The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Breakout Pitchers Who Could Pull a Freddy Peralta – Part 2

It’s a fun exercise to find breakout pitchers for 2022. Last week, we examined breakout pitchers who could pull a Freddy Peralta-like season. You can find the brief breakdown of Peralta pre-2021 with some basic thresholds that we’ll review here.

Things look bleak now but there will be baseball in 2022! Why not get a head start and jump in a Fantrax Classic Draft contest? Get a jump on the season with a Best Ball league or maybe a Draft and Hold. Or put some green on the line with a new season-long league to try and conquer. There’s no better time than now to get your baseball on!

What’s the Freddy Peralta threshold?

With that overview of Freddy Peralta from 2018-2020, what’s the threshold for finding possible breakout pitchers? Keep in mind that some of these thresholds feel a bit arbitrary. However, we’re looking for a pitcher who appeared as a starter and reliever. Some other standards include a higher strikeout rate, an underwhelming ERA, and at least one quality pitch or maybe two.

A couple of other ADP benchmarks includes finding a pitcher after 200. For reference, the 2021 Main Event ADP for Peralta sat at 186, with an overall NFBC ADP at 289. In my TGFBI league, I drafted Peralta in round 23 at pick 340. So that gives us a wide range of pitchers to consider, although we might dig a little deeper into the player pool.

That said, let’s dive into three more potential breakout pitchers for 2022. We’ll probably have a third installment of the breakout pitchers next week. If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment or message me.

Breakout Pitchers Who Could Pull a Freddy Peralta – Part 2

Tylor Megill (SP – NYM)

Admittedly, Tylor Megill wasn’t on my radar before the 2021 season. At 25 years old, Megill made his major league debut with a 4.52 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 89 2/3 innings pitched. Megill’s 26.1% strikeout rate and 7.1% walk rate stood out that looked similar to the 21.3% K-BB% throughout his minor league career.

breakout pitchers

Unfortunately, Megill allowed too many home runs, evidenced by the 1.91 HR/9 and 18.8% HR/FB%. If the HR/FB% regresses, it could reflect an ERA below 4.00 like the 3.92 xFIP. Granted, it’s a small sample, but Megill’s HR/9 sat at 0.36 in the minors.

Megill’s Stuff

Although Tylor Megill’s K-BB% looks solid, the stuff stands out with an 18.2% swinging-strike rate on the changeup, plus 15.4% for the slider. Megill pounds the zone with the four-seamer, evidenced by the 61.6% Zone%, but unfortunately, the results looked mediocre with a .261 BA, .494 SLG, and .353 wOBA. Only Megill’s four-seamer possesses above-average movement with 2.4 inches more horizontally versus the average four-seamer.

Hopefully, Megill improves the four-seamer since the slider and changeup performed decently from a whiff standpoint. Unfortunately, from a wOBA allowed perspective, Megill’s changeup ended with a .342, yet a .266 wOBA on the slider.

Megill’s 2022 Outlook

In 2021, Tylor Megill displayed solid control given the K-BB%, and the Swing-Take Visuals reflect that with a -7 Run-Value in the heart, plus a -8 Run-Value in the shadow areas. Let’s hope Megill builds upon his rookie season for an improved 2022.

The Mets brought in Max Scherzer for 2022, and Megill currently projects as their SP5 with Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, and Carlos Carrasco there. deGrom’s injury worries us, plus Carrasco dealt with his fair share of injuries too. Megill’s early-season ADP sits outside the top-300 picks near Carrasco, Eric Lauer, and Zack Greinke amongst pitchers.

From an innings pitched standpoint, the early STEAMER projections give Megill a bump from 89 2/3 to 115 in 2022. However, the projected ERA of 3.84 and 1.23 WHIP looks appealing, plus a similar 17.7% K-BB%. If Megill can limit the home runs, maintain the control, and provide 120+ quality innings, there’s a slight chance he ends as one of the breakout pitchers like Freddy Peralta.

The quality of contact stunk from late August that aligns with the home runs, evidenced by the 6.5% barrel rate from June 23 – August 18, and then it ballooned to 15.6%. However, the K-BB% remained similar, plus the zone contact and swinging-strike rates looked near identical. That indicates the skills with some regression should help Megill in 2022.

Adbert Alzolay (P – CHC)

After a tiny sample of 33 and 2/3 innings pitched for Adbert Alzolay in 2019 and 2020, Alzolay’s ratios of a 4.54 ERA and 1.40 WHIP looked gross. Part of the awful WHIP involved the 15% walk rate with a higher 28.6% strikeout rate. Alzolay’s breaking pitch remained his best whiff pitch, with a 14.3% swinging-strike rate in 2019, then 18.9% in 2020.

