Keone Kela

Keone Kela

28-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
Out
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 7/1/2022
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The 27-year-old was poised to begin the 2020 campaign as Pittsburgh's undisputed closer, but he ended up appearing in only three games in the final year of his contract. Kela was late to report for summer camp amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and he went down with a season-ending forearm injury shortly after rejoining the team in August. The right-hander has a 2.87 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 153:48 K:BB over 122.1 innings since 2017, and he also has a 31.1 K% during that stretch. Most of the concerns here are with injuries and attitude, as he's been in altercations with both other teams and his own. Kela's raw numbers support a high-leverage role, but he's dealt with numerous injuries over the past few years in addition to the off-field issues, so he's unlikely to begin spring training with a guaranteed role wherever he lands. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#583
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the Padres in February of 2021. $800,000 option for 2022 vested in May of 2021.
Becomes free agent
PFree Agent  
Elbow
November 5, 2021
The Padres declined their team option on Kela (elbow) on Friday, making him a free agent, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
Having undergone Tommy John surgery in May, Kela is unlikely to pitch before the middle of next season. The righty hasn't posted solid numbers since 2019, but a team searching for cheap bullpen help figures to give Kela a shot in 2022.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
17
Last 10 Games
18
Last 5 Games
16
How many pitches does Keone Kela generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Keone Kela generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-7%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-49%
BAA vs LHP
2020
Even Split
2019
 
 
-18%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .197 80 19 9 14 4 0 4
Since 2019vs Right .211 97 30 6 19 5 0 3
2021vs Left .179 29 10 1 5 0 0 2
2021vs Right .353 19 3 2 6 0 0 1
2020vs Left .333 3 1 0 1 0 0 1
2020vs Right .333 7 2 1 2 0 0 0
2019vs Left .200 48 8 8 8 4 0 1
2019vs Right .164 71 25 3 11 5 0 2
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-20%
ERA on Road
2021
 
 
-40%
ERA on Road
2020
 
 
-100%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-12%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 3.24 1.24 25.0 3 1 1 10.4 4.0 1.4
Since 2019Away 2.60 0.98 17.1 1 1 0 10.4 2.1 1.6
2021Home 5.63 1.25 8.0 2 1 0 11.3 2.3 2.3
2021Away 3.38 1.50 2.2 0 1 0 10.1 3.4 3.4
2020Home 0.00 2.00 1.0 0 0 0 18.0 9.0 0.0
2020Away 9.00 2.00 1.0 0 0 0 9.0 0.0 9.0
2019Home 2.25 1.19 16.0 1 0 1 9.6 4.5 1.1
2019Away 1.98 0.80 13.2 1 0 0 10.5 2.0 0.7
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Keone Kela compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
4.33
 
