It’s long past time for the internets to profile Glen Perkins and take a good look at what his 2014 fantasy baseball value could hold. And do you smell that? Ahhhhh, YEAH!!! That’s the smell of home cooking’, because I’m writing this post from snowy downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota!
Every February – assuming there is no roof collapse – the Minnesota Twins open up the floor of the Metrodome for their annual Twins Fest. Every year I go and take $20 just to wheel and deal a few baseball card transaction or two, then I sit down and watch the radio.
‘Watching the radio’ isn’t a typical phrase, but it’s descriptive because I’ll plop down in the Metrodome seat section 112 as part of the live studio audience that gathers for the broadcast of ESPN Radio. The radio producers line up Twins players and coaches for 15 minute segments and hometown boy Glen Perkins has always been a good interview, while also long been know to be the kind of guy who’d buy a fan a beer.
But beyond the refreshing interviews and general ‘good guy’ reputation is the change physically in Glen Perkins over the years. Many years ago he was visibly doughy and you had to wonder how many of those fans’ beers he was tossing back himself. He had developed a reputation as having a poor work ethic and there were questions around if he’d ultimately wash out of baseball.
But Perkins had a wake up call in 2007. He realized that the time he was spending on the disabled list very well could be his own fault and the result of his poor conditioning. Almost immediately coaches and players were raving about his “new found maturity” and how he had grown into a “professional.”
Perkins slimmed downed, powered up, dropped his loopy curveball and added his slider. The kid had grown up.
He also shifted from starter to the bullpen and all these changes resulted in increased velocity, although I couldn’t remember how much. So, guys, I looked this up on Wikipedia: “Perkins throws three pitches: a four-seam fastball (95–97 mph), a two-seam fastball (93–96), and a slider (83–86).” That was actually helpful because I had forgotten that he also dropped his changeup when he moved from starter to reliever. Although Fangraphs says that 0.1% of his pitches were a changeup, I’m guessing that was a PitchFX just logged it incorrectly. Wikipedia wins again.
Since converting to the bullpen, this 3 pitch mix and the resulting velocity increase meant that Perkins has given fantasy owners 3 straight seasons of ERAs right around 2.50 or lower, 10+ K/9, and decreasing WHIPs. Going into his age 31 season he’s added the ‘proven closer’ label and he’s pitching his confidence and effectiveness. He can be trusted in 2014.
This all adds up to good news because Perkins will once again fly under the fantasy radar and you should be able to snatch him up rounds and rounds after the top closers fly off the board, but still be able to count on him to provide great value. Remember, even closers on bad teams get 30 saves a year.
You could do much worse than drafting Minnesota native Glen Perkins as your fantasy closer in 2014.