Merrill Kelly

Merrill Kelly

35-Year-Old PitcherSP
Arizona Diamondbacks
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Kelly's ratios were nearly equivalent to his breakthrough 2022 season, but he took a different path to get there. Last season, Kelly fanned a career best 25.9 percent of batters he faced, but he also walked them at a 9.6 percent clip, the highest mark of his career. However, the 16.3 percent K-BB% was his best in a full season. Kelly didn't change his pitch mix much, other than throwing a slider a bit and it was effective. His changeup was offering chiefly driving the increase in strikeouts. Despite posting strong ratios in 2022, Kelly wasn't trusted since he didn't miss many bats. Fast forward a year and Kelly is no longer a secret after fanning well more than a batter an inning and enjoying a strong playoff run. He's likely going to be drafted around 100 picks earlier this season, which puts him in risky territory, since that assumes Kelly continues to punch out hitters at the same rate. Don't shy away from Kelly, but don't expect a repeat of last season's newfound dominance. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#145
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $18 million contract extension with the Diamondbacks in April of 2022.
Fans five in no-decision
PArizona Diamondbacks
April 16, 2024
Kelly yielded a run on three hits and two walks over five innings in a no-decision Monday against the Cubs. He struck out five.
ANALYSIS
Aside from a solo homer he allowed to Michael Busch, Kelly turned in a standard solid outing. It was Kelly's shortest start of the year, but he's now allowed two or fewer runs in each of his first four appearances in 2024. The veteran righty also set a new season high by forcing 13 swinging strikes. He'll carry a 2.19 ERA into his next start, which is lined up to be in San Francisco this weekend.
Read More News
Pitching Stats
Loading Pitching Stats...
2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2024 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Sorare
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2023 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Sorare
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2022 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Sorare
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2021 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Sorare
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2020 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Sorare
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2019 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Sorare
Loading Pitching Game Log...
Minor League Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Loading Minor League Pitching Game Log...
Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
90
Last 10 Games
90
Last 5 Games
90
How many pitches does Merrill Kelly 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 Merrill Kelly 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 2022
 
 
-1%
BAA vs LHP
2024
 
 
-21%
BAA vs LHP
2023
 
 
-4%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-2%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2022vs Left .221 778 168 80 152 34 4 24
Since 2022vs Right .224 840 217 56 175 38 1 20
2024vs Left .175 45 7 4 7 1 0 1
2024vs Right .222 47 14 2 10 1 0 2
2023vs Left .218 361 90 38 69 11 3 11
2023vs Right .226 361 97 31 74 19 0 9
2022vs Left .229 372 71 38 76 22 1 12
2022vs Right .224 432 106 23 91 18 1 9
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2022
 
 
-29%
ERA at Home
2024
 
 
-36%
ERA at Home
2023
 
 
-36%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-19%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2022Home 2.74 1.07 216.2 11 10 0 9.3 2.9 0.9
Since 2022Away 3.87 1.24 186.0 16 6 0 7.7 3.2 1.1
2024Home 1.93 0.75 18.2 1 0 0 8.2 1.4 1.4
2024Away 3.00 1.50 6.0 1 0 0 6.0 4.5 0.0
2023Home 2.59 1.02 93.2 5 5 0 10.2 3.5 0.9
2023Away 4.07 1.38 84.0 7 3 0 8.7 3.5 1.2
2022Home 3.02 1.17 104.1 5 5 0 8.8 2.7 0.8
2022Away 3.75 1.10 96.0 8 3 0 7.0 2.8 1.1
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Merrill Kelly 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
3.50
 
