The Dodgers decided to bring back some familiar faces Monday, resigning both Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. Now back in L.A., what is the fantasy impact of their return?
Sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side.
After weighing offers from multiple suitors, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, have decided to return to the Dodgers. They retained Jansen with a five-year, $80 million deal and Turner with a four-year, $64 million contract. These two make up the other half of the Dodgers’ core, Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager are the other half, but their value to the team can not be understated.
But, does their return effect their fantasy value at all next season?
Jansen is the closest thing to a Mariano Rivera clone that we will see. Does this claim sound outlandish, probably. But, they are both lights out RP, that feature one pitch that seemingly everyone struggles with. The cutter.
Jansen pitch mix is not extensive, but it does not have to be when you get the type of results he has. By, the end of the 2016 season, he was throwing the cutter, 91% of the time, while sprinkling in a slider at only 6%.
The batting AVG against his cutter last season, and really since he started featuring the pitch, is unreal. Batters know it is coming, yet could only muster a .155 AVG against it in 2016.
This lead Jansen to post a career best, 1.83 ERA/47 SV/104 K, line. He had his hiccups along the way, 6 BS last season, but he was once against dominant. Over the last five seasons he has at least 25 SV per season, ranking him among the most reliable options in fantasy. He also has six straight seasons of 80 or more K as well. Not too bad for a converted catcher.
In terms of his fantasy value in 2017. nothing really changes. He is a top-3 RP, who should have the added benefit of a full season of Kershaw, while Julio Urias and Kenta Maeda should help stabilize the rotation. The offense could use some help, the return of Turner certainly helps, but do not overthink things next spring. He should be one of the first RP off the board.
Thank God for the leg kick.
Turner’s ascension up the ranks is a true marvel. It is in unbelievable how one mechanical change can springboard a career, but that is exactly what Turner has been able to accomplish. He wound up posting a, .275/27 HR/90 RBI/.832 OPS, line. These were easily career best outputs, and why the Dodgers’ figured they wound make the investment.
In terms of fantasy value, there were a lot of owners who may have released him early in the season, as he only mustered, 3 HR/16 RBI over the first two months of the season. It was clear that he was still trying to get over offseason knee surgery, but patience is hard to come by in fantasy sports.
But, as soon as June came, he heated up. From June till the end of the season, he hit at least .274. while posting at least 3 HR/15 RBI lines per month. He was a force for fantasy owners, and the Dodgers alike, but what should we expect from him next season?
Turner’s batted ball data speaks to a guy that has adopted the leg kick. His LD% has leveled out a solid 24%, while his FB rate climbed all the way to 40% last season. The 40% FB rate is borderline worrisome, as it could lead to a drop in his AVG, but it also buoys his HR total. He still sprays the ball over the field, and he did post a career high 38% Hard contact rate, so the arrows are still pointing up.
One area to watch though, will be how he handles LHP next season. He struggled against them mightily, to the tune of a .209 AVG. In order for him to rise into the elite status, he will have to get back to handling them like he used to.
All things said though, Turner is a top-10 3B next season, and he shapes up as a solid mid-round selection. His counting stats should be fine, and if the Dodgers can keep getting production from the top of their lineup, he could eclipse the 100+ RBI mark this season.