Chris Crawford discusses Justin Steele's latest success, highlighting what he can bring to the table for both the Chicago Cubs and fantasy managers for the remainder of the 2022 season.
CHRIS CRAWFORD: Not a whole heck of a lot has gone right for the Cubs in 2022 on the field. But one of the few bright spots has been Justin Steele, and he's been particularly impressive in the month of August. In two starts thus far over the month, the southpaw has posted a 19 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. He's allowed just two earned runs for a 1.69 ERA.
It's also worth pointing out that July saw the southpaw post a 2.11 ERA. So it's not just a small sample. That's what he's done so far. But the question for fantasy managers is, of course, what he can do to end the year.
The advanced stats suggest quite a bit. Steele generates an enormous amount of spin on his fastball, and that's helped him avoid barrels and hard hit at an elite rate, ranking in the 94th and 87th percentile in those categories respectively. He doesn't generate a ton of swing and miss. He ranks in the 29th percentile in that category with a well below average heater in terms of velocity.
But it's not just good luck that allows him to generate so much weak contact with good enough deception to get hitters to freeze. He may not generate a ton of wins or K's, but Steele can pitch. And he should be a solid option for the final few months of 2022.