Addison Reed was dominant last season for the Mets. But, what makes his fantasy value so intriguing heading into 2017?
The Mets are loaded with young pitching talent but outside of Jeurys Familia, they lacked a big time backend arm. But, in August of 2015, the Mets took a gamble and traded for Addison Reed from the Diamondbacks. Reed had 104 career saves up to that point, but his inconsistency had been the storyline of his career.
After being sent to the minors in 2015, Reed knew that something had to give. Reed stands in at 6’4 and he had an exaggerated crossfire delivery. But, after slightly tweaking his mechanics so that he came over the top more, thus eliminating the extra movement in his delivery, he turned things around.
That adjustment saw him post a 1.17 ERA over 15 innings in 2015 with the Mets and laid the groundwork for the career-best season he would have in 2016. He finished last season with a 1.97 ERA/0.94 WHIP/91 K/40 holds line over 77 innings. He morphed into one of the best set-up men in baseball and was one of the better waiver wire RP adds of the season.
Reed’s numbers and peripherals were all career bests across the board. His 1.97 FIP and 2.89 XFIP support his success. The most notable change in his game was the nearly two walk drop in his BB/9. Reed would routinely work himself into trouble which plagued hm for most of his career. By attacking the strike zone more, career-high 70% first strike rate, he was able to utilize his wipeout slider more effectively.
The improvement in command led to his 10.5 SO/9 and his minuscule WHIP. All signs point fantasy owners to believe that the mechanical change is the cause for his success. The K upside may be tempered some by Reed’s fastball only sitting in the 92-94 mph range, but his slider is still as nasty as ever as he forced a 20%+ Whiff rate with it last season.
In terms of his fantasy value in 2017, Reed is one of the better holds options available. But, the intrigue this season comes at the expense of Jeurys Familia’s looming suspension. Familia will surely be hit with a suspension for his domestic violence incident in the offseason. Thus, prompting Reed to be the assumed closer for at least the first month of the season.
Owners in holds leagues now have the opportunity to get an RP coming off a career-best season, will get holds and save chances this season and happens to be in a great relief situation with the Mets’ rotation. This is not to say that he is a top-10 RP this season, but he potentially has the ability to be a great producer in terms of holds and even saves in the early going.
Fantasy owners may be scared off of the Addison Reed of years prior who was a headache to own each week. But, the mechanical fix has proven to show immediate results. Those in holds leagues should have Reed near the top of their sheets behind guys like Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. He can be had for a cheaper price tag, though, making him a great late round target. Believe in Reed.