(Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)
2020 season age: 33 – Throws: R – Bats: R – Contract: – Pre-arb
2019 in review: In eight MLB appearances in 2019, Hoyt struck out 10 and walked two for the Indians. He posted a 2.16 ERA after 42 Triple-A innings with 48 strikeouts and 20 walks and a 3.43 ERA. 2019 was Hoyt’s second year in the Indians organization but he only briefly pitched in in 2018 due to injuries after being acquired in a trade from Houston.
Beyond the stats: Hoyt hasn’t pitched a ton in the big league’s, but when he has been in, he’s missed a good amount of bats. He struck out 66 in 49.1 innings in 2017 and 28 in 22 innings in 2016. In doing so, he ran 17.5% and 15.2% swinging strike rates in those respective years. He had a 17.9% swinging strike rate in his eight innings in Cleveland last year. There’s not a lot of StatCast data on him because of his limited time in the majors, he looks to have just above average fastball velocity, below average spin rate, but has managed to run high strikeout rates and incude weak contact. There’s clearly something interesting about his profile that allows him to miss bats and the Indians clearly see that.
On the mound: While his high spin slider is his go-to pitch, Hoyt uses a sinker, changeup and four seam fastball. His slider, is around 2440-2550, and is his pitch away pitch. His sinker has gotten hammered over his three partial big league seasons, with wOBA’s over .400 and .500 since 2016. His changeup has fared well in those limited samples, while his four seamer has also suffered similar fates as his sinker. Hoyt’s fastball is average in both terms of velocity and spin rate, so utilizing the slider and changeup is what makes him interesting and able to miss bats. He’s had some health issues over the last few years but at 6’6, he’s a big figure on the mound with the kind of out pitch that gives him a chance to serve some kind of bullpen role.
2020 role: Hoyt has a split contract and he has one option left, so there’s a good chance he winds up back in Triple-A to start 2020. But the Indians seem to like him a fair amount and he’s a veteran, so he could win a job out of spring training. But because he has an option, and the Indians have other young, exciting bullpen options, if he doesn’t pitch well, he could find himself riding the I-71 route in 2020, especially when the Indians need to rotate in fresh bullpen arms.
Fantasy impact: Even if he wins a job, Hoyt is about fifth in line for the closer’s role and like Hunter Wood, he’s likely more set up to come out behind in the game, rather than in situation’s where he can pick up a hold. He could rack up strikeouts if his past is any indication, but his role is highly unknown and he won’t be in line for saves or holds. He’s not a fantasy option in any type of league.