Justin Steele

Justin Steele

28-Year-Old PitcherSP
Chicago Cubs
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was a lot to like with Steele coming into the 2023 season as a pitcher who kept the ball in the yard, threw a lot of strikes and generated a fair number of whiffs. Our 2023 outlook even said he could be in store for a nice fantasy season, but who saw him doubling his career win total and continuing the positive peripheral growth for a third consecutive season? If not for Blake Snell's amazing run or all of Spencer Strider's strikeouts and wins, Steele could have garnered more supporters for a Cy Young argument with the season he had. So what if he does not have the velocity of other pitchers when he can match results with the best of them? The amazing part is he does this using two pitches 97% of the time, which does leave him exposed to the third-time-through penalty. He may never be a 200-inning arm, but Steele is a pitcher on the rise approaching frontline status. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#109
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Cubs in January of 2024.
Settles with Cubs at $4 million
PChicago Cubs
January 11, 2024
The Cubs and Steele avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4 million contract Thursday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
It's a substantial raise for Steele after he qualified for Super 2 status. The left-handed earned the salary bump after finishing fifth in the National League Cy Young voting in 2023 following a 3.06 ERA and 176:36 K:BB across 173.1 innings covering 30 starts.
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Pitching Stats
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2023
2022
2021
2020
2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Minor League Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
87
Last 10 Games
96
Last 5 Games
90
How many pitches does Justin Steele 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 Justin Steele 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 2021
 
 
-8%
BAA vs LHP
2023
 
 
-7%
BAA vs RHP
2022
 
 
-6%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-63%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2021vs Left .229 307 94 32 62 12 0 8
Since 2021vs Right .250 1169 267 81 266 47 3 26
2023vs Left .267 141 42 8 35 9 0 6
2023vs Right .247 575 134 28 132 25 2 8
2022vs Left .232 115 34 14 23 2 0 1
2022vs Right .248 397 92 36 88 15 1 7
2021vs Left .098 51 18 10 4 1 0 1
2021vs Right .264 197 41 17 46 7 0 11
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-7%
ERA at Home
2023
 
 
-28%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-26%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-62%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2021Home 3.19 1.25 203.0 17 10 0 9.0 2.7 0.7
Since 2021Away 3.44 1.28 146.1 7 6 0 9.8 3.2 1.2
2023Home 2.65 1.19 102.0 12 3 0 9.3 1.9 0.4
2023Away 3.66 1.15 71.1 4 2 0 9.0 1.9 1.1
2022Home 2.78 1.26 71.1 3 4 0 8.8 3.5 0.4
2022Away 3.78 1.49 47.2 1 3 0 10.6 4.2 0.9
2021Home 6.07 1.45 29.2 2 3 0 8.2 3.6 2.1
2021Away 2.30 1.24 27.1 2 1 0 10.5 4.9 1.6
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Justin Steele 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
4.89
 
K/9
9.1
 
BB/9
1.9
 
HR/9
0.7
 
Fastball
91.8 mph
 
ERA
3.06
 
WHIP
1.17
 
BABIP
.328
 
GB/FB
1.94
 
Left On Base
72.0%
 
Exit Velocity
81.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
4.0%
 
Spin Rate
2471 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
23.7%
 
Swinging Strike
11.6%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Justin Steele See More
RotoWire Roundtable: Updated Fantasy Baseball Top-300 Rankings
22 days ago
It's still all Ronald Acuna at the top, but Julio Rodriguez has now claimed the second spot in the latest edition of the RotoWire Roundtable rankings.
RotoWire Roundtable: Fantasy Baseball Top 300 January Update
45 days ago
The RotoWire Roundtable crew shares their latest rankings, with changes as high as the early first round.
The Z Files: Projecting Pitcher's BABIP
47 days ago
Todd Zola considers a new approach to regressing a pitcher's BABIP, which suggests better days should be ahead for Hunter Greene.
Breakout Breakdown: Justin Steele
50 days ago
Justin Steele was never a top prospect but just finished fifth in NL Cy Young voting in his second full season. Will he sustain his success in 2024?
RotoWire Roundtable: Fantasy Baseball Top 300 December Update
87 days ago
From Ronald Acuna Jr. to Ryan Jeffers, the RotoWire Roundtable crew shares their updated top-300 rankings.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2016
Steele took a big step forward in 2022 and could be emerging as a staple of Chicago's rotation in the coming years. The lefty made 24 starts and posted a 3.18 ERA and 126 strikeouts across 119 innings. That ERA was supported by a 3.20 FIP, so Steele's production seems sustainable. His last appearance came in late August, however, as a back issue flared up and the Cubs decided not to push him when they had little to play for. That will probably benefit Steele heading into 2023, as he should be healthy to begin the season. Marcus Stroman should continue to lead the rotation followed by Hendricks, though the latter is dealing with a shoulder injury over the offseason. That leaves Steele as the No. 3 starter with the potential to move up. As a southpaw who can miss bats, Steele could be in store for a nice fantasy season, particularly if he can build on his career-best workload from 2022.
Steele and Brad Wieck are projected as the lefties in the Cubs' bullpen, and the former finally made his major-league debut in 2021 with some bumps and bruises. The 23.8 K% was promising for a rookie, but the 10.9 BB% along with a 1.9 HR/9 offset the gains from his strikeouts. He somehow managed a respectable ERA given the recipe for disaster with the walks and allowing a homer for every four flyballs allowed. Steele can work as a swingman as he has the repertoire of a starting pitcher and worked almost exclusively as a starter throughout his minor-league career. What he lacks in velocity he makes up for with movement, and should he find better command as a sophomore, he could take a step forward and gain relevance in NL-only formats.
Steele, a fifth-round draft pick out of high school in 2014, was limited to just 40.2 innings for short-season Eugene, partially because of a minor "tweak" in his arm. Issues in the arm of young pitchers are always a concern, but the Cubs can afford to be cautious with Steele, as there is no hurry to advance him to the big-league level. Steele has a 2.73 ERA in his first two professional seasons, and they haven't been flukes, as his FIPs have been even better. The skinny 20-year-old southpaw has a decent future if he can stay healthy, but his ceiling is probably as a mid-rotation starter.
More Fantasy News
Not starting Sunday
PChicago Cubs
October 1, 2023
Steele won't start Sunday against the Brewers after the Cubs were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday, Tim Stebbins of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Allows three runs in no-decision
PChicago Cubs
September 26, 2023
Steele did not factor into the decision Tuesday, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk over 5.1 innings against Atlanta. He struck out six.
ANALYSIS
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Falters again in short start
PChicago Cubs
September 20, 2023
Steele (16-5) allowed six runs on eight hits and struck out six without walking a batter over three-plus innings, taking the loss Wednesday versus the Pirates.
ANALYSIS
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Rare misstep in loss
PChicago Cubs
September 15, 2023
Steele (16-4) allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five over six innings to take the loss Friday versus the Diamondbacks.
ANALYSIS
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Looks sharp in no-decision
PChicago Cubs
September 9, 2023
Steele allowed just one run on six hits across seven innings but did not factor into the decision Saturday against the Diamondbacks. He had no walks and struck out six.
ANALYSIS
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