Again, since we’re dealing with a tiny sample, we’ll focus on the 2021 season with a career-high 125 2/3 innings, which he nearly reached back in 2016 at Single-A. One of the concerns with Alzolay involved injuries and innings pitched. In 2021, Alzolay landed on the injured list twice with a hamstring strain and a blister on his finger. However, he dealt with a biceps issue, lat strain, and an ankle injury in past seasons.

The early Draft Champions ADP of 336 indicates fantasy managers have concerns with the skills and injuries. However, Alzolay sits near other injured starters with Elieser Hernández, Sixto Sánchez, and Tony Gonsolin.

Alzolay’s 2021 Season

Although Adbert Alzolay finished with a 4.58 ERA, he possessed a quality 1.16 WHIP with a 24.7% strikeout rate and 6.6% walk rate in 125 2/3 innings. Alzolay’s WHIP plus the lowered walk rate appears notable since he struggled with walks in the past. For reference, Alzolay finished with a 32.3% strikeout rate and 11% walk rate in 65 1/3 innings at Triple-A in 2019. However, throughout Alzolay’s entire minor league career, he averages a 22.1% strikeout rate and 7.2% walk rate.

The BABIP remained low at .266 with a reasonable 73.3% LOB% in 2021. However, one glaring issue for Alzolay involved giving up home runs, evidenced by the 21.9% HR/FB% and 1.79 HR/9. Amongst Alzolay’s 25 home runs given up, 20 of them came against lefties with a .384 wOBA.

After Adbert Alzolay’s first start in June, the home runs, BABIP, and LOB% regressed. Unfortunately, Alzolay’s K-BB% dropped from 21.1% to 15.4% in the seasonal splits. Early in the season, the super low BABIP looked unsustainable. However, Alzolay typically boasted a lower BABIP throughout his career. The pitch mix adjustment looks interesting since he relied on the fastball and slider 92.5% of the time. From June 7, Alzolay’s slider usage dipped to 33.3% since he threw the cutter (11%) and changeup (9.6%) more often.

If we narrow down the final eight appearances as a reliever, Alzolay looked dominant with a 28% strikeout rate and 2.7% walk rate. The 90.4% LOB% looked unsustainable, but he limited the home runs with 0.47/9 during that stretch. Unsurprisingly, Alzolay’s fastball velocity went up to 95.2 mph as a reliever compared to 93.7 mph as a starter.

Alzolay’s Pitch Mix & Results

The best pitch for Adbert Alzolay includes the breaking pitch. In 2021, Alzolay relied on the slider for a career-high 39.8% of the time. The sinker (27%) and four-seamer (18.5%) remain the two other pitches thrown at a double-digit rate.

When a pitcher uses their best pitch more often with positive results, it warrants increased intrigue as a breakout pitcher candidate. Unsurprisingly, when Alzolay struggled, the slider usage also dipped by over 10%. The lowered slider usage plus giving up more home runs looks like the culprit for the second-half struggles. Outside of the 17.4% swinging-strike rate, .242 wOBA allowed for Alzolay stands out. From a movement standpoint, Alzolay’s slider possesses 2.8 inches more than average horizontal movement to elicit weak contact.

As a pitcher who struggled with control and command, Alzolay notably increased the zone rate on the four-seamer, sinker, and slider. Alzolay’s four-seamer with a 59.9% Zone% jumped from 50% in 2020. Meanwhile, the zone rate on the sinker increased to 61% from 53.8% in 2020. Regardless, it’s a small sample in 2019 and 2020 for Alzolay, but the improved Zone% on all pitches reminds us of Robbie Ray in 2021. The stuff for Alzolay might not be as nasty. However, in theory, a pitcher with below-average command should throw their pitches more in the zone.

Alzolay’s 2022 Value

Early STEAMER projections have Adbert Alzolay close to his 2021 season with a 4.31 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 24% strikeout rate, and 8.3% walk rate in 127 innings. However, Alzolay’s WHIP jumps because the walk rate and BABIP regressed and increased based on the projections. Meanwhile, Alzolay’s home rate projects to drop to 1.30 compared to 1.79.

The notable changes to latch onto for optimism include positive regression in the home run rate, increased slider usage, and improved zone rate on all pitches. Furthermore, the Statcast Swing-Take Visuals provide evidence of Alzolay’s success in the heart and shadow areas of the zone compared to the small sample in 2019 and 2020.

On the flip side, there’s a chance Alzolay appears in relief in 2022, which limits the innings pitched. However, Alzolay performed well as a reliever late in 2021. Although injuries remain a concern with Alzolay, the ADP around pick 330 in Draft Champions leagues over the past couple of weeks make it worth the selection. Like Freddy Peralta, Alzolay throws an above-average breaking pitch in the slider, although the fastball remains the difference-maker for Peralta.

