2019 MLB Draft Guide Player Profile: Kirby Yates
Greg Jewett takes an in-depth look at San Diego Padres closer Kirby Yates to let fantasy baseball owners know what to expect during the 2019 MLB season.
With so many bullpen situations in baseball unsettled, targeting the right ones in the second or third tier will be pivotal this season. Kirby Yates ascended into the closer role once San Diego traded Brad Hand to Cleveland and finished with a flurry. He notched six saves from September ninth until the end of the season and surged in the second half. On the year, Yates won five games with 12 saves and 16 holds over 65 appearances. Within his 63 innings of work, Yates recorded a 2.14 ERA, 2.64 xFIP, 0.92 WHIP and 90 strikeouts against 17 walks.
His underlying numbers suggest his strong finish will not be a fluke. Yates racked up a 16.7 swinging strike percentage in 2018 while limiting contact to 68.3 percent. He also finished with an eye-popping O-Swing (swings and misses outside the strike zone) of 39 percent. Courtesy of Statcast, here’s Yates pitch arsenal:
Last year, Yates four-seam fastball yielded a .184 batting average, .213 expected average, a 33-slugging...