One of the biggest surprises this fantasy baseball season has been Cincinnati Reds SP Mike Leake. The right-hander was drafted eighth overall in 2009 and quickly made the jump to the majors, but he had a difficult time adjusting to major league hitters.
This season, however, Leake has looked like a completely different pitcher. He is 7-2 at the moment and has been the most reliable hurler in Cincinnati’s rotation. Leake currently has an outstanding 2.64 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Even more impressive is the fact that the former Arizona State closer has allowed just six earned runs over his last seven outings. He has been absolutely untouchable this year and continues to shutdown some of the best offenses in the National League.
The 25-year-old has never been a strong strike out pitcher. He is only averaging 6.50 strikeouts per nine innings this year, which may be up from his 5.83 last year, but is still not exactly elite fantasy numbers. However, Leake is inducing 51% of his outs from groundballs. He is punishing hitters inside with his fastball/ cutter combo and has been painting the corner of the strike zone all season long. Not all aces need to be strike out pitchers and Leake has just reinforced that fact for fantasy owners.
Leake has proven that he can be a reliable weekly starter and the young righty is on pace to shatter his career numbers.