One of the most important parts of preseason fantasy baseball draft prep is not stopping yourself from wherever the stats take you. That’s easier said than done. A lot of times you’ll see an exceptional walk rate or strikeout rate or some stat calling your name, then you see who the pitcher is behind that number and you turn your nose up and remain uninterested. I know you do it, I do it. Everyone does it. “Sweet strikeout to walk rate!” Then you see the pitcher is Brady Singer, and you’re like, “As in the Royals’ pitcher? That’s gonna be a no from me, dawg,” which you say to your dog, while he licks himself. When I say I’ve been there, I’m being quite literal. Anecdotally, everywhere I look “There’s a story of a lovely lady” has one man to thank. No, not Mike. No, not Greg. Definitely not Bobby. Brady Singer has to thank Zack Greinke. At least that’s who everyone is pointing to as the reason Brady Singer took the step forward last year. By the by, what I’m finding a lot of this year with pitcher sleepers: They already broke out. I’m merely pointing it out. Last year, Brady Singer had a 8.8 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 3.23 ERA in 153 1/3 IP, and was 143rd on the Player Rater and the 44th best starter, but is being drafted after 200th overall and as close to the 60th starter. It’s pure profit, that’s super obvious. To me, at least, but I will walk you through why he can at least repeat, if not take a step forward. So, what can we expect from Brady Singer for 2023 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Psyche! Before we get into the Brady Singer sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve begun to roll out my 2023 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. Lucky you (if you pay the $10/month). Also, Rudy’s begun to roll out his 2023 fantasy baseball projections. It’s version 1.0 and there’s usually about 4500 versions but just wanted to let you know. Anyway II, the Brady Singer sleeper:
If you wanna put Brady Singer’s success at Greinke’s feet, then lay it at my man’s feet, but the third season is that sweet spot when we always* see a pitcher’s breakout. (*Not always, but always enough to say always.) In 2020, Brady Singer had a 4.06 ERA and 8.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, then followed up that goofy year with a 4.91 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 when things seemed to get derailed, but “seems” is the operative word as he had a 4.04 FIP and 4.11 xFIP and .350 BABIP and just seemed unlucky in everywhere possible. Then, last year as I went over in the opening, things came back into focus. Or he least when he pitched I wasn’t screaming “focus” regarding me and my fantasy teams. Only I didn’t say “focus,” I said the mother of all curse words.
Won’t come as a shock to hear Kauffman is as great for suppressing homers as the Royals are at suppressing payrolls. Brady Singer might have to chip in with the rest of the team for fuel for the team plane, but that’s the only thing he’s letting fly. Singer had the 11th best ground ball rate for starters with 150 IP, and gives up very few homers (roughly 1 per nine inning — shaboinkaboinka). So, let’s just do a quick recap to put the proper shine on this: Solid strikeouts (8.8 K/9), great command (2.1 BB/9) and an insane ground ball rate (49%). He strikes out some guys, walks no one, and gets the others to ground out. Where’s the damage? Where’s the downside? I’m seriously asking. Siri, hello?
Some quick hits: Brady Singer has the 15th best slider in the majors, and it’s coupled with the 24th best fastball. Little janky here, but by my count there’s only six guys with a better slider in the 23 names above him for the fastball value: Verlander, Rodon, Manoah, Darvish, Gerrit Cole, and Luis Castillo. Not a terrible list of starters. Brady Singer’s 2nd half ERA was 2.53 in 81 2/3 IP vs. 4.02 in the 1st half in 71 2/3 IP. Also, and perhaps the most amazing stat: Brady Singer is 2nd in the league for all starters for amount of swings a hitter takes at balls inside the strike zone, and following that to its logical conclusion, he’s 2nd in the majors for the most called strikes. Think about what that means. Please, go into your brain custard and really think about it. A guy that throws a ton of strikes and hitters don’t know to swing the bat. That’s prolly the best stat I’ve heard across all the fantasy baseball sleepers. Again, this Singer was already belting out Hava Nagila, because he had his Star Mitzvah last year. I’m merely here telling you he’s a fantasy baseball sleeper because he’s being drafted around 200th overall. Remind me again why you need to draft a starter early. (Don’t remind me. I don’t want to hear it!) For 2023, I’ll give Brady Singer projections 10-7/3.53/1.08/186 in 184 IP with a chance for much more on the ratios.