Padres Dinelson Lamet: 2018 Starting pitcher sleeper

The Padres aren’t known for having lights-out pitchers worth drafting However, Dinelson Lamet will have sleeper status entering the 2018 season.

The San Diego Padres did not have one starting pitcher post an ERA under 3.60 this season. The starting rotation had the 23rd-best ERA with a 4.83 ERA. Is there even a pitcher worth drafting next season? I say, “Yes.” Dinelson Lamet is a deep sleeper for 2018.

Lamet made his MLB debut on May 25 and made 21 starts this season. He finished with a 4.57 ERA, 1.242 WHIP and 7-8 record. While I include it, I don’t care about the win-loss record and neither should you, unless you play in a points league where that matters.

The stat that should matter more is quality starts. He made 10 of those throughout the season. Lamet had four straight between Aug. 26 and Sept. 13. The Padres offense may not score enough runs to get their pitchers the win but the pitchers, especially Lamet, are good enough to earn a QS.

In his first season, Lamet had the highest K/9 rate on his team at 10.9. He also had a 4.25 BB/9. He had an 11.8 swinging strike rate, 30.5 O-Swing rate and 56.1 first pitch strike rate.

Lamet had a 37.1 ground ball rate, 43.1 fly ball and 14.8 HR/FB rate. Not the worst set of numbers from a rookie pitcher. If he can keep the ball on the ground more, I think an ERA more around 3.50 and WHIP of 1.10 will be possible in 2018.

Lamet went undrafted in ESPN leagues, and I’m assuming on other sites as well. He finished as the No. 83 starting pitcher on the Player Rater.

Lamet struggled early this season, posting a couple of seven-run games but settled down in the summer. From June 17 to Aug. 26, he had a 3.57 ERA, 1.088 WHIP and .186 opposing batting average.

He ranks outside my top-300 overall and top-80 starting pitchers. This makes him the perfect sleeper candidate. He will likely go undrafted again next season. He is worth an SP5 pick in NL-only or deep 16-team leagues.

Lamet is a good strikeout pitcher, throwing more than five strikeouts in 13 of his 21 starts. Three of the four National League West opponents finished in the top half in strikeouts. The NL is a good spot for him to build a report. If he can get up to 180 innings, I think he can reach 200 strikeouts with a good enough ERA.