Mike Foltynewicz
Mike Foltynewicz
27-Year-Old PitcherSP
Atlanta Braves
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Even those who were "one year early" predicting Foltynewicz's breakout had to be impressed with his 2018 campaign, especially in the strikeout department. That said, before thrusting Foltynewicz to near-ace level, note his .251 BABIP was artificially low according to batted-ball and Statcast data. Expect a higher hit rate in 2018 and the corresponding ERA and WHIP correction. There is a chance his 9.1% walk rate could drop a few ticks, and if that happens, it would soften the impact from hit-rate regression. Key to Foltynewicz's success was added velocity across the board, but especially to his slider, making it one of the most effective pitches in the league. He also began throwing his changeup in fastball counts, keeping hitters off balance. Another year removed from 2015 thoracic outlet surgery, health is not currently a concern as Foltynewicz eclipsed 180 frames for the first time. Pursue aggressively, but don't expect a full repeat of 2018. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $5.48 million contract with the Braves in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Still searching for form
PAtlanta Braves  AAA
July 15, 2019
Foltynewicz has posted a 4.08 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 19:4 K:BB through 17.2 innings over three starts since his demotion to Triple-A Gwinnett.
While the WHIP is particularly alarming, there are some encouraging signs in Foltynewicz's performance -- his strikeout rate is back above 9.0, and he has yet to serve up a home run during this minor-league stint. Atlanta is still looking to solidify its rotation for the stretch run, whether internally or on the trade market, but the right-hander might still be a big part of the team's plans.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .246 843 193 85 183 38 6 30
Since 2017vs Right .235 853 202 62 180 33 6 23
2019vs Left .273 121 23 9 30 5 2 8
2019vs Right .276 139 27 11 34 4 2 8
2018vs Left .183 389 107 43 62 13 3 11
2018vs Right .208 355 95 25 68 12 2 6
2017vs Left .308 333 63 33 91 20 1 11
2017vs Right .248 359 80 26 78 17 2 9
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 4.02 1.27 201.2 11 12 0 9.1 3.4 1.2
Since 2017Away 4.25 1.30 194.2 14 16 0 8.9 3.3 1.2
2019Home 6.27 1.42 37.1 1 3 0 8.2 3.1 2.7
2019Away 6.55 1.41 22.0 1 2 0 6.5 2.9 2.0
2018Home 3.19 1.08 96.0 5 4 0 9.8 3.6 0.9
2018Away 2.48 1.08 87.0 8 6 0 10.0 3.1 0.7
2017Home 3.95 1.45 68.1 5 5 0 8.4 3.3 0.8
2017Away 5.46 1.51 85.2 5 8 0 8.3 3.6 1.5
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Stat Review
How does Mike Foltynewicz 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.
    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.
95.2 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
89.6 mph
Spin Rate
2272 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Just when it seemed like Foltynewicz was headed for a breakout season, he imploded, finishing with a 7.27 ERA and 1.73 WHIP over his final nine starts (43.1 innings). He did a better job of limiting the long ball in the second half (five homers allowed) and he added to his strikeout rate after the All-Star break, but Foltynewicz's walk rate jumped from 3.0 BB/9 to 4.1, and he allowed more hard contact. Foltynewicz struggled against lefties overall, especially at home -- lefty batters slashed .344/.421/.492 against him at SunTrust Park -- and he was far worse the second (5.77 ERA) and third-time through the order (6.10 ERA) than he was the first time through (2.73 ERA). There is still appeal here given his fastball velocity and quality of his secondary stuff, but the home park is a big negative and Foltynewicz's chances at wins will be limited if he can't find a way to work deeper into games.
He should be nicknamed "Mike Filthynewicz" with his repertoire: a mid-90s heater, a piercing slider, a hammer curve and an emerging changeup. He's still figuring it all out, but his 2016 was a nice step forward. He set career-bests in ERA, WHIP, strikeout rate, walk rate, groundball rate and HR/9. It's not a great sign when 4.31 ERA is your best ever, but it's still legitimate progress for the one-time top-100 prospect who was starting to look like a bit of a bust, even in the small 105-inning sample he had prior to 2016. He should enter his age-25 season with a firm handle on a rotation spot, eyeing his first full season and hoping to build on his '16 gains. A baseline 9-10 percent swinging strike rate is a good foundation and the raw stuff portends more. Go an extra $1 on ol' Filthynewicz.
