Yusei Kikuchi
27-Year-Old PitcherSP
2019 Fantasy Outlook
A three-time All-Star in Japan (2013, 2017, 2018), Kikuchi was 14-4 with a 3.08 ERA, an 8.4 K/9 and a 2.5 BB/9 in 2018. He has a mid-90s fastball that he uses to set up a plus slider. While not regarded in quite the same star tier of Shohei Ohtani or Yu Darvish, the 27-year-old lefty still projects as at least a solid mid-rotation starter in MLB. Kikuchi signed a three-year, $43 million deal with the Mariners, with a $13 million player option for a fourth year and a team option for a four-year, $66 million extension after the first three years. He was dominant in 2017, logging 217 strikeouts in 187.2 innings -- both career highs. Kikuchi was similarly dominant in 2018 until a shoulder injury caused him to miss a month, and while he was able to return, he wasn't quite the same after that. He will be adapting to a new schedule where he'll pitch more frequently, so we should not expect the 6-foot hurler to log more than 160 innings on a rebuilding Mariners team. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a three-year, $43 million contract with the Mariners in January of 2019. The contract includes a $13 million player option for 2022, which can be voided by a four-year, $66 million team option.
Rebounds against Twins
PSeattle Mariners
June 13, 2019
Kikuchi allowed one earned run on six hits and two walks while striking out four across five innings Thursday against the Twins. He did not factor into the decision.
ANALYSIS
Kikuchi worked out of jams regularly as he allowed multiple baserunners in four of the five innings he pitched but managed to allow just one run to cross the plate. His best work came after he loaded the bases in the second frame, as he struck out two batters prior to forcing a groundout to escape the inning without surrendering a run. While the performance wasn't overwhelmingly strong, it was a big improvement from his past three outings, across which he allowed 16 earned runs in 10 innings. He'll look to maintain the improvement in his next start, currently scheduled for Tuesday against Kansas City.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-11%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-11%
BAA vs LHP
2018
No Stats
2017
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .258 65 13 3 16 2 1 4
Since 2017vs Right .290 265 42 19 70 14 0 11
2019vs Left .258 65 13 3 16 2 1 4
2019vs Right .290 265 42 19 70 14 0 11
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-1%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-1%
ERA at Home
2018
No Stats
2017
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 4.76 1.34 28.1 1 2 0 7.3 2.9 2.5
Since 2017Away 4.79 1.49 47.0 2 2 0 6.1 2.5 1.3
2019Home 4.76 1.34 28.1 1 2 0 7.3 2.9 2.5
2019Away 4.79 1.49 47.0 2 2 0 6.1 2.5 1.3
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does Yusei Kikuchi compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 40 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.50
 
K/9
6.6
 
BB/9
2.6
 
HR/9
1.8
 
Fastball
93.1 mph
 
ERA
4.78
 
WHIP
1.43
 
BABIP
.311
 
GB/FB
1.53
 
Left On Base
69.0%
 
Exit Velocity
88.6 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
7.4%
 
Spin Rate
2247 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
37.2%
 
Swinging Strike
8.1%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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2016 Fantasy Outlook
Kikuchi attracted attention as a high schooler for his hard fastball and stated desire to forego a pro career in Japan and jump straight to the majors. That didn't happen, and injuries have so far deterred him from reaching his potential. Still only 24, Kikuchi showed signs of improvement in 2015 and if he can put together a couple of healthy seasons, he could establish himself as a quality lefty.
More Fantasy News
Struggles persist in return
PSeattle Mariners
June 8, 2019
Kikuchi (3-4) allowed seven runs -- six earned -- on nine hits and three walks over 3.1 innings. He took the loss and struck out only one batter.
ANALYSIS
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Rejoining rotation Saturday
PSeattle Mariners
June 5, 2019
Kikuchi will start Saturday against the Angels, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Skipping next start
PSeattle Mariners
June 1, 2019
Kikuchi will have his next start skipped, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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May skip next start
PSeattle Mariners
May 31, 2019
Kikuchi could be limited to one inning in his next scheduled start, and it's possible he could simply skip his next outing completely, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Suffers another ugly loss
PSeattle Mariners
May 31, 2019
Kikuchi (3-3) was roughed up Thursday, pitching 3.1 innings and giving up six runs on 10 hits and two walks in a loss to the Angels. He did not strike out a batter.
ANALYSIS
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