
September 16, 2020
Royals manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday that he hasn't decided when Duffy will make his next start for the club, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
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Scratched from start
PKansas City Royals
Not Injury Related
September 15, 2020
Duffy was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday against the Tigers for disciplinary reasons, Alec Lewis of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Delivers 5.2 scoreless frames
PKansas City Royals
September 9, 2020
Duffy (3-3) earned the win Wednesday at Cleveland after giving up four hits with four strikeouts and four walks over 5.2 scoreless innings.
ANALYSIS
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