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Draft or Pass: Andrew Heaney, Why Can't I Quit You?

Andrew Heaney, the left-handed power pitcher on the Los Angeles Angels, is a promising player that SI Fantasy expert Jaime Eisner is more than willing to pursue and here's why.

The still-to-be-determined start of the 2020 MLB season has added an interesting wrinkle to fantasy baseball draft prep. We at SI Fantasy want to provide you with the best possible information heading into your drafts in these unprecedented times.

Our "Draft or Pass" video series takes a closer look at a fantasy player that will be debated often leading up to fantasy drafts, in many cases, because of the delayed start to the season. Are our hosts targeting this player specifically? Are they avoiding him entirely?

Today's video focuses on Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney.

Draft or Pass at current ADP: 197.6 (SP57)?

I just can't quit Andrew Heaney. His elite strikeout potential as the de facto ace of a fringe playoff contender makes him such a valuable flier to take in the middle-to-late rounds of fantasy drafts.

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Heaney didn't make his debut until around Memorial Day last season, but he was a reasonably popular breakout candidate heading into the year. With 18 strikeouts in his first 11 innings, it was easy to see why. He had an overall solid season that was ruined by a few bad starts at the end.

While every start counts, don't let his four bad ones over his final five games overshadow all the good things he did in 2019. Heaney had a swinging strike rate of 14.1%, a career-high. His velocity was up, he had a 21.5% K-BB%, and he got his K/9 back over 11.

Health is always the primary concern with Heaney. Maybe the extra time off will be a benefit. If he can stay healthy, a sub-4.00 ERA, a sub-1.20 WHIP, and a prorated portion of 200 strikeouts are very doable.

I had Heaney ranked as my SP40 and No. 155 player overall in spring training with a projection of 10 wins, a 4.02 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and 178 strikeouts in 160 innings pitched. I'm willing to take him in the 13th or 14th round while others are waiting until the 17th. 

READ MORE: Los Angeles Angels Team Preview