Drew Rasmussen (P – TB)

Dave Swan (@davithius) deserves props for this potential breakout pitcher in Drew Rasmussen. My personal bias thought of Rasmussen as a reliever, but he made ten starts in 2021, all of them with the Rays. However, none of Rasmussen’s games started went more than five innings. Rasmussen also made 18 starts in 2019 at Double-A.

Like Adbert Alzolay, we’re dealing with small samples for Drew Rasmussen, who compiled 76 innings with a 2.84 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Rasmussen finished with a 23.8% strikeout rate and 8.1% walk rate, plus a .255 BABIP and 73.3% LOB%.

Although it’s a smaller sample with the Brewers, Rasmussen performed better with the Rays in relief and as a starter. It appears the pitch mix slightly adjusted with an increase in the slider usage by 5%. However, we also notice the fortune with the BABIP and LOB% for Rasmussen with the Rays will likely regress.

Rasmussen’s Pitch Mix & Results

Drew Rasmussen heavily relies on two pitches 95% of the time with the four-seamer (65%) and slider (30%). Even in 2020, Rasmussen used the four-seamer (68.2%), plus both breaking pitches in the slider (17.5%) and curve (10.3%). Rasmussen’s four-seamer and slider performed well from a wOBA allowed standpoint in 2021, evidenced by the .278 wOBA for the four-seamer and .183 allowed on the slider.

Rasmussen’s four-seamer and slider elicited an almost identical swinging-strike rate over 11% in 2021. Although that’s not outstanding, Rasmussen pounds the four-seamer with a 61.6% zone rate. Meanwhile, Rasmussen’s slider seems to give up too much contact with a 94.1% Z-Contact% for a pitch he throws in the zone 36.5% of the time. The overall Contact% isn’t bad at 72%, but it’s clear a ton of his contact comes via Z-Contact%.

However, the movement for Rasmussen’s top two pitches looks filthy, especially vertically. Rasmussen’s slider boasts 5.3 inches more than the average, which should lead to more whiffs moving forward. The four-seamer possesses above-average vertical movement, with 1.2 inches more rise. Amongst all four-seamers in 2021, Rasmussen finished with a -14 Run-Value (No. 14) tied with Zack Wheeler and Tyler Matzek. Rasmussen checks a box in the breakout pitchers’ arbitrary threshold of one or two quality pitches.

breakout pitchers

We also love that Rasmussen thrives in the heart and shadow areas of the zone via the negative Run-Values and whiff rates. However, we’re dealing with small samples of most coming in relief. Sometimes pitchers thrive in a relief role with added velocity and swinging-strike rates. That’s what happened with Rasmussen, with a fastball velocity of 97.6 mph, mostly in relief compared to 96.4 mph in the final eight starts. Also, the swinging-strike rate dropped 3%, from 12.3% to 9.1%.

breakout pitchers

It’s concerning to see Rasmussen’s swinging-strike rate fall off at the end of 2021. However, he succeeded based on limiting the BABIP and stranding runners.

breakout pitchers

Rasmussen’s 2022 Value

STEAMER projects Drew Rasmussen for 148 innings pitched with a 3.91 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 24% strikeout rate, and 9.3% walk rate. The WHIP stands out because it ended up at 1.08 in 2021. Although STEAMER projects the BABIP to regress to .293 from .255, the LOB% looks almost identical at 73.4%. The innings would double from the 2021 season, with 24 projected starts out of 41 total appearances. Unfortunately, Rasmussen’s usage may be limited to five innings as a starter.

The positives include the four-seamer velocity, plus the vertical movement. We also love the above-average drop on the slider that should increase the whiff rates in 2022. Overall, Rasmussen’s stuff looks legitimate, but we need more reliability in terms of innings pitched. Although Rasmussen struggles with command, the arsenal and improvement make him one of the breakout pitchers.

In December, Rasmussen’s 277 ADP in Draft Champions leagues now jumped to inside the top-250 picks through two-plus weeks in January. The ADP market is sharp, and Rasmussen fits into the Aaron Ashby or Tanner Houck mold where there’s some relief risk. Some already named Ashby and Houck as breakout pitchers for 2022. However, Rasmussen and Ashby have almost identical ADP’s and Roster Resource projects Rasmussen in the Rays starting rotation as of mid-January. Regardless of what we think about Roster Resource, don’t sleep on Rasmussen’s skills and team context.

Fantrax logo

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2021, and we’re not stopping now. With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at</

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.