Arizona Diamondbacks Fantasy Superlatives: SP Zac Gallen on Verge of Breakout

The Arizona Diamondbacks are waiting for a breakthrough for SP Zac Gallen. These superlatives highlight a breakout, bust, comeback and two sleepers.
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Breakout: SP Zac Gallen

Gallen pitched well over three levels in 2017 (2.93 ERA), but his arm did regress the next season at AAA (3.65 ERA and 1.470 WHIP). His failure came from a high batting average against (.281) and a pullback in his walk rate (3.2).

In 2019, he blossomed at AAA (9-1 with a 1.77 ERA and 112 Ks over 91.1 innings). Gallen set a career-best in both his walk rate (1.7) and strikeout rate (11.0).

Over 15 starts in the majors, he went 3-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 96 strikeouts over 80 innings. His strikeout rate (10.8) held value while struggling to throw strikes (4.3 walk rate).

His AFB (93.1) is league average. Batters struggled to hit his four-seam (.192 BAA), changeup (.157 BAA), and curveball (.203 BAA) while featuring an underperforming slider (.305 BAA).

Over four seasons in the minors, Gallen went 27-18 with a 2.87 ERA and 384 strikeouts over 382 innings.

Possible regression if he doesn’t fix his command issues while being priced high in 2020 (ADP – 131). With 171.1 innings under his belt in 2019, a full season of starts should be expected this year—a chance at 200 strikeouts with a 3.25 ERA.

Sleeper: RP Kevin Ginkel

Over four seasons in the minors, Ginkel went 10-5 with a 2.60 ERA and 239 strikeouts over 166.1 innings while picking up 22 saves.

He posted a 1.82 ERA at AA and 1.62 ERA at AAA, which fell in line with his success in 2019 in the majors (1.48 ERA).

Ginkel didn’t have a problem with either right-handed (.152) or left-handed (.200) batters with Arizona.

His AFB came in at 93.8 MPH. Hitter struggled to make contact with his elite slider (.075 BAA) with success as well with his four-seamer (.245 BAA).

His strikeout rate (12.9) ranked highly in the minors with a respectable walk rate. In the mix for saves if Archie Bradley trips up.

Deep Sleeper: 3B Jake Lamb

Four days into the 2018 season, Lamb landed on the IL for six weeks with a left shoulder injury. When he returned to the starting lineup in mid-May, his bat lost all value (.217 with six HRs and 26 RBI over 189 at-bats). He ended up back on the injured list with the same shoulder injury that led to season-ending surgery in August.

Last year Lamb spent most of the first three months on the shelf with a quad injury. He never showed a spark over the final three months (.185 with five HRs and 25 RBI over 146 at-bats).

His CTBA (.273) was below his previous resume while showing strength in his AVH (1.833). He maintained a high walk rate (14.2). His strikeout rate (24.3) remains below the league average.

Lamb finished 106th in hard-hit rate (41.8). He had more strength in his HR/FB rate (11.8) in 2016 (21.2) and 2017 (20.1).

He has a waiver wire ADP (592), but Lamb may still emerge at the left-handed platoon option at first base. There’s a better player here, which makes him worth a flier in deep leagues.

Bust: 1B Christian Walker

Walker has a respectable seven-season resume in the minors (.285 with 125 HRs and 484 RBI over 2,882 at-bats). He repeated AAA five times (.279 with 92 HRs and 342 RBI over 2,042).

A Jake Lamb injury six games into 2019 created a starting job for him.

Walker started well in April (.307 with seven HRs and 15 RBI over 101 at-bats), but his bat had no value over his first 24 games in May (.170 with nine runs, one HR, and three RBI over 88 at-bats). He rebounded over his next 40 games (.281 with 27 runs, 11 HRs, and 30 RBI over 135 at-bats). Walker finished the year with ten home runs and 25 RBI over 205 at-bats.

His average hit rate (1.839) fell in line with his previous two seasons in the minors. He had risk in his strikeout rate (25.7) while doing a good job taking walks (11.1 percent).

Walker needs to improve against lefties (.241 with six HRs and 14 RBI over 145 at-bats).

His hard-hit rate (48.4) has the 16th highest value in baseball. He set a career-high in his HR/FB rate (20.1) at any level.

This season Lamb will be in the mix for at-bats at first base, which may force one of the two to seek playing time at another position. The switch to the DH in the National League does help Walker’s chance for at-bats.

Risky player based on his draft value (ADP – 197). Walker should improve in his second year in the majors, but his RBI rate (12) wasn’t ready to hit in the middle of the batting order. I would draft him with the idea of 450 at-bats with a full season of games.

Comeback: OF David Peralta

After the best season of his career, Peralta played well over his first 182 at-bats (.319 with 27 runs, seven HRs, and 30 RBI) in 2019. He missed the end of May with a right shoulder injury that flared up again in early July and ended his season in late August with surgery.

The Arizona Diamondbacks signed him to a three-year $22 million contract in early January, which shows that they are confident that his shoulder will be fine.

Peralta only hit .227 after the All-Star break with three home runs and 13 RBI over 88 at-bats.

His jump in power in 2018 came from a career-high in his HR/FB rate (23.4) that drifted back to 14.6 in 2019.

He has a fly-ball rate (27.7) under 30.0 in each of his previous four years in the majors. Peralta posted a favorable RBI rate (18) in 2018 and 2019.

A nice major league bat with a floor of a .280/80/20/80 season with 550 ABs. A move to 30-plus home runs would require a change in swing path. His ADP (260) has a wide range from low (178) to high (325).

READ MORE: 2020 Arizona Diamondbacks Fantasy Team Preview