Not many fantasy baseball fans projected the Pittsburgh Pirates number one starter to be Jeff Locke at this point in the season. However, the southpaw has been absolutely embarrassing the competition this year and has outpitched every other hurler on the staff.
Through 82.1 innings of work this year, Locke has only allowed 20 earned runs. The 25-year-old has a sizzling 2.19 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP to go along with his outstanding 6-1 record. He has somehow pitched even better in the last several weeks, as he has allowed just four earned runs over his last six starts.
Locke is only throwing 92.4 pitches per starts, so the team is obviously being careful with their future ace. However, the fact that he is pitching so well in just his second season in the bigs shows amazing fantasy potential for dynasty league owners.
J-Lo has mixed in three pitches exceptionally well. According to FanGraphs, Locke is throwing his fastball 62.2% of the time, but he is also throwing his curveball 19.7% and changeup 14.1%. Locke’s ability to mix up pitches has frustrated opposing hitters all year and has helped him constantly get ahead in the count. Not many pitchers have a three-pitch repertoire, but this kid has three above-average pitches.
Locke has developed into a reliable mid-level starter this season. He has amazing keeper potential and is showcasing it on a weekly basis. If you have Locke on your roster, this is the year to lock him up.