Kenta Maeda
Kenta Maeda
33-Year-Old PitcherSP
Minnesota Twins
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Maeda was brilliant during his first season in Minnesota, going 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA and finishing runner up in the AL Cy Young award voting. He was used exclusively as a starter after shuffling from the bullpen and rotation with the Dodgers. Maeda gave the Twins a true rotation anchor, delivering with outstanding control (4% walk rate) that fueled an AL-leading 0.75 WHIP. He increased the use of his slider to become his primary pitch, which, while effective (.299 wOBA allowed), made his changeup even more devastating (.136 wOBA allowed). Despite below-average fastball velocity (91.4 mph), Maeda's hard-hit rate was in the 98th percentile and he produced a near career-high 10.8 K/9. Maeda looks to have found the right mix with the Minnesota coaching staff and home park. The only question is whether he can remain this effective while holding up over a full season. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#52
ADP
$Signed an eight-year, $25 million contract with the Dodgers in January of 2016. Traded to the Twins in February of 2020.
Tosses four innings in return
PMinnesota Twins
June 15, 2021
Maeda allowed one run on three hits and three walks while striking out seven over four innings Monday against the Mariners in his first start back from the injured list. He did not factor into the decision.
ANALYSIS
It's understandable that Maeda was on a pitch count -- he threw 78 pitches -- and showed some signs of rust after missing the last few weeks with a right adductor strain and some right arm soreness. He struggled a bit with his command, as this was the first time this season that he walked more than two batters in an outing. All three of his free passes did come in the same inning, however. The only time the Mariners really got to him was in the third, when he allowed a leadoff double and then an RBI single to Jake Fraley. It's been a frustrating year so far for Maeda, who currently owns a career-worst 5.01 ERA and 1.48 WHIP to go along with a 46:14 K:BB over 46.2 innings. He's in line for a favorable matchup against the Rangers over the weekend.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
79
Last 10 Games
79
Last 5 Games
84
How many pitches does Kenta Maeda generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Kenta Maeda generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-22%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-10%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-18%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-36%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .236 568 133 45 122 19 4 20
Since 2019vs Right .184 512 162 30 87 16 2 20
2021vs Left .277 110 27 6 28 5 1 5
2021vs Right .307 98 19 8 27 5 0 4
2020vs Left .182 146 41 9 25 1 1 4
2020vs Right .149 102 39 1 15 3 0 5
2019vs Left .247 312 65 30 69 13 2 11
2019vs Right .158 312 104 21 45 8 2 11
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-42%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-43%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-45%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-39%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 2.84 0.85 130.0 12 4 1 10.4 1.9 1.0
Since 2019Away 4.86 1.26 137.0 6 7 2 9.5 3.1 1.6
2021Home 3.29 1.61 13.2 1 1 0 9.9 3.3 0.0
2021Away 5.73 1.42 33.0 1 1 0 8.5 2.5 2.5
2020Home 1.91 0.55 33.0 3 0 0 11.5 1.6 0.5
2020Away 3.48 0.95 33.2 3 1 0 10.2 1.1 1.9
2019Home 3.13 0.85 83.1 8 3 1 10.0 1.8 1.4
2019Away 5.12 1.34 70.1 2 5 2 9.7 4.4 1.2
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Kenta Maeda 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 2019 data (min 120 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
3.29
 
