H/W: 6-1, 200 lbs
Acquired: Signed to a minor league contract (12/16)
Current Salary: Minor league contract
Team Control: through 2017 MiLB / through 2022 (MLB)
Career Total: -0.1
The Outfield Fly Ruling
Albers doesn’t have great stuff, but he’s carved out a career as an up-and-down starter because he knows how to command the stuff he does have. His fastest pitch couldn’t get a flux capacitor out of 1985, but he nearly always throws the ball into the strike zone. He makes hitters earn it. They manage to earn it often enough to prevent MLB teams from ever relying on him extensively, but every organization needs fellas like this just a phone call away when they need innings in a pinch. (- B. Blackwell, ’16-’17 offseason)
The OFR Scouting Report
Pitch Arsenal (usage):
- Sinker (60%)
- Four seam Fastball
- Circle Change (rare)
Stamina – 50 ↓
Albers has averaged a fairly solid 5.6 innings per start in his MLB career, which is a tad better than average, but note that ‘in his MLB career’ involves 10 starts in 2013, 2 in 2016, and that’s it. So, the grade here has some naturally embedded skepticism. Either way, Albers seems to be capable of logging innings when asked.
Walk Avoidance – 60 ↓
Over his longest stint of MLB action, in 2013, Albers issued a very stingy 1.1 walks per nine innings. While we’re several years removed from that performance, Albers remains stingy, issuing fewer than 3 walks per nine at every extended performance period since. The 31 year old may not have many more years of pinpoint precision in front of him, but he’s decidedly above average for now.
Strikeout Ability – 40
This one was hard to peg. On one hand, Albers struck out 16 batters in 17 MLB innings last year, but his AAA rate was much lower, at only 6.5/9. In 2015, he didn’t rely on the K at all. While splitting 2013 between the minors and majors, his MiLB strikeout rate was healthy, at nearly 8 per 9 innings, but in the majors, it was an anemic 3.8/9. It’s really tough to assign a grade here, but I have to figure that if he were really that good at getting K’s, he’d do it more consistently. Losing strikeouts to avoid walks isn’t unusual, so it goes hand-in-hand with his impressive control.
Groundball Induction – 40
Sinkerballers who don’t get a ton of groundballs are a bit of an anomaly. Perhaps that’s what leads to a career path that takes you from 10 rookie starts with a 4.05 ERA (2013) directly into a foreign league (2014), to a new MLB organization’s AAA team (2015), to your old team’s AAA squad (2016), and finally to a brand new organization.
20-80 scale, where 20 will prevent you from reaching the bigs, 30 is terrible, 40 is below average, 50 is MLB average, 60 is plus, 70 is plus-plus, and 80 is HOF-level. The OFR Scouting Report is based mostly on statistical forecasting models such as ZiPs, PECOTA, etc. Arrows indicate projected room for growth or decline, with each representing a 5 point movement on the 20-80 scale.
Walk Off Walk