Blake Snell
Blake Snell
26-Year-Old PitcherSP
Tampa Bay Rays
10-Day IL
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 9/10/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits, references The Plateau of Latent Potential. We expect all progress to be linear, and that it will come quickly. In reality, the results get delayed and we enter into the valley of disappointment. That aptly describes Snell from mid-2016 through the end of July 2017. For all the talent, the results were not there. Wise owners noticed changes Snell made over the final six weeks of the season and bought back in on Snell last season and were rewarded with a Cy Young-winning effort. Snell made outstanding gains across the board, both statistically and in his approach to the game, specifically his ability to command his pitches and throw non-fastballs for strikes early to force batters to chase pseudo-strikes later in the count. The ERA will regress, and the wins will come down, but Snell is now a staff ace. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension with the Rays in March of 2019.
Throwing at about 90 feet
PTampa Bay Rays
Elbow
August 21, 2019
Snell (elbow) is throwing from approximately 90 feet on flat ground, the Associated Press reports.
ANALYSIS
The southpaw continues to make seemingly consistent progress from his recent surgery, and his current activity level keeps him on a timetable for a return to the rotation around mid-September. Snell resumed throwing Aug. 11 at a distance of 45-to-60 feet after July 29 surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow. He's likely to progress to bullpen sessions as his next step after he stretches his arm out over at least a couple of more catch sessions.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-10%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-31%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-28%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-25%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .194 277 83 21 49 12 0 5
Since 2017vs Right .216 1383 393 137 267 57 3 40
2019vs Left .328 65 19 4 20 4 0 3
2019vs Right .225 348 117 31 71 12 0 11
2018vs Left .135 137 46 9 17 5 0 2
2018vs Right .188 563 175 55 95 22 1 14
2017vs Left .182 75 18 8 12 3 0 0
2017vs Right .243 472 101 51 101 23 2 15
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-41%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-53%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-48%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-30%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 2.33 0.99 204.1 17 7 0 10.7 2.9 1.0
Since 2017Away 3.96 1.32 206.2 15 12 0 10.2 4.1 1.0
2019Home 2.82 1.05 54.1 4 3 0 12.4 2.8 1.2
2019Away 5.98 1.48 46.2 2 4 0 11.8 3.5 1.4
2018Home 1.27 0.87 85.0 10 1 0 10.7 2.5 0.8
2018Away 2.45 1.07 95.2 11 4 0 11.3 3.8 0.8
2017Home 3.32 1.09 65.0 3 3 0 9.1 3.3 1.1
2017Away 4.76 1.57 64.1 2 4 0 7.4 4.9 1.0
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Stat Review
How does Blake Snell 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 70 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
3.89
 
