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Tejay Antone 2021 Outlook


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I'm starting to dive in to my research for the upcoming season and Tejay Antone is standing out as my favorite last round dart throw. He's currently sporting an NFBC ADP of 359 and I believe he has tremendous upside to smash that. He was never a big name on prospect lists but after missed the 2017 season due to TJ surgery, he's seen his velo remarkably rise significantly year over year. He's been working closely with Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson, who's becoming my favorite pitching coach, and has made changes to his pitch mix. He now throws a sinker that averages 96, a devastating slider, a solid curve, and an occasional changeup. Opponents hit a meager .163 off him last year. Here's what Jeff Zimmerman wrote about him in a Fangraphs Mining the News:

 Tejay Antone has the stuff to either start or be the closer.

What makes Antone special is the spin on his pitches, his fastball is in the 98th percentile in spin and his curveball is in the 95th percentile. He could be a dominant closer with those two pitches. But batters also swung and missed on nearly half (47.6 percent) of his sliders. He also threw a changeup, although sparingly, with some success.

Those 35.1 innings were impressive. Antone came in and showed that he has the ability to close, but he could also start. Whatever his role is in 2021, it will be a big part of the team’s plans.

Antone has become a must draft. Bouncing between starter and reliever last season, he ended 81st in strikeouts to go with his 2.80 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He’s got a 95 mph sinker (50% GB%) and three non-fastballs all had a swinging-strike rate over 14%.

Here's a good article from late last year highlighting his changes and showing some vids of his filthiness: https://www.redreporter.com/2020/9/10/21429885/cincinnati-reds-tejay-antone-rookie-prospects

 

Also, this:

https://twitter.com/AlexFast8/status/1356322199947374593?s=20

 

Now, the big question still remains as to what his role will be this year. He's currently slated to challenge Michael Lorenzen for the 5th starter role, but an injury or a Sonny Gray trade could lock him into a spot. Also, he projects to be in the mix for the closer gig. Even if he doesn't land one of those valuable jobs, I think he'll still help with your team's ratios and strikeouts if he is a multi inning reliever with upside for more.

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I'm starting to dive in to my research for the upcoming season and Tejay Antone is standing out as my favorite last round dart throw. He's currently sporting an NFBC ADP of 359 and I believe he has tr

I'm not following the Reds situation but few teams actually go to 6 man rotations for any length of time, injury is key. I'm looking at RR and Wade Miley and Michael Lorenzen penciled in as the 4

He pitched 4 electric IP today, striking out 5 in 3.2 and one BB   Don't care what league you're in. Hang onto this guy... he has major skills

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To have sustained success he needs to cut down on the walks.  Especially since his LOB% and BABIP are due for some regression.  I do love his new pitch mix and I think Derek Johnson will have him play to his strengths.  I love his fastball as he paints the outside corner to righties and inside to lefties pretty consistently.  With its high velocity and elite spinrate it is definitely a quality offering.  At ADP 359 he's someone to consider for deeper leagues and in shallow ones he's someone to keep an eye on.   Question for you @meh2 Where do you find Swinging strike rate for individual pitches? 

Edited by damana
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1 hour ago, damana said:

 

To have sustained success he needs to cut down on the walks.  Especially since his LOB% and BABIP are due for some regression.  I do love his new pitch mix and I think Derek Johnson will have him play to his strengths.  I love his fastball as he paints the outside corner to righties and inside to lefties pretty consistently.  With its high velocity and elite spinrate it is definitely a quality offering.  At ADP 359 he's someone to consider for deeper leagues and in shallow ones he's someone to keep an eye on.   Question for you @meh2 Where do you find Swinging strike rate for individual pitches? 

Brooks Baseball. Here's his page with swinging strike rate for individual pitches: http://www.brooksbaseball.net/outcome.php?player=622088&b_hand=-1&gFilt=&pFilt=FA|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&time=year&minmax=ci&var=whiff&s_type=2&startDate=01/01/2020&endDate=01/01/2021

Their website has a ton of data. For that specific chart, you can change the x-axis by year, month, game, etc.

Here's his Baseball Savant Page for more reference: https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/tejay-antone-622088?stats=statcast-r-pitching-mlb

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He's definitely intriguing from a talent stand point. From a fantasy perspective, I would give him a much greater chance of providing value as a starter. With Garrett, Sims, and Doolittle all vying for saves, chances are he doesn't get a great chance there. Antone also has ability to stretch out so if anything they might want to use him in the fireman type of role as a 6th starter and long reliever / double header starter / "bulk" pitcher. Will be interesting to see how it pans out, but I agree he's definitely someone to keep an eye on. For standard leagues, he probably goes undrafted and if he gets opportunities to start he's a great streamer with potential to take advantage. In deeper leagues, definitely a stash, especially if your league values middle relievers (i.e. Ws instead of QS, innings limits, etc).

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He is apparently going to be competing with Miley and Lorenzen for the last 2 SP slots.  He just needs to beat out one of them.  I have to admit I was hoping for him to be a lockdown reliever, but I can see why the reds want him to start

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6 hours ago, TheForearmShiver said:

There’s talk of a Reds 6-man rotation. Does that mean they all make it?

I'm not following the Reds situation but few teams actually go to 6 man rotations for any length of time, injury is key.

I'm looking at RR and Wade Miley and Michael Lorenzen penciled in as the 4th/5th starter.  I don't know, I'm not really up to date on how good these two are, but I;'m under the impression they aren't.

You either like Antone and believe  his talent will put him in a spot above those two guys or you don't.  If he can't beat out those 2 guys for a job, maybe he isn't that good. So if you or anyone likes Antone as a starter, I suggest getting him at the discount that an uncertain rotation spot gives you. If he's good, he will eventually get that role.

