Fantasy Baseball: Brady Singer is hitting high notes

It’s not that much fun being a Kansas City Royals fan these days. Oh, they won the title in 2015, that was lovely, one year after losing the World Series in seven games. Kansas City hasn’t been over .500 since, winning about 43 percent of their games. They were more or less eliminated from playoff contention before the 2022 season even started.

But maybe Brady Singer can offer some hope as the Royals meander through the second half.

Should you add Brady Singer?

Singer went into the Bronx on Thursday and didn’t blink, shutting out the Yankees over seven brilliant innings. Singer allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out 10. Alas, he didn’t get a victory because the Royals never scored; those damn Yankees ultimately won the game with an Aaron Judge walk-off in the bottom of the ninth. But any fantasy manager will welcome Singer’s bagel parade.

There’s been a lot of that this month. Singer has a 2.05 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over five July turns, and he’s struck out 42 batters in 30.2 innings. His last two turns featured 22 strikeouts in 13 innings. Anytime you see double-digit Ks from any starter, it’s usually worth a plausible-upside pickup.

Starting pitcher Brady Singer #51 of the Kansas City Royals has potential fantasy value
Could Brady Singer be an optimal fantasy pitcher in the remaining months of the season? (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Singer comes with a pedigree as well. He was a first-round pick in 2018, and had some prospect buzz before the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Singer didn’t hit the ground running in his first two MLB trials, but a 4.05 ERA isn’t terrible for an inexperienced pitcher, and he struck out one batter per inning. There were signs of future stardom.

Better control has been the key to Singer’s 2022 improvement, as he’s lowered his walk percentage by 32 percent. And even if he’s pitching over his head of late, the seasonal ratios (3.51 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) are roster-worthy in just about any format. Singer turns 26 in a week, so the career arc also supports the signs of a breakthrough. He’ll be someone I’ll actively try to draft next spring.

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In the meantime, we can consider Singer as an addition now; he’s still unclaimed in about three-quarters of Yahoo leagues. Perhaps Kansas City will skip a late-season start or two with an eye towards a healthy future, but let’s not worry about that yet. His next two turns come against the White Sox (who struggle against right-handed starters) and the Red Sox (who have done little right during a disastrous July).