K/9
12.1
 
BB/9
3.1
 
HR/9
1.2
 
Fastball
95.7 mph
 
ERA
4.28
 
WHIP
1.25
 
BABIP
.341
 
GB/FB
1.19
 
Left On Base
71.4%
 
Exit Velocity
87.8 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.4%
 
Spin Rate
2244 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
31.5%
 
Swinging Strike
17.8%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Blake Snell
Mound Musings: Checking in on the Bullpens – American League
7 days ago
Brad Johnson examines bullpen assignments in the AL to see how they stack up for a postseason push, including in Detroit, where the jury is still out regarding Joe Jimenez’ potential for long-term success.
Regan's Rumblings: Swinging Strike Rate Improvers
9 days ago
Dave Regan covers the 10 starting pitchers (who qualify for the ERA title) who have showing the biggest first half/second half leap in their SwStr percentage.
Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Price Hampered by Wrist Cyst
10 days ago
Jeff Stotts says Boston pitcher David Price could try throwing over the next few days but remains without a definitive timeframe while he deals with a cyst on his wrist.
Mound Musings: Checking in on the Bullpens – National League
14 days ago
Brad Johnson dives into all of the changes that have been made in NL bullpens, including in Arizona where Archie Bradley takes on the closer role for now.
Surprise Top-10 Finishes
25 days ago
Jason Collette looks at players not currently within the top 15 in the standard roto categories who could finish top 10 by season's end.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Snell has mostly struggled so far at the highest level, failing to meet the hype as a former top prospect, but he made strides late in 2017 and may be on the verge of a breakout. The young left-hander shaved a full walk from his BB/9 from the previous season (to 4.1) and got sharper as the season wore on, posting a 2.9 BB/9 in the second half. Meanwhile, Snell added to his strikeout percentage in each of the season's final three months, finishing with a 26.5-percent mark in September, while also trimming his HR/9 from 1.21 to 0.93 from the first half to the second half. It's not uncommon for pitchers to struggle with fastball command like Snell did with the jump to the big leagues; Snell seems to have regained his trust in the pitch, but continuing to locate well will be critical to his success moving forward. With plenty of owners disappointed by his struggles last season, Snell's second-half improvement may not be baked into his price on draft day.
Snell's eagerly anticipated major league debut was by and large a successful one. The young southpaw posted five quality starts overall but was also lifted before the fourth inning on five occasions, a perfect example of the inconsistencies a rookie pitcher can often display, regardless of their talent level. The one major blemish that Snell carried over from the minors was an issue with control, as he posted a bloated 5.2 BB/9 and 1.62 WHIP at the big league level. He was as stingy as ever with the long ball, however, generating a minuscule 0.5 HR/9 that essentially mirrored or represented an improvement on his figure in that category at his various minor league stops. With a full offseason to prepare for the grind of a major league campaign, Snell could take a formidable leap forward in 2017 and has plenty of proven strikeout upside, having tallied a double-digit K/9 from High-A to Triple-A. Control will presumably still be an issue for the time being, but the talented southpaw still has plenty to offer in several other fantasy categories.
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Snell’s 2015 season. Across three levels, the lefty went 15-4 with a 1.41 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, and struck out 163 batters in 134 innings and seemed to look better with each level. At Triple-A Durham, he went 6-2 with a 1.83 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP, and struck out 57 batter while allowing 29 hits in 44.1 innings of work. That type of resume would normally be a lock for a job in a rotation the next season, but he pitches for Tampa Bay. Like Hellickson and Price before him, he’ll return to Durham for (insert made up BS reason here) until arbitrary Super 2 date passes. The Rays have a set rotation of Archer, Smyly, Odorizzi, Moore, and Ramirez as the roster stands now even after dealing Karns, so they do at least have a legit reason to send him back to the minors. Unless there is a trade or an injury, don’t look for him sometime in June, at the earliest.
It is said that lefties take a bit longer to develop, especially with their command. That may be the case for Snell. He pitched at two levels last season and struck out 119 batters in 115.2 innings of work while permitting just 95 hits and two home runs. He also walked 56 batters, including 37 in just 75 innings of work in High-A ball. He throws in the low 90s and the team really likes his changeup, which is a required pitch to move up in the organization. He will likely report to Double-A Montgomery in 2015 and should be watched to see how his progression continues.
Snell put together a successful first year in full-season baseball with Low-A Bowling Green. In 23 starts, he went 4-9 with a 4.27 ERA and had 106 strikeouts in 99 innings. A tall left-hander, he features a big fastball that can hover in the mid-90s. A 2011 draft selection out of high school, the Rays have brought Snell along slowly to build up his innings and preserve his arm. He had a very high walk rate of 6.6 BB/9 in 2013, which can be expected of most young pitchers. He features an interesting set of pitches and is expected to develop those and continue to work as a starter. He will likely start 2014 with High-A Charlotte, as he makes a bid to surpass 100 innings for the first time in his professional career.
More Fantasy News
Plays catch again
PTampa Bay Rays
Elbow
August 19, 2019
Snell (elbow) played catch Monday and said everything went well, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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Feels good after throwing
PTampa Bay Rays
Elbow
August 14, 2019
Snell (elbow) reported feeling good after throwing Wednesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Feels good during catch
PTampa Bay Rays
Elbow
August 12, 2019
Snell (elbow) played catch for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery Monday and fared well, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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To play catch Monday
PTampa Bay Rays
Elbow
August 11, 2019
Snell (elbow) is set to play catch Monday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Set to resume throwing
PTampa Bay Rays
Elbow
August 7, 2019
Snell (elbow) will travel with the Rays to Seattle over the weekend, where he's scheduled to resume throwing, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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