Fantasy Outlook: Carlos Rodon
Mark Buehrle in 1998. Chris Sale in 2010. The Chicago White Sox have a recent history of drafting left-handed, starting pitchers who go on to make history. For example, in 2005, Buehrle helped the White Sox win their first World Series title in 88 years. Last season, Sale struck out 10+ hitters in eight consecutive games, tying Pedro Martinez’s major league record. He also set the franchise record in strikeouts with 274.
With the third overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, the White Sox selected Carlos Rodon, a left-handed, starting pitcher out of North Carolina State.
2015 Season Recap
Rodon’s first season with the White Sox was a success. After being called up in April, Rodon started 23 games. He went 9-6 with a 3.75 ERA. He also posted a K/9 of 9.0. However, Rodon did struggle with walks. He recorded a BB/9 of 4.6, the highest among major league starters.
Toward the end of the season, Rodon was the White Sox best starter. In his final eight starts, Rodon went 5-2 with a 1.81 ERA.
2016 Projections and ECR
According to our Expert Consensus Rankings, Rodon ranks 165th overall, one spot ahead of John Lackey. He ranks 66th among pitchers and possesses an ADP of 175. He is projected to go 9-9 with a 3.85 ERA.
Rodon will likely finish with an ERA between 3.50 and 4.00. Don’t be surprised, however, if he wins more than just nine games. Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie should help boost an offense that ranked 28th in runs scored in 2015. Also, 63 percent of FantasyPros Experts rank Rodon at or better than his current ADP.
2016 Season Outlook
Rodon is a fantasy sleeper and has the potential to be the biggest steal of this year’s draft.
His upside relies heavily on his ability to strike hitters out. Rodon possesses a devastating slider that ranges from 79.8-93.3 mph. In 2015, batters averaged just .150 against it and swung at it 50.7 percent of time. Opponents swung and missed at it 18.7 percent of the time, more than any of his other pitches. Hitters also swung at it 40.4 percent of the time when Rodon located it outside of the strike zone.
Will Rodon win the Cy Young Award this year? Probably not. Even so, he’s worth the gamble, especially if you already have drafted an ace or are in a keeper league.