Fantasy Baseball

Player Spotlight: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Luke Weaver


Did you know some people actually grow up as fans of the Tampa Bay Rays? Well, Luke Weaver did as he is from DeLand, Florida.

Weaver was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays out of high school in the 19th round back in 2011, but he did not sign. Instead, Weaver attended Florida State University, and three years later was a 1st round pick, selected by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Over six starts his first year, between rookie ball and Class A-Advanced, Weaver did not impress. He was 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA and a WHIP over 2.00.

2005 was Weaver’s first full season in the Cardinals organization and he spent the entire year with the Palm Beach Cardinals. Baseball America named Weaver to the high Class A Minor League All-Star team. During that year Weaver won Pitcher of the Month for July as he went 3-1 with a 0.94 ERA, while striking out 27 and issuing just two walks over 28 1/3 innings. Weaver finished the year going 8-5 with a 1.62 ERA over 19 starts.

The following season, Luke suffered an injury in Spring Training, causing his season to start on June 4th. Believe it or not, Weaver was running down fly balls when he suffered a broken left wrist.

After an impressive 77 innings with the Springfield Cardinals (AA), where Weaver struck out 88 batters and posted a 1.40 ERA, the team promoted him to the Memphis Redbirds (AAA).

Just 10 days after his promotion to AAA, he would make his major league debut as Michael Wacha went down with an injury.

Player Spotlight: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Luke Weaver

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Weaver struck out his first batter Dexter Fowler, and would end up going four innings and allowed two runs. St. Louis kept Weaver on the roster the remainder of the year and he finished with a 1-4 record and a 5.70 ERA.

In 2017, Weaver would bounce back and forth between AAA and the Big Leagues. Weaver would won seven games with a sub 4.00 ERA with the Cardinals.

Last season, Luke started the year in the Cardinals starting rotation, but after 24 starts he was just 6-11 with a 4.67 ERA. The team ended up moving him to the bullpen to finish the year.

This winter, on December 5th, Weaver was a centerpiece in a trade along with Carson Kelly and Andy Young to the Arizona Cardinals for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Since Being Traded to Arizona

So far in 2019 Weaver has made nine starts with his new club and has been making a positive impact.

He’s 3-2 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and has struck out 55 batters in 51 1/3 innings. His 9.64 K/9 is slightly above his career average.

Aside from his first start of the season, where he allowed five runs (four earned) against the Dodgers, Weaver has allowed three runs or less in eight straight starts.

One thing that has contributed to his early season success has been the fact that he’s keeping the ball in the ballpark. Weaver has allowed five home runs over his 51 1/3 innings of work, after giving up 19 long balls with the Cardinals last season in 136 1/3 innings. Weaver ranks in the top 25 for HR/9 at 0.88, as well as his 9.8% HR/FB ratio.

Luke Weaver also ranks inside the top 25 in K% at 26.1% and BB%, 5.7%. That 20.4% K-BB% is top 20 among qualified starting pitchers.

Next Three Starts

Weaver will make his next start today against Chris Paddack and the San Diego Padres Padres. The Friars have scored the 7th fewest runs in the league and are a division rival he has already faced. Back on April 12th, Weaver lost to the Padres despite pitching 6.1 innings, allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 8 and did not walk a batter.

After the Padres, he’ll face an even weaker hitting team, the San Francisco Giants, and then he’ll get the New York Mets who were just shut out in back to back games and swept in a three game series against the Miami Marlins.

Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Mike Lott

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