Ray Black

33-Year-Old PitcherP
Milwaukee Brewers AAA
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Ray Black in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Traded to the Brewers in July of 2019.
Scrubbed from 40-man roster
PMilwaukee Brewers  AAA
March 30, 2021
The Brewers outrighted Black to their alternate training site Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
Black will remain with the organization after he wasn't claimed by any of baseball's other 29 teams upon being exposed to waivers. The hard-throwing righty reliever has shown some intriguing skills during his time in the Giants and Brewers organizations, but injuries have prevented him from establishing himself as a mainstay in the big leagues.
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2020
2019
2018
2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2021
2020
2019
2017
2016
Velocity is the name of the game with Black, and unfortunately, he's dealt with the arm trouble that often accompanies that gift. He was limited to just three appearances in 2020 as a result of shoulder tightness, eventually diagnosed as a strained right rotator cuff. A torn labrum cost Black multiple years early on in his professional career, and he battled elbow problems in 2016 and 2017 before missing time in 2019 with a right forearm strain. His trademark velocity was down in his brief time on the field in 2020, from 98-99 mph to around 95-96. The long medical report is working against him, but Milwaukee could have itself a dynamic, back-end weapon if Black were to stay. Players do not typically experience better luck on the injury front after turning 30.
After injuries delayed his development, Black debuted in the majors in 2018 as a 27-year-old. He flashed upside (33 strikeouts in 23.1 innings) but ultimately returned to Triple-A Sacramento to open the 2019 season. Black spent most of his time in the minors -- making just two appearances with the Giants -- before being traded to the Brewers at the end of July. The hard-throwing reliever made 15 appearances for Milwaukee down the stretch, posting a 5.14 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 14 innings. While Black misses a lot of bats thanks to his high-90s fastball, he'll need to whittle down his walk and home-run rates -- 11.5 BB% and 2.06 HR/9 through two big-league seasons -- if he wants to realize his potential as a high-leverage reliever. He'll enter spring training with the chance to carve out a key role for himself in Milwaukee's bullpen.
After elbow surgery cost him most of 2017, Black returned to pitch 23.1 innings in his big-league debut. His fastball, which averaged 97.9 mph, helped him to an impressive 34.7% strikeout rate and a decent 3.98 FIP. An incredibly low 53.6% strand rate inflated his ERA to an ugly 6.17. Assuming that strand rate normalizes, Black will have a chance to provide an ERA in the high 3.00s to go along with a high strikeout rate, which could give him deep-league fantasy value. He could even put himself in the closer conversation for the rebuilding Giants now that his walk rate sits at a manageable 10.5% rather than above 22% like it was in the minors from 2015 to 2017. He won't be in the saves mix to start the year, but keep him in mind should the Giants move relievers at the deadline.
The oft-injured flamethrower finished the 2016 campaign in a familiar place, on the disabled list. The Giants moved him to the 60-day DL after he proved ineffective at Double-A Richmond, posting a 4.88 ERA in 35 appearances out of the bullpen. The reason the Giants keep rolling Black out there despite an atrocious 7.2 BB/9 career mark is his strikeout potential (17.2 K/9) and ability to hit triple digits with his fastball. It is also the reason they moved him to the 60-day DL when they needed roster space; they did not want other teams claiming Black off of waivers in case he finally figured out how to control his overpowering arsenal. Even though the Giants struggled closing out games in 2016, it is unlikely they call up Black until he gets his minor league walk rate down to a reasonable level.
Black put up some eye-opening numbers with High-A San Jose in 2015. This should come as no surprise from a guy who can throw 103 mph. Black finished with a solid 2.88 ERA to go along with a ridiculous 18.4 K/9 (after posting an 18.1 K/9 in 2014), but also managed to walk a batter per inning. He is obviously all "stuff" at this point, and he will need to bring that horrendous walk rate down — even if it is at the expense of some strikeouts — if Black wants to sniff the majors this season. While he started five games last season, he projects more as a mid-to-late inning reliever. Look for him to begin the 2016 season in the minors despite being added to the 40-man roster in November.
More Fantasy News
Back in action
PMilwaukee Brewers  AAA
March 26, 2021
Black (elbow) threw a scoreless inning of relief in Thursday's exhibition game.
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Expected to pitch Thursday
PMilwaukee Brewers  AAA
Elbow
March 23, 2021
Black (elbow) appears on track to rejoin the Brewers' Cactus League pitching schedule Thursday against the Giants, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
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Set to throw live batting practice
PMilwaukee Brewers  AAA
Elbow
March 21, 2021
Black (elbow) is scheduled to throw live batting practice Monday, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
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Nearing return to mound
PMilwaukee Brewers  AAA
Elbow
March 14, 2021
Black (elbow) is expected to resume throwing off a mound by the end of the week, Will Sammon of The Athletic reports.
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Battling elbow inflammation
PMilwaukee Brewers  AAA
Elbow
March 9, 2021
Manager Craig Counsell said Black won't throw for the next few days while he recovers from elbow inflammation, Will Sammon of The Athletic reports.
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