Neal Cotts

Neal Cotts

43-Year-Old PitcherP
 Free Agent  
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Neal Cotts in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals in January of 2017.
Reassigned to minor-league camp
PWashington Nationals  
March 29, 2017
Cotts was reassigned to the Nationals' minor-league camp Wednesday, MLB.com's Jamal Collier reports.
ANALYSIS
Cotts was a useful bullpen piece for the Brewers and Twins in 2015, but after failing to find much success while pitching exclusively at the Triple-A level last season, he was forced to settle for a minor-league deal with the Nats in the offseason. While he threw respectably in spring training, Cotts didn't shine nearly enough for the Nationals to justify opening up a 40-man roster spot for him. Assuming he decides to stick with the organization, Cotts figures to open the campaign with Triple-A Syracuse.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Neal Cotts See More
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July 27, 2014
Though Mike Moustakas's batting average remains a concern, he still merits a higher ownership rate in mixed leagues due to his power, writes RotoWire's Andrew Martinez.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2016
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2014
2009
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2003
Cotts served mainly as a second lefty out of the bullpen for Milwaukee before he was traded in August to the Twins, where he served a similar role. He is effective against left-handed hitters as he held them to a .573 OPS last season, but he allowed an .867 OPS to right-handed batters and his platoon splits limit his usage. While his strikeout rate of 8.2 K/9 was decent, a decline in fastball velocity to an 89.9 mph average fastball show there is some concern as he turns 36 in 2016. Still, he will likely find a role as a lefty specialist again in a major league bullpen.
Cotts delivered another strong season for the Rangers in 2014, albeit with a much higher ERA than his excellent 2013 campaign. While he prevented runners from scoring at an elite (see also: lucky) 89.8% clip in 2013, his LOB% tumbled to 70.6% last season. Further, Cotts' BABIP jumped from .246 to .314, marks that straddle his career level (.287), and his strikeout rate slipped from 10.3 K/9 in 2013 to 8.5. His splits last season were very unusual, as Cotts' numbers against righties were much better than his results against lefties, and he carried an ERA nearly more than two runs lower at Arlington (3.28) than on the road (5.52). He did, however, strike out 25.3% of the left-handed batters that he faced, and will likely slot in as a LOOGY with the Brewers after inking a one-year, $3 million deal in January.
Cotts went four years between major league appearances, but finished the year as Texas' most reliable left-handed relief option after an excellent season (57 innings, 36 hits, 65:18 K:BB). He's expected to continue in that role for 2014 and provides a decent staff-filling option for those in deeper leagues as a result, although his chances of earning anything more than a sporadic situational save are very slim.
Cotts pitched well at Triple-A last year, but struggled with the long ball once he got to the majors. An unlucky hit rate exacerbated the damage, and the result was a 4.29 ERA despite otherwise solid peripherals (43:13 K:BB in 35.2 IP). Expect Cotts to fill a left-handed middle-relief role again this season.
After a good season in the White Sox bullpen in 2005, Cotts was overworked in 2006 and hasn't been the same since - in fact, he failed to impress even at Triple-A last year. As a result, he'll be battling for one of the last bullpen spots with fellow left-hander Carmen Pignatiello.
Cotts was abused in 2006. Manager Ozzie Guillen put him on the mound 38 times with no or one day of rest. It worked well for the first half of the season, when Cotts was 1-2 with a 2.95 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 36+ innings. He was gas on flames in the second half, though: 9.87 ERA, seven home runs and 14 walks in 17 innings. A nice, relaxing winter break and a move away from Guillen to the Cubs may be all Cotts needed to be a quality reliever with closer potential.
Cotts rolled through 2005 as part of the White Sox's bullpen of death, posting a scary 0.70 ERA after the All Star break. With Damaso Marte gone he'll assume the No. 1 lefty role. Ozzie Guillen didn't pigeon-hole Marte as a left specialist, and Cotts hasn't shown an extreme split in his numbers to date, so there's little reason to think Cotts' value will be stunted by single batter appearances.
Cotts started to find that elusive strike zone in 2004, but the result was a lot of balls flying over the fence. He's still young and still fairly talented though, so there's every reason to think the improvements will keep coming. He'll work out of the bullpen before getting another shot at the rotation.
With visions of Dontrelle Willis dancing in their heads, the White Sox brain trust promoted Cotts to the majors last year and watched him issue 17 free passes in 13 1/3 innings. His numbers in Double-A for the year are eye-popping (2.16 ERA, 133 K's in 108 1/3 innings), but he had control issues (56 BB's) even before the ill-advised call-up. The timetable on his permanent arrival to the bigs is still around 2005.
Lefty will have to prove himself at Double-A before we need to start paying attention here. 178 strikeouts in 137.2 innings at Modesto shows promise, but no overpowering stuff here to get too worked up about. The Texas League will tell us a lot about his future.
More Fantasy News
Signs with Nationals
PWashington Nationals  
January 13, 2017
Cotts signed a minor league deal with the Nationals on Thursday that includes an invitation to spring training, The Washington Post reports.
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PTexas Rangers  
June 20, 2016
Cotts' minor league contract was selected by the Rangers, and he was assigned to Triple-A Round Rock.
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PFree Agent  
June 13, 2016
Cotts was released by the Yankees on Monday, Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reports.
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PFree Agent  
May 20, 2016
Cotts signed a minor league contract with the Yankees on Friday and will be assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
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PFree Agent  
May 18, 2016
Cotts opted out of his minor-league deal with the Angels on Wednesday.
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