K/9
11.0
 
BB/9
2.5
 
HR/9
2.5
 
Fastball
94.8 mph
 
ERA
5.06
 
WHIP
1.31
 
BABIP
.319
 
GB/FB
1.08
 
Left On Base
61.2%
 
Exit Velocity
81.4 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
6.3%
 
Spin Rate
2384 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
22.2%
 
Swinging Strike
7.9%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Keone Kela
Mound Musings: Bullpens With Unanswered Questions
244 days ago
Brad Johnson writes about seeking value in bullpens with possible question marks, like in Philadelphia, where Hector Neris might have closer potential, if he can work on his meltdowns.
The Long Game: Navigating Inflation and NL Endgame Targets
258 days ago
Erik Siegrist looks at potential late targets in the NL and explains how suppressed salaries in keeper formats for prospects like Jesus Luzardo leads to inflated salaries for aces like Trevor Bauer.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
Kela had a rough 2019 around dealing with a shoulder injury that cost him over two months of time, as well as two well-publicized altercations -- one with his own front office and the other being with the Reds. When he did pitch, the results were very positive as the reliever struck out 28% of the batters he faced and held opposing hitters to a .178 average with a 1.01 WHIP. The 19 K-BB% isn't elite, but Kela has closer-worth skills across the board the past few years, and yet only once has he been the primary closer. The opportunity should be there for him now considering he is in his walk year, and the Pirates will likely want to enhance his trade value by allowing him to re-establish himself as a closer. The issues with Kela are mostly from the neck up, and that doesn't show up in the stats. A late-round pick that could turn a nice profit if his maturity can take a step forward.
Kela began the season as the Rangers' closer, recording 24 saves before being shipped to the Pirates on July 30. With the Bucs, Kela transitioned to a setup role where he'll likely stay so long as Felipe Vazquez remains in Pittsburgh. Coming off a couple of injury-riddled seasons where he averaged just 36.1 innings a year, Kela was shut down in early September, with 51 solid frames under his belt. For the season, he shaved a couple percentage points of his walk rate without sacrificing much dominance. Kela relies primarily on a four-seamer he rushes to the plate at 97 mph along with a curve as his secondary offering. Lefties had better numbers than usual against Kela, but most of that was a result of a small-sample .377 BABIP. With a strikeout rate north of 30%, Kela is in play in all formats and is especially appealing in leagues scoring holds, as he should be among the league leaders.
Kela was admonished to the minor leagues to begin the year in what was said to be a move to preserve team chemistry, but he was called up a couple weeks into the season and outperformed everyone not named Alex Claudio in the Rangers' bullpen the rest of the way. Using a fastball that averaged over 96 mph and a wipeout, 12-6 curveball, Kela struck batters out at a 33.8 percent clip, and he was able to limit the free passes better than he did in 2016 (4.0 BB/9). The right-hander was dominant against same-handed hitters, holding opposing righty batters to .113/.220/.150 line, and he was no slouch against lefties (.170/.267/.377). His overpowering stuff would seem to make Kela a favorite for the closer role, as has long been speculated, although his flyball tendencies ding him a bit in that regard. If he doesn't get the job out of camp, Kela should be the next man up.
Kela missed about three months of action after he underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow in April. He struggled to regain his 2015 form, during which he flashed closer abilities. If he can split the difference in his walk rate over the last two years, it'll work well with his already excellent strikeout ability (10.8 career K/9). Texas is loaded with closer candidates, though Sam Dyson and Jeremy Jeffress, the top two on the totem pole, have sizeable holes in their game. Kela, who turns 24 in April, deserves to be among the first names fantasy owners in deep leagues consider when they're looking for a reliever who can help in the strikeout column. He could wind up as one of the better reliever end-game investments in AL-only leagues, as many may forget about his lethal arm and skills. An eye-opening spring training performance could restart the hype train.
Kela made the jump from Double-A Frisco directly to the majors on the strength of a strong spring training and promptly rewarded the organization's faith in him with a solid rookie season that included seven wins, 22 holds and 68 strikeouts in 60.1 innings. He battled arm fatigue at times, and was briefly sent to the minors to get additional rest, in addition to complaining of elbow soreness toward the end of the season. During the offseason, there was no indication that Kela was going to face any restrictions. He's had control issues throughout his minor-league career, but Kela walked just 18 batters in 60.1 innings with Texas. He projects as an effective late-inning arm for 2016, and Kela is on the short list to ascend to the closer's role if injuries befall Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson.
More Fantasy News
Shifts to 60-day IL
PSan Diego Padres  
Elbow
May 23, 2021
The Padres transferred Kela (elbow) to the 60-day injured list Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Undergoes Tommy John surgery
PSan Diego Padres  
Elbow
May 19, 2021
Kela underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports.
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Will seek second opinion
PSan Diego Padres  
Forearm
May 17, 2021
Kela will travel to Texas on Monday to receive a second opinion on his injured right arm, the Associated Press reports.
ANALYSIS
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Lands on injured list
PSan Diego Padres  
Forearm
May 8, 2021
Kela was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained right forearm Saturday.
ANALYSIS
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Managing forearm tightness
PSan Diego Padres  
Forearm
May 8, 2021
Kela exited Friday's game against the Giants due to forearm tightness, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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