He doesn't accumulate a ton of innings or strikeouts, but Ryan Boyer details why Cardinals SP Kwang-hyun Kim is a valuable fantasy asset for help in ERA and WHIP categories.
RYAN BOYER: The Cardinals have dealt with plenty of injuries and instability in their rotation this season. But one guy who's provided some steadiness, has been Kwang-hyun Kim. It might come as a surprise to some, but going into the second half on pitchers with at least 100 innings since the beginning of last season, Kim ranks ninth in baseball with a 2.59 ERA. That's ahead of guys like Gerrit Cole, and Yu Darvish, and Max Scherzer.
Of course, that doesn't mean Kim belongs in the same class as the elite pitchers I just mentioned. For one, he doesn't get nearly as many swings and misses, having posted just a 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings rate during his career. Kim also doesn't come close to stacking up in terms of workload. In 22 career starts, Kim is averaging barely five innings per outing. That certainly hurts his chances at picking up wins, especially with a below average offense backing him.
However, what Kim has been good at is limiting hard contact. The left-hander's exit velocity, hard hit rate, and bail rates all rank easily better than the league average. And his walking home run rates rank better than league average as well. Kim entered the [? right ?] pitching some of the best ball this season, with a 1.95 ERA in his last six starts. He could certainly be a help in ERA and WHIP the rest of the way.