Below is a table to show you the range of SOBBs (K%-BB%) and the value they hold.
Aaron Blair, ATL – We’ll start with the youngster that’s still in the majors, for now. Blair was a bit shaky his first time out with 5.1 IP, three earned runs, two walks and one strikeout. Without even pulling up the K% and BB% numbers, you can figure out that means Blair had a negative SOBB. It sits at -4.8 after one start with 4.8 K% and 9.5 BB%. Obviously, Blair won’t finish with a negative mark – unless he struggles again and is sent down for the rest of the season. At the same time, though, we need to know what to expect.
Blair’s SOBB continually fell since his 2014 season in Single-A ball. In fact, it was just 9.2 last season while in Triple-A for the Diamondbacks. Blair has turned things around so far this year, as in three starts for the Braves Triple-A squad, he had a 24.6 SOBB with a 31.9 K%. That strikeout percentage was the highest of his career. While that looks enticing, Blair has a longer history of pitching around the league average with strikeouts and walks, so it’s doubtful that he’s suddenly a high-K pitcher. However, he is major league ready, and he can post a respectable ERA and WHIP. Blair has also held power hitters in check; he’s never had a HR/9 over 0.86. Blair can help with your ratios a tad and will put up some strikeouts, but pitching for the Braves hurts his win potential, as does his likely low-inning outings. He’s worth grabbing in deeper leagues, but shallow and likely even standard 12-team mixed leagues can hold off.