Tommy who? In his second year back from TJS, Joe Nathan looked like his usual dominant self saving 37 games for the AL West-runner-up Texas Rangers. Not only did Nathan strike out nearly 11 batters per nine innings, but he did it while posting the lowest walk rate of his entire career. Put the two together and you have a career-best 6.00 K:BB ratio to go with his 2.80 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. All of that was enough to make Nathan the 154th-best player in fantasy last year, which is pretty darn good for a relief pitcher.
Nathan averaged 94.0 mph with his fastball, his fastest since averaging 95.1 mph back in 2007, so I have no concerns about the 38-year-old showing his age this season. Since returning from Tommy John he’s thrown a few more curveballs than he did during his prime, but he’s also generating more ground balls (45.4% last year). That’ll play well in Texas.
At a Glance
Strengths: SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/9, BB/9
Neutral: W, L