Edited by brockpapersizer
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nothing in his minor league profile suggests that he can hold the k-rate we saw from him last year. also had a ridiculously low babip.

i'm intrigued with him as a potential late inning guy, but don't know that he has the stuff to stick as a starter.

worth a dart throw at end of drafts based of last year's performance (small sample size notwithstanding)

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44 minutes ago, wtb88 said:

nothing in his minor league profile suggests that he can hold the k-rate we saw from him last year. also had a ridiculously low babip.

i'm intrigued with him as a potential late inning guy, but don't know that he has the stuff to stick as a starter.

worth a dart throw at end of drafts based of last year's performance (small sample size notwithstanding)

His Xera was 2.99 and he has some of the nastiest spin rates in the league so I wouldn’t worry too much about last year’s BABIP and stuff like that 

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6 hours ago, Fbaseballgod said:

His Xera was 2.99 and he has some of the nastiest spin rates in the league so I wouldn’t worry too much about last year’s BABIP and stuff like that 

What’s a good public resource to use to look at spin rates?

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17 minutes ago, wtb88 said:

What’s a good public resource to use to look at spin rates?

Well in general you can look at baseball savant:  https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/tejay-antone-622088?stats=statcast-r-pitching-mlb

 

But for Tejay I've just been reading lots of random articles about him and his spin rates, like 

 

https://www.redlegnation.com/2021/02/18/tejay-antone-is-going-after-the-cincinnati-reds-rotation-opening/#:~:text=When it comes to the,in the game last season.

 

https://www.pitcherlist.com/tejay-antone-seems-awfully-compelling/

 

 

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On 2/24/2021 at 12:18 PM, wtb88 said:

nothing in his minor league profile suggests that he can hold the k-rate we saw from him last year. also had a ridiculously low babip.

i'm intrigued with him as a potential late inning guy, but don't know that he has the stuff to stick as a starter.

worth a dart throw at end of drafts based of last year's performance (small sample size notwithstanding)

The high k-rate last year came mostly out of the bullpen. He did have a nice k-rate as a SP, but it was over 16.1 ip, striking out 18. He could have pitched another 16.1 as a SP and only struck out 12. It really shouldn’t be a surprise that his Ks jumped last year with the majority of his ip coming as a RP. 

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9 minutes ago, NoHablaIngles said:

Not to sound hyperbolic, but his two innings tonight against the dodgers showcased some of the nastiest stuff I've ever seen. Holy moly, this guy has breakout star written all over him.

Yet, somehow David Bell says, in his gut he sees him coming out of the bullpen. Apparently he wants....Wade Miley in the rotation. 

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10 minutes ago, kidtwentytwo said:

He got lit up after batters saw him once.  Interesting player tho

While I agree that generally speaking, his stats have gone south after the 1st round of PA through; he did have 3 decent outings out of 5 of 3+ IP last year. He's been working on the spin efficiency of his fast ball this past offseason and is said to have started to incorporate it during spring training, pitching right down the middle and is getting more swings and misses than he did last year.

So I supposed there is hope.

image.png.81832138ba6721c4601254d748efd1f4.png

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37 minutes ago, kidtwentytwo said:

He got lit up after batters saw him once.  Interesting player tho

I wouldn’t say that. Batters went 9-for-36 last year when seeing him for a second or third time. Definitely better than the first time they saw him, but I wouldn’t say he was lit up. He did give up 3 HR and 3 DB in those 36 AB, so that’s notable. 

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Groin and now Hip today?  Hoping he gets well enough to start the season.

Tejay Antone shutdown his bullpen session Saturday with irritation of his hip flexor according to Reds general manager Nick Krall.

Antone was pitching off a mound for the first time since leaving a spring training game last Sunday with a mild right groin strain. The 27-year-old stopped just 16-pitches into the session before stopping to stretch his hip and shutting it down. Luckily it looks as though Antone did not further injure his groin and the Reds are still hopeful he will start the season on time.

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3 hours ago, twoseemer said:

Groin and now Hip today?  Hoping he gets well enough to start the season.

Tejay Antone shutdown his bullpen session Saturday with irritation of his hip flexor according to Reds general manager Nick Krall.

Antone was pitching off a mound for the first time since leaving a spring training game last Sunday with a mild right groin strain. The 27-year-old stopped just 16-pitches into the session before stopping to stretch his hip and shutting it down. Luckily it looks as though Antone did not further injure his groin and the Reds are still hopeful he will start the season on time.

 

Concerning but based on the fact that Reds think he will still be ready for the season is encouraging. Might be a situation where he gets a back dated IL stint and starts the season a few starts late. Not the worst case scenario.

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Sounds like Tejay will be given a versatile role in the Reds bullpen; with his SP eligibility and able to potentially rack up W, HLD, and some SV; he can be really valuable! 

“There may be nights that Tejay pitches in that (multi-inning) role,” Bell said. “There might be a night he comes in and gets a big out in the seventh or eighth. There might be another night he closes. He’s such a good pitcher and so important to us, given his availability on a given night, it could be different.” 

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1 hour ago, AF25 said:

 

Sounds like Tejay will be given a versatile role in the Reds bullpen; with his SP eligibility and able to potentially rack up W, HLD, and some SV; he can be really valuable! 

“There may be nights that Tejay pitches in that (multi-inning) role,” Bell said. “There might be a night he comes in and gets a big out in the seventh or eighth. There might be another night he closes. He’s such a good pitcher and so important to us, given his availability on a given night, it could be different.” 

Image

So for those of us who only care if he’s an SP, is his value back to zilch?

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