MLB.com ranked Tyler Skaggs as their 10th-best prospect in all of baseball prior to last season, but after making just seven starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and struggling when did get a chance to pitch (5.12 ERA), the young left-hander got a change of scenery when he was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels as part of a three-team trade in December.
Skaggs looked good in his Angels’ debut Saturday night against the Houston Astros, allowing one unearned run on four hits along with five strikeouts and one walk over eight innings. Should fantasy baseball owners now look to add him?
Skaggs’ velocity dropped during his time with Arizona last season, but reports out of spring training suggested his fastball velocity was back over 90 MPH as he went back to his old delivery. He went at least six innings and allowed three earned runs or less in three of his seven starts for Arizona last year, and his struggles in the minors (4.60 ERA over 109.2 innings) suggests a stable role will do Skaggs a lot of good.
Skaggs has a career minor league K/9 rate of 9.8, so he definitely appears to have some untapped potential in that area. It’s worth noting he won’t turn 23 until July and only has 76 innings of major league experience even after Saturday, so Skaggs can still easily establish himself as one of the top young southpaws in all of baseball.
From a fantasy perspective Skaggs is worth adding immediately in AL-only leagues, and he’s still a very good option in keeper leagues, but until he strings together a few quality starts he is only usable in mixed leagues when he has a favorable matchup. His next scheduled start at home against the New York Mets next Friday is one of those favorable scenarios, so an argument can be made for owners in deep mixed leagues to get ahead of the curve and add Skaggs now while he is still widely available (15 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues).