Like the Braves, the Phillies are pretty bad and finding useable fantasy assets isn’t easy. You’re picking from the bottom of the barrel to find some value. Jerad Eickhoff just might be that guy. Small sample size, but in 51 IPs last year, Eickhoff had a 2.65 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. However, the peripheral stats show a lot of luck: 3.25 FIP, 3.6 xFIP, .257 BABIP and 80.4 LOB%. He’s due for some regression, but a 3.6 ERA isn’t a terrible thing (that’s how low the standards are for this team).
Now there are some things to like about Eickhoff. Namely the 24.1 K%, 6.4 BB% and 8.9 HR/FB. All three of those stats are pitcher controlled and all three are above average. Are any of them repeatable?
The K% seems a little inflated given his MiLB performance. His career high at any level in a sample greater than 100 IP was 22.6 in 2014 at AA. He has seemed to have turned the corner in the K department, posting K rates above 20 at every stop from 2014 to present. In terms of actual whiff rate per pitch type, Eickhoff had some filth.
|% Pitch Used||47.63||10.4||19.2||15.83||6.9|
(stats from Brooksbaseball)
His changeup, curveball and in particular his slider were all pretty good at generating swings and misses. Small sample size again, but 55.56 whiff rate on the slider means that batters missed 55.56% of the time when they swung at his slider. That’s a pretty ridiculous number and isn’t likely to continue over a larger sample. Eickhoff doesn’t possess much heat (average FB of 91 mph in 2015) but has found ways to keep hitters off guard.
As with his K%, his BB% seems to be a little off from his past levels. At his last two longer stops he posted a BB% around 8. I’d guess that’s closer to what to expect moving forward than the 6.4%. He has had a decent HR rate throughout his career though, so the 8.9 HR/FB might be more legitimate than not.
Eickhoff is not an exciting player and best case scenario you’re getting slightly above average production in the major fantasy categories. However, he is likely to go undrafted, even in some deeper leagues. As a spot starter (in particular against some of the NLE teams), Eickhoff could provide some value. He should be in the Phillies opening day rotation and he might have a chance to make 20+ starts if for no other reason than the rest of the rotation is not good outside of Aaron Nola.
Steamer is projecting a 4.00 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 20.7 K% and 7.7 BB%. I’ll give Eickoff a 3.81 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 21.5 K% and 8.1 BB%. Overall this is not a guy you draft in a standard league but could provide some value as a streamer or as a flyer SP in a deeper league.