In our continuing series on the Sabermetric Indicators that shape our player projections in our 2018 Draft Advisory Program. Today we'll take a look at some of the indicators that are defining our 2018 Pitcher projections:
P Anderson, Chase BABIP against seemed
very fortunatele last season dropping to a career low of .265, which feeds into
the lower WHIP/ERA drop in his HR/FB rate of 8.6% and elevated 81% Strand%. The
other oddity which bodes well in his defense is the increase of 2 MPH in his
average fastball (93.1). Did Anderson find the fountain of youth at 29...we're
not buying it either.
P Anderson, Tyler His GB/FB rates neutralized to league norms last season and his HR/FB rate skyrocketed to 19.5%. Will need to stay down in the zone to become effective. Picked up 1MPH on his fastball, but his change up picked up 1.5 MPH...will need to get that split closer to 10, to make that his + pitch and be effective. Has potential, but there is not much margin playing in Coors.
P Archer, Chris Archer improved across the board in 2017, but his stats like didn't show it: 10W|4.07|1.26. The counting stats on the Ks (249) did show his dominance of 13.4 SwStr% and 11.2 K/9. He was unlucky on batted balls (325), but when he missed, apparently he really missed as opposing batters hit at a 39% Hard Hit rate against him. I believe he'll post a better stat line in averages category and the Wins totals in 2018.
P Arrieta, Jake Has made a career of keeping opposing batters in the poor BABIP zone. Consider that in 2015 and 2016 hitters only registered a .246/241 BABIP against. Last year opposing BABIP went up to .279, thanks to a sub normal first half for him...but in the 2nd half he limited hitters to a .246 BABIP. As I've outlined in prior research, some pitchers have this skill, to induce poor contact...and Arrieta is one of them. Look for a rebound, assuming that he signs with a team that has a good defense behind him.
P Bailey, Homer Bailey has posted an 1.69+ WHIP the last few seasons, which is troublesome, but a closer look shows that his HR/FB% hasn't been the problem, rather it's an inflated BABIP. Last season's .346