Jose Quintana has quietly been one of the most consistently dependable pitchers over the last few seasons. However, he is also the poster boy for why pitcher wins is a terrible real life and fantasy baseball statistic. Unfortunately for Quintana, his statistics on a terrible team will keep him out of top-twenty fantasy baseball SP contention.
Quintana sits just outside that top-twenty barrier by ADP. According to FantasyPros.com, he is currently the 23rd SP drafted. He is going just inside the top 100 overall, between Gerrit Cole and Rick Porcello. Cole/Quintana/Porcello is an interesting trio to investigate. Cole has the upside to be in the top-twenty. Porcello has the downside to be outside the top-forty. And Quintana will happily sit between twenty and thirty.
The reason Quintana won’t be able to crack the top twenty, despite eating a ton of innings with a low ERA and a good WHIP, is wins. The White Sox are extremely bad, and they are only set to win around 75-80 games this year. This isn’t a new story for Quintana. Last year, he had a 3.20 ERA, and 13 wins. Since 1986, a pitcher has pitched 200 innings of a near 3.20 ERA 78 times (between 3.15 and 3.25). These pitchers averaged 15 wins a season, with only ten pitchers qualifying and getting fewer wins than Quintana.
Of course, This is no fault of Quintana. Given his other talents, he deserves much better. Unfortunately for Quintana, he will be extremely deficient in 25% of the categories where he can contribute. Fortunately for Quintana drafters, his actual skills are in great company. Only 15 pitchers managed 200 innings of sub-3.25 ERA last year, and only nine pulled it off while striking out at least 175 batters. The reason behind his wins not matching his other statistics is Chicago’s terrible offense. Among the 74 pitchers who qualified for the ERA title last year, Quintana had the thirteenth lowest average run support. In short, the White Sox offense left him out to dry.[Kenny2]
Jose Quintana is a great pitching talent, and a great, solid fantasy baseball contributor. The White Sox, unfortunately, are a disaster and will limit his ability to get wins. While Quintana will be a top-twenty fantasy baseball pitching talent, his wins will belie his actual quality. If you can’t snag him in the draft as a solid #3, then try to get him in a trade in May or June, as his low wins will drive down his overall rank. If Quintana can go to an actual, professional MLB franchise, however, he will be able to thrive and notch wins, and crack the top-twenty.