Fantasy Baseball: Who is Marcus Stroman?

If you’re like most fantasy baseball owners, you probably have yet to hear the name Marcus Stroman. Take note, because you may be hearing his name a lot in the future.

Stroman is one of the Toronto Blue Jays top prospects. According to MLB.com’s 2014 Prospect Watch, Stroman is the 47th overall prospect across baseball, and the Blue Jays second best prospect.

Marcus Stroman is short, especially for a pitcher; he stands at just five feet nine inches tall. Despite his small stature, he can throw a great fastball, clocking in at 94.4 miles per hour.

[Outlook on injured stars]

Stroman’s fastball is his go to pitch, accounting for over 50% of the pitches he has thrown in 2014. To go along with his strong fastball, Stroman also throws a cutter, slider, curveball and changeup. Stroman displays his great arsenal of pitches by changing speeds, dropping his curveball down to under 82 miles per hour.

The former first round pick out of Duke excelled in AA ball, posting a 3.30 ERA in 20 starts during the 2013 season. Not only was his ERA low, his entire stat line was impressive – 1.13 WHIP, .231 batting average against, and a 10.40 K/9.

At the start of baseball’s regular season, Stroman was called up to the MLB to make a few appearances out of the bullpen, but he struggled mightily; he gave up nine runs on 13 hits through 6.1 innings during five appearances.

After struggling in the big leagues, Stroman was called down to Toronto’s AAA affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. In his first 7 games in 2014, Stroman was even more impressive than he was in AA, improving his already stellar ERA and K/9. Stroman’s domination of AAA hitters eventually led to him being called back up to the MLB, but this time as a starter.

Since being called back up, Stroman has started two games, both at home, against the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. Here are his stat lines from those games:

vs. KC    6.0 IP   5 H   1 ER   0 BB   6 K   W

vs. STL   6.0 IP   7 H   1 ER   2 BB   7 K   W

As you can see, Stroman has been very successful as a starter at all levels. If his success continues, he is worth a pickup in most fantasy baseball formats, especially deeper leagues. Personally, I’m in a 10-team and a 12-team league, and Stroman is a more attractive option than most other pitchers available.

[Big bats, low prices]

Currently, Stroman is owned in a meager 4.3% of ESPN Fantasy Baseball leagues. Stroman is scheduled to make his next start on Wednesday, June 11 at home against the Minnesota Twins and pitcher Phil Hughes.

If he’s available (which he most likely is) pick him up. His ownership percentage will only increase as his next start draws near. If Stroman pitches well, owners will be even more likely to pick him up, meaning the best time to do it is right now.

Will Stroman single handedly win a fantasy baseball team their league’s championship? Most likely not, but it doesn’t mean he won’t help.

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