Foltynewicz was beaten out for a rotation spot by Eric Stults in spring training and opened the year at Triple-A Gwinnett. The results in his first four starts for Gwinnett were encouraging (2.08 ERA), and the Braves decided to give him a look after punting on Trevor Cahill less than a month into the season. Foltynewicz did a few things well, but his reliance on the fastball was well scouted and hitters took advantage, making hard contact nearly a third of the time and putting the ball in the air more than 43 percent of the time. That led to a 1.8 HR/9 rate and further questions about his viability as a starter. If moved to the bullpen, Foltynewicz could be a valuable back-end arm given the premium velocity, but the Braves may be inclined to give him one last shot at proving himself as a starter. Everything will ultimately depend on Foltynewicz's health; he was diagnosed with blood clots in his arm late in the year and then had to have part of his rib removed.
Foltynewicz, 23, got a taste of the big leagues late last season, throwing 18.2 innings mostly in low-leverage situations out of the bullpen for the Astros. Execs with the team conceded he may not have been ready for that opportunity, however, as he allowed three home runs while compiling a 5.30 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. It's a small sample size, but the hard-throwing right-hander didn't fare much better at Triple-A Oklahoma City. In 21 appearances (18 starts) with the RedHawks, Foltynewicz went 7-7 with a 5.08 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 102:52 K:BB ratio over 102.2 innings. Traded to Atlanta in January, Foltynewicz was a key piece in the deal that sent Evan Gattis to Atlanta. Armed with a plus fastball that regularly hits 100 mph, "Folty" will need to show better control of his pitches (4.6 BB/9) to carve out a significant role with the Braves in 2015. A return to Triple-A appears likely, at least to open the season, but he has a very high ceiling if his control improves.
Foltynewicz, the Astros' 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, turned in a fine season for Double-A Corpus Christi after a brief stint with Houston's High-A affiliate. The 22-year-old flamethrower appeared in 23 games (16 starts) for the Hooks and went 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA over 103.1 innings. Opposing batters hit a mere .207 against the right-hander, but they also took 52 free passes as Foltynewicz's control problems remained. If he improves his walk rate (4.5 BB/9 in Double-A), Foltynewicz's stock will go up even higher as he emerged as one of the better pitching prospects in the minors last season. He will likely make the jump to Triple-A this season, while the possibility of a late-season callup is not out of the question if he performs well there.
The second time through the Sally League was much better for Foltynewicz than the first: he posted a 14-4 record across 27 starts and lowered his ERA by nearly two runs to 3.14. The improvement was enough to earn him the Most Outstanding Pitcher award in the Sally League and the Minor League Pitcher of the Year award for the Houston organization. The former first-round pick has pitched to contact more in recent years, which has resulted in fewer strikeouts, but (at least last year) better outcomes. While the team is still trying him out as a starter, there are those that think the lack of viable secondary pitches may make him best suited for the bullpen down the line. He will likely begin 2013 in Double-A, still working out of the rotation.
More Fantasy News
Sent to Triple-A
PAtlanta Braves  AAA
June 23, 2019
Foltynewicz was sent to Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports.
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Will be demoted
PAtlanta Braves  AAA
June 22, 2019
Foltynewicz gave up eight runs over four innings Saturday night to the Nats, allowing eight hits and two walks. After the game the Braves announced their intention to demote him to Triple-A Gwinnett, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
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Strikes out six in win
PAtlanta Braves  AAA
June 16, 2019
Foltynewicz (2-5) gave up one run on four hits and five walks while striking out six through six innings, taking the win over the Phillies on Sunday.
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Settles for no-decision
PAtlanta Braves  AAA
June 11, 2019
Foltynewicz allowed four runs on five hits with five strikeouts and four walks across five innings during a no-decision against the Pirates on Tuesday.
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Suffers fifth loss
PAtlanta Braves  AAA
June 6, 2019
Foltynewicz (1-5) allowed three runs on six hits with five strikeouts and a walk across six innings while taking a loss against the Pirates on Thursday.
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