There is always one positional group who’s publicity lags behind the rest, both in real life and in Fantasy Sports. If starting pitchers are like quarterbacks and the positional players are the running backs and wide receivers, the relievers would be the tight ends. Finding the right underrated tight end can win you a league. The same can be said for relievers, especially our next 2023 Dynasty Baseball Trade Target: Tanner Scott.
I’m guilty of not giving a ton of attention to relievers. I’ve done a lot of trade target pieces on starters, and even multiple Marlins starters, the same team Tanner Scott is on. However, I have never had a reliever trade target. This changes today.
The position in general is under-valued. The right reliever can help in all five or six pitching categories. If your league uses holds, then relievers are arguably more important than starters.
2023 Dynasty Baseball Trade Target: Tanner Scott
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In order to be the first reliever I write about, Scott must be a pretty special arm. The Marlins lefty has been nothing short of that this season.
However, the road to the top was not an easy one for Scott. He suffered through three mediocre years in Baltimore from 2017-2019. Scott’s ERA was never below 4.78 throughout his first three years as an Oriole. This was before the three batter minimum, so Scott was actually struggling as a lefty specialist.
While most people had an extremely rough 2020, Tanner Scott actually enjoyed a great year for the Orioles. His ERA was 1.31 over 21 innings, striking out 23 batters in the process.
This lead to a more pronounced role in the Orioles bullpen in 2021. However, Scott could not recreate that same magic, reverting back to the 2017-2019 version.
Scott's Great 2023
Fast forward to 2023, Scott’s second with the Marlins. At a 4.4 walks per nine, Scott is walking guys at a far lower rate than he had the last couple of seasons, where it was near seven. This was Scott’s biggest issue, so it is great to see that being cleaned up.
Fortunately for both Scott and fantasy managers, this has not come at the cost of strikeouts. While an improvement in control can sometimes lead to more contact, this has not been the case for Scott, who still boasts a K/9 of almost 13.
While these numbers are great, it is always best to take the raw numbers of relievers with a little bit of caution. This is because they throw so few innings that one bad outing can change a stat line this early into the season. This is why it is best to look at a player’s advanced metrics.
While I would never recommend to trade for a player who has subpar advanced metrics, most of the guys I write about don’t have numbers like Scott. He is in the top three percent of xBA, xWOBA, Hard hit percentage, K% and xERA. It’s hard to find an underrated guy who ranked among the top arms in two categories, much less five.
How has Scott been so effective?
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Tanner Scott simply misses barrels. Even when he was struggling, he still has less barrels/PA than the league average. In 2023, his barrels/PA is one third of league average. This is an absolute crazy number, and indicates long term success for Scott.
Scott is able to miss barrels by coupling a well spotted fastball with an absolutely wipeout slider. His slider drops 3.4 inches more than league average, and breaks two inches more than league average. When located well, this is almost an impossible pitch to hit. Scott throws a slider 57% of the time, which gets him great results.
What will it take to get Scott?
While lefty relievers are needed on every team in real life, they aren’t as important in Fantasy Baseball. However, regardless of hand-preference, Tanner Scott will be hard to get because of the amount of success he’s enjoyed this year.
Despite this, a player as talented as Scott should be targeted by everyone. You should be comfortable giving up a few decent players for him.
Tanner Scott is a top lefty arm, and won’t be going anywhere for a while. Trading for him now before he gets even better could be the move you need to make to win the league. This is why it is so important to grab our next 2023 Dynasty Baseball Trade Target: Tanner Scott
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