Merrill Kelly

Merrill Kelly

34-Year-Old PitcherSP
Arizona Diamondbacks
2023 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a two-year, $18 million extension with a team option for a third season with the Diamondbacks in April of 2022.
Quality start in Milwaukee
PArizona Diamondbacks
October 6, 2022
Kelly did not factor into the decision Wednesday, allowing one run on four hits and two walks over six innings in a 4-2 victory over the Brewers. He struck out seven.
ANALYSIS
Kelly allowed only one extra-base hit in the form of a double from Victor Caratini and allowed his only run on an RBI groundout to tie the game in the fifth inning. The righty had struggled in the seven starts prior to this one, posting a 5.32 ERA over 44 innings. Still, it was a strong season for the 33-year-old, who finished with a 3.37 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 177:61 K:BB across 200.1 innings.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
93
Last 10 Games
95
Last 5 Games
94
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 2020
 
 
-11%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-2%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-21%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-32%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2020vs Left .227 745 138 61 154 39 3 21
Since 2020vs Right .255 851 198 46 202 38 3 26
2022vs Left .229 372 71 38 76 22 1 12
2022vs Right .224 432 106 23 91 18 1 9
2021vs Left .235 319 55 21 69 15 2 7
2021vs Right .296 348 75 20 94 16 2 14
2020vs Left .173 54 12 2 9 2 0 2
2020vs Right .254 71 17 3 17 4 0 3
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-22%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-19%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-27%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-26%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2020Home 3.28 1.16 200.1 10 10 0 8.2 2.3 0.8
Since 2020Away 4.23 1.22 189.1 13 11 0 7.3 2.7 1.4
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
2021Home 3.78 1.15 83.1 4 4 0 7.5 1.9 0.8
2021Away 5.18 1.45 74.2 3 7 0 7.4 2.8 1.7
2020Home 2.13 1.11 12.2 1 1 0 7.8 1.4 1.4
2020Away 2.89 0.91 18.2 2 1 0 8.7 1.4 1.4
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
2.90
 
K/9
8.0
 
BB/9
2.7
 
HR/9
0.9
 
Fastball
92.7 mph
 
ERA
3.37
 
WHIP
1.14
 
BABIP
.273
 
GB/FB
1.32
 
Left On Base
76.0%
 
Exit Velocity
82.2 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
6.1%
 
Spin Rate
2294 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
23.0%
 
Swinging Strike
10.2%
 
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 Merrill Kelly
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47 days ago
James Anderson provides a way too early top 300 rankings for those who have the itch to start drafting for 2023.
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60 days ago
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62 days ago
Chris Morgan looks over Wednesday's slate and notes that Shohei Ohtani adds some star power on the mound to the final day of the regular season.
DraftKings MLB: Wednesday Breakdown
62 days ago
Dan Marcus takes us through the final day of the regular season Wednesday, recommending a Padres stack against the Giants.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Wednesday Picks
62 days ago
It’s the final day of the regular season, and Mike Barner has your picks for a loaded slate.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
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
Hit hard Friday
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 30, 2022
Kelly (13-8) allowed eight runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out two over 4.2 innings, taking the loss Friday versus the Giants.
ANALYSIS
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Shooting for 200 innings
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 25, 2022
Kelly is expected to get two more starts over the final nine games of the season, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Goes seven innings in win
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 25, 2022
Kelly (13-7) earned the win during Saturday's 5-2 victory over San Francisco, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings.
ANALYSIS
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Done in by Dodgers again
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 20, 2022
Kelly (12-7) took the loss against the Dodgers on Monday, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven batters over six innings.
ANALYSIS
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Erratic in loss
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 13, 2022
Kelly (12-6) took the loss during Tuesday's 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Dodgers, allowing three runs on five hits and five walks with eight strikeouts in five innings.
ANALYSIS
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