Who is Ken Giles?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the title being formatted as a Jeopardy™ question, the title still refers to fantasy baseball.  If Alex Trebek were to expound on his answer of Ken Giles, then it would probably go something like this.  This reliever has a 1.04 ERA, .81 WHIP, 25 K in 17.1 IP, is only owned in 2.0% of all ESPN leagues, and may be the next closer of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Ken Giles is the 2011 seventh round pick of the Phillies with a major fastball (he has reached triple digits and averages 97.1 MPH) and the makeup to be a high leverage reliever.

While all of the above information sounds great, the most pertinent information is that he could be a closer any day now.  With the Phillies well out of contention and the trade deadline mere days away, Jonathan Papelbon could be traded any day.  By the time you are reading this, it might have already happened.  If Papelbon is moved, then Giles is the logical replacement.

With that possibility looming, I would certainly consider the speculative add if you have roster space, because the upside is tremendous.  When Giles was drafted, he was a power arm with one Major League pitch and a propensity to not find the strike zone.

In 2011, Giles posted a poor 5.79 BB/9 in Rookie Ball with the Phillies.  Even last year, Ken Giles had an atrocious 6.66 BB/9 with his A+ affiliate.  Now, Giles has issued only four base on balls through 18.1 superb innings with the big league club.  In this very small sample size, the young Phillies’ reliever has become quite accurate.

Since his first game on June 12th, Giles has allowed hitters to slash .177/.227/.274 against him.  Ken Giles allowed a solo homer in his first Major League appearance, but he has only allowed a single run since then.

Furthermore, Ken Giles paired his super fastball with a nasty slider that induces punch outs left and right.  While his fastball is great, hitters simply cannot touch his electric slider.  Watch him pitch when you get the chance because his slider is just filthy.

Ken Giles has the stuff to be an elite closer.  The only problems are that the Phillies are lousy and will not get many save opportunities and that he is a not a closer (yet).  If Giles begins to get the ball in the ninth due to a Papelbon trade, then you can bet he will make the most of it.