K/9
8.9
 
BB/9
2.7
 
HR/9
1.7
 
Fastball
90.8 mph
 
ERA
5.01
 
WHIP
1.48
 
BABIP
.350
 
GB/FB
1.54
 
Left On Base
67.4%
 
Exit Velocity
81.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
3.3%
 
Spin Rate
2168 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
26.7%
 
Swinging Strike
13.7%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kenta Maeda
Mound Musings: Life, the Universe and Everything
Yesterday
Brad Johnson writes about observations he’s made so far this season, including the regarding the controversy of doctoring balls, something of which Gerrit Cole was recently accused of by a fellow player.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Towering Above the Rest
6 days ago
Todd Zola ranks the week's starting pitching as Rays ace Tyler Glasnow is leaps and bounds ahead of the pack.
MLB Barometer: Second Chance Leagues Risers and Fallers
11 days ago
Erik Halterman takes a look at the players at each position who rose and fell the most from their preseason ADP, starting with Marlins pitcher Trevor Rogers.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
12 days ago
Erik Siegrist reviews the American League free-agent pool as Cleveland adds some long-simmering prospects to its lineup.
Mound Musings: Time to Pull the Chute?
15 days ago
Brad Johnson examines underperforming pitchers to determine whether they’re worth keeping, starting with Luis Castillo who has been subpar in his last nine starts.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
For the second straight season, Maeda transitioned to the bullpen in September, excelling with two wins, three saves and three holds. He pitched well as a starter, despite what a bloated 4.11 ERA says. Still, this is two consecutive years Maeda's K% increased while his BB% decreased as a reliever. After being traded to Minnesota, Maeda should be expected to be a starter for most of the year, though the Twins could skip a start here or there. His 26.4 K% and 8.3 BB% as a starter continue to render Maeda above average in the role. Maeda's bread-and-butter pitch remains his splitter, which he used a little more than in the past while also increasing usage of his slider and change at the expense of his two-seamer (which he bagged completely) and 93-mph four-seamer.
Maeda began the season as starter, but finished it in the bullpen. He held opponents to a .233 average as a starter with a 28% strikeout rate, but as a reliever struck out 35% of the hitters he faced while opponents batted .265 against him. The 31 K-BB% out of the bullpen was elite, even if it was only 74 batters faced. Maeda's move to the 'pen was one related to a crowded house more than a degradation of skill, so don't assume his days as a starter are over. Maeda's skills play up in either role -- the lack of clarity around his role should not overly concern you if you are drafting early. The right-hander is a classic example of "draft skills, not role" in his current shape. Either way, you should realize a profit with Maeda as a late-round pick.
Maeda improved slightly upon his strong strikeout and walk rates from his rookie season, but he missed time due to injury and was relegated to the bullpen on a couple of occasions. The Dodgers were also conservative in his starts, limiting Maeda's exposure to opposing lineups -- Maeda threw more than five innings just seven times all year, which led to a 40-inning drop in regular-season workload. Maeda throws five different pitches and he mixes them reasonably well, but he induced fewer swings on pitches out of the strike zone overall (29.9 percent O-Swing rate), struggled on the road (5.62 ERA) and continued to run into trouble against lefties (.263/.322/.458). Perhaps the biggest thing working against Maeda in fantasy is the fact that the Dodgers have evolved past the "workhorse" mentality, instead using the 10-day DL to rotate guys and keep them fresh. The skills are solid, but Maeda's workload will likely be capped once again.
Signed through 2023 for a total of $25 million (plus incentives), Maeda is already looking like one of the great bargains in baseball after his first season stateside. As the calendar turned to July, Maeda sat with a 2.82 ERA, and although he did slip some late in the year, he finished with 16 wins, strong ratios and an average of more than a strikeout per inning. Elbow issues drove his price down last offseason, and while Maeda made 32 regular-season starts, he required additional rest for 19 of them. The Dodgers want Maeda to add mass this offseason with the hope that his body will hold up to a heavier workload (and a more regular schedule) in 2017. Thirty more innings or so, even if they come with some regression with the ratios, could thrust Maeda into elite company among fantasy starters. Best of all, his cost may remain suppressed as the memory of his late-season struggles and injury concerns linger.
Maeda, who was regarded as the top pitcher in Japan, signed an eight-year deal with the Dodgers in the offseason. Comparisons to his most immediate predecessors, Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka, are a bit unfair, as both were historically unprecedented. Maeda probably isn't MLB ace material, as his K/9 rate has never exceeded 8.1, but it has also never fallen below 7.3, and his BB/9 rate has steadily hovered around 1.9. Maeda's success has come from limiting hits, and more recently, keeping the ball in the park. Maeda's fastball sits 89-92 mph with some movement, and it reaches 94 mph on occasion, and he features two variations of a slider. Above all, Maeda has been remarkably durable to this point, throwing at least 175 innings in each of the past seven seasons, but irregularities were found in his elbow during his physical with the Dodgers, which helps explain all the incentives in his contract.
Maeda entered 2014 regarded as the top pitcher in Japan after the departure of Masahiro Tanaka to MLB. While his W-L record declined to 11-9 and his ERA increased to a five-year high, he still had a 2.60 ERA with a 161:41 K:BB ratio in 187 innings. Still, the buzz about him moving to MLB declined and his team decided not to let him leave via the posting in 2015, even though he's said he wants to pitch in the U.S. He could be posted for the 2016 season and he'll be eligible for international free agency in 2017. When Maeda eventually does show up in the majors, fans expecting another Tanaka or Yu Darvish will probably be disappointed. Listed at 6-foot, 179 pounds, Maeda is physically smaller than Japan's recent exports. His arsenal of an 88-94 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup is more respectable than it is eye-popping. On the plus side, Maeda has good control, isn't home-run prone and offers a strong track record of health. He'll certainly be near the top of a big-league rotation when he decides to move to the States.
Maeda is regarded as the second best pitcher in Japan after Masahiro Tanaka. He went 15-7 with a 2.10 ERA and 158:40 K:BB ratio in 175.2 innings last season. When signing his 2014 contract with the Hiroshima Carp, Maeda declared his intent to move to MLB for 2015. He's been a reliable innings eater throughout his NPB career; and features a fastball at 90-94, and breaking pitch that traverses the plane from cutter to slider. He should figure prominently in a 2015 MLB rotation as a result.
More Fantasy News
Activated ahead of start
PMinnesota Twins
June 14, 2021
Maeda (arm) was activated from the 10-day injured list and will start Monday against the Mariners, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Rejoining rotation Monday
PMinnesota Twins
Arm
June 11, 2021
Manager Rocco Baldelli said Friday that Maeda (arm) will be activated to start Monday's game against the Mariners, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Sharp in rehab outing
PMinnesota Twins
Arm
June 10, 2021
Maeda (arm) worked four innings of one-run ball in his rehab start Wednesday for Triple-A St. Paul, permitting one hit and one walk while striking out five.
ANALYSIS
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Slated for 50-55 pitches Wednesday
PMinnesota Twins
Arm
June 8, 2021
Maeda (arm/groin) is scheduled to throw 50-55 pitches during his rehab start with Triple-A St. Paul on Wednesday, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
ANALYSIS
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Rehab start on tap
PMinnesota Twins
Arm
June 7, 2021
Maeda (arm/groin) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A St. Paul on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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