K/9
7.7
 
BB/9
2.2
 
HR/9
1.1
 
Fastball
92.5 mph
 
ERA
2.19
 
WHIP
0.93
 
BABIP
.224
 
GB/FB
1.26
 
Left On Base
90.4%
 
Swinging Strike
11.4%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
Loading Advanced Pitching Stats...
Defensive Stats
Loading MLB Defensive Stats...
Stats Vs Today's Lineup
Want more matchup stats?
Loading Matchup Stats...
Our full team depth charts are reserved for RotoWire subscribers.
Subscribe Now
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Merrill Kelly See More
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Fun in Small Samples
4 days ago
Todd Zola presents the weekly pitcher rankings, and with all the pitcher injuries it’s almost fitting that Tyler Glasnow is leading the rankings.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: To Stream or Not To Stream
11 days ago
Zack Wheeler headlines the Weekly Pitcher Rankings, presented by Todd Zola.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: One at a Time
18 days ago
Corbin Burnes and Spencer Strider lead the contingent of starters in the Weekly Pitcher rankings set by Todd Zola.
MLB DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Friday, March 29
19 days ago
The first Friday Yahoo MLB DS slate features plenty to choose from, including a D-Backs stack against the Rockies.
MLB Picks: Expert MLB Picks for Friday, March 29
19 days ago
The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies start their season a day late, while the Dodgers see what encore performance they can put on in Michael Rathburn's MLB Picks and Expert Bets for Friday, March 29.
Latest Fantasy Rumors
Staying put
PArizona Diamondbacks
August 2, 2022
Arizona has decided not to deal Kelly, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
ANALYSIS
Kelly is having a breakout season, posting a 2.87 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and allowing just seven homers in 125.1 innings. The Mets had previously been rumored to be interested in Kelly as he's under contract for two more seasons. The 33-year-old and Zac Gallen could provide a solid 1-2 punch in the Diamondbacks' rotation for the next couple of seasons.
See All MLB Rumors
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
This past season may go down as a career year for Kelly, but that's not to say he's unworthy of consideration for 2023. It will just be tough for him to repeat that level of run prevention over 200 innings. When he's on, Kelly can keep hitters guessing with his diverse repertoire -- he throws his four-seamer, changeup, cutter, sinker and curveball all at least 13% of the time. The stuff has not translated to strikeouts since Kelly made the jump from the Korea Baseball Organization years ago (career 20.8 K%), but he limits walks and can induce manageable contact for the defense behind him. Now 34 years old, Kelly may be on the verge of some age-related decline. Add in that he was pitching over his skis last season and Kelly seems likely to be overlooked in many leagues. Be ready to cut bait if the performance craters, but Kelly is very much in the mix to stream in favorable matchups to begin the season.
Kelly defied the odds with a successful return following surgery to remedy Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Successful is relative, meaning Kelly exhibited nearly identical skills to 2019, his last full, healthy campaign. However, those skills translate to a below average pitcher with a pedestrian strikeout rate, supported by a mediocre 9% swinging strike mark. Kelly throws five pitches with only his curve (12.5%) and changeup (17.5%) topping a double-digit swinging strike level, but combined he throws them about one-third of the time. A tweak in mix could miss more bats, but even if it manifested, the impact isn't worth chasing in Kelly's age-34 campaign. Sure, take a shot in draft and hold, but there are better options for a roster spot in standard formats.
Kelly had a decent return to stateside baseball in 2019 after a successful KBO career, and was having a rather nice start to 2020 until something did not feel right five starts into the season. Examinations revealed Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which required surgery in September. The track record of full recovery from the surgery is not great -- just ask Tyson Ross, Matt Harvey, Mike Foltynewicz and Alex Cobb among others. Yet, Arizona still picked up Kelly's $5.25 million option for 2021 believing that Kelly will make a full recovery and be a contributor in some capacity. You do not need to make any sort of investment in the pitcher until you see some positive results from his post-surgery self. A first-year return to a similar skill level is incredibly unlikely.
Kelly, who signed with Arizona last December following a four-year stint in the KBO, led the Diamondbacks with 183.1 innings in 2019, though he struggled with consistency, going 13-14 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.32 WHIP across 32 starts. Kelly allowed too much loud contact (9.5 Barrel% and 42.2 Hard%), which, coupled with his flyball tendencies, resulted in a 1.4 HR/9. He also showed noticeable home/away splits, performing much better at home -- likely due in part to Chase Field's humidor. The righty flashed an uptick in velocity in his first four starts in September, resulting in a 1.00 ERA and 9.3 K/9. His final start of the year was not so pretty, but it was a strong finish overall and that should have him pretty well locked into a rotation spot for 2020. Keep an eye on his velocity in spring training, because if Kelly maintains the increased velo, he could be a significant profit earner as a late-round pick.
Kelly signed with Arizona and will get a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation after three seasons playing in South Korea's top professional league. An eighth-round draft pick by Tampa Bay, he got as far as Triple-A, where he had a 2.76 ERA and 8.5 K/9 in 2014, before going overseas. Kelly thrived in the KBO with a 3.80 ERA in four seasons while leading the SK Wyverns to the 2017 championship. His 4.09 ERA from 2017 doesn't look great, but it ranked in the top 10 in a hitter-friendly league, and he had a 9.0 K/9 with outstanding control (2.1 BB/9). Kelly says his velocity improved while in South Korea to the low-90s from the high-80s while in Triple-A. He'll be trying to make a unique transition as few players have moved to Major League Baseball from the KOB, and he's also doing so without any major-league experience. He's a fantasy baseball wild card.
More Fantasy News
Earns second win
PArizona Diamondbacks
April 10, 2024
Kelly (2-0) got the win over the Rockies on Tuesday, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out four.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Solid over seven frames
PArizona Diamondbacks
April 3, 2024
Kelly did not factor into the decision Wednesday, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk over seven innings in a 6-5 loss to the Yankees. He struck out four.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Dominates in victory
PArizona Diamondbacks
March 29, 2024
Kelly (1-0) struck out eight and allowed one run on three hits and no walks over 6.2 innings Friday in the Diamondbacks' 7-3 win over the Rockies.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Logs strong third spring outing
PArizona Diamondbacks
March 19, 2024
Kelly allowed four hits and one walk while striking out seven over 3.1 innings in Monday's spring start against Oakland.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Features changeup in second start
PArizona Diamondbacks
March 14, 2024
Kelly allowed two runs on five hits and struck out four over three innings in Wednesday's spring start against the Rockies.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.