Kirby Yates
Kirby Yates
32-Year-Old PitcherRP
San Diego Padres
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Yates was already on his way to a career year when the Padres dealt Brad Hand at the trade deadline, and he deservedly took over as the closer after that. He was not as effective after the All-Star break as he was before, but still set career bests across the board. A 31-year-old righty, Yates relies on a 95-mph fastball to get ahead in the count and gets whiffs with his splitter and hard slider. He will open 2019 in the same role he finished last year, but could wind up on the trade block himself if the Padres can't keep pace in the NL West, given his age and the fact he is only under team control for two more seasons. Chances are, he would not work as a closer if he were dealt to a contender. He was getting drafted as a top-15 reliever on average in December, with drafters putting a lot of faith in a player with just 14 career saves. That aggression is somewhat understandable given his dominance last season and the general lack of trustworthy closers. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $3.06 million contract with the Padres in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Keeps rolling with 20th save
PSan Diego Padres
May 22, 2019
Yates bagged another save against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, retiring all three batters he faced in a scoreless ninth inning to preserve a 5-2 victory for the Padres. He struck out one.
Yates simply can't be stopped at the moment, as this was his third straight game with a save to bring his total up to 20 on the season. He continues to act as the top closer in baseball to start 2019 as the Padres have been providing him with a ton of opportunities. He boasts a 1.13 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and a phenomenal 44:8 K:BB over 24 innings.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .234 261 95 27 54 10 0 10
Since 2017vs Right .160 314 127 17 46 6 0 8
2019vs Left .220 47 24 6 9 3 0 0
2019vs Right .140 47 20 2 6 2 0 0
2018vs Left .235 116 35 11 24 3 0 3
2018vs Right .137 134 55 6 17 1 0 3
2017vs Left .239 98 36 10 21 4 0 7
2017vs Right .190 133 52 9 23 3 0 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 1.63 0.89 77.1 3 5 15 14.3 2.3 0.9
Since 2017Away 3.93 1.13 66.1 6 5 18 13.4 3.3 1.4
2019Home 1.80 0.93 15.0 0 2 11 15.6 2.4 0.0
2019Away 0.00 1.00 9.0 0 0 9 18.0 4.0 0.0
2018Home 1.50 1.00 30.0 2 2 3 12.3 2.7 0.9
2018Away 2.73 0.85 33.0 3 1 9 13.4 2.2 0.8
2017Home 1.67 0.77 32.1 1 1 1 15.6 1.9 1.4
2017Away 7.03 1.56 24.1 3 4 0 11.8 4.4 2.6
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Stat Review
How does Kirby Yates compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 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 20 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.
93.3 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
86.8 mph
Spin Rate
1829 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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 Kirby Yates
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46 days ago
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56 days ago
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66 days ago
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Collette Calls: 2019 New Pitches of Note
66 days ago
Jason Collette analyzes pitchers who have added new pitches to their arsenals this spring, like Washington free-agent signing Patrick Corbin, who is bringing back his changeup despite a career year last season.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
The Padres claimed Yates off waivers after he was designated for assignment by the Angels in April. He proceeded to make 61 appearances for San Diego last season, pushing his strikeout rate to a gaudy 38.5 percent while providing decent ratios (3.97 ERA, 1.11 WHIP). An extreme flyball pitcher, Yates continues to give up too many home runs, and his career 1.81 HR/9 is showing no signs of improving. Mixing a mid-90s fastball, slider and changeup, Yates' ability to miss bats appears to be sustainable, but he needs to cut back on the number of mistakes he makes with his slider. He did not allow a hit all season with his changeup, which generated whiffs at an excellent clip (26.6 percent), and gives him a weapon that could allow him to become more effective at getting lefties out. It's not out of the question to think that he could be given a chance at closing in San Diego at some point if Brad Hand were to get traded.
Yates' ability to strike batters out is unquestionable, but the other facets of pitching got him traded twice over the offseason. The 29-year-old eventually landed in the Yankees organization, where he initially broke camp with the major league bullpen. However, he was shipped back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in late June after posting a paltry 5.72 ERA and 4.4 BB/9 across 26.2 innings pitched. He dominated the minor league competition, but his return to the big leagues didn't provide any more success, as he sported a 4.09 ERA and a 4.9 BB/9 over 11 innings scattered across the final two months of the season. The right-hander's strikeout rate was impeccable as always (10.9 K/9), but his lack of control and propensity to give up home runs doesn't bode well going forward. He was claimed off waivers by the Angels in October, so he could garner a low-leverage role in their relatively weak relief corps. That being said, until he can harness his control, Yates is unlikely to be consistently entrusted with high-leverage situations.
Yates made the Rays’ Opening Day roster thanks to a strong spring training in which he registered a 2.45 ERA and 11:3 K/BB ratio in 11 innings. His regular season didn’t go as well. The 28-year-old saw playing time in four different months and his 4.15 ERA in April was easily his best mark in any individual month. He eventually finished with a brutal 7.97 ERA in 20.1 innings, with most of his time coming after a September callup. At his best, Yates is an excellent strikeout pitcher, evidenced by 11.9 K/9 in the minors and at his worst he deals with serious command issues, with a 4.2 BB/9. He also missed significant time in May and June due to a chest injury, which likely didn’t feel great even after he returned. He’ll have to battle to secure a role with the Yankees during spring training after coming over in a January trade, but even if he makes the team, he unlikely to work into a fantasy-relevant role.
The undersized reliever had a nice debut for the Rays in 2014. He struck out 27 percent of the batters he faced and held opposing batters to a .241 average. Over the past two seasons at Triple-A Durham, Yates served as the team’s closer and struck out 128 batters and permitted just 48 hits in 86.2 innings. Despite the big numbers, Yates does not have top-shelf stuff and relies more on sequencing and a deceptive delivery for his effectiveness. He should work the middle innings of relief so he could vulture some wins while helping with strikeouts in deep AL-only leagues.
More Fantasy News
Notches 19th save
PSan Diego Padres
May 21, 2019
Yates dominated the Diamondbacks in one inning of work Tuesday, striking out the side to earn the save.
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Picks up 18th save
PSan Diego Padres
May 20, 2019
Yates got the save against the Diamondbacks on Monday, striking out two with no walks in a scoreless ninth inning to lock down San Diego's 2-1 victory.
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Racks up another save
PSan Diego Padres
May 16, 2019
Yates picked up the save against the Pirates on Thursday, striking out one without allowing a baserunner over a scoreless ninth inning to preserve a 4-3 victory for the Padres.
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Notches 16th save
PSan Diego Padres
May 12, 2019
Yates struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning Saturday to record his 16th save of the season in a 4-3 win over the Rockies.
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Bounces back with save
PSan Diego Padres
May 8, 2019
Yates picked up the save against the Mets on Wednesday, working around a hit and a walk to toss a scoreless ninth inning and lock down a 3-2 victory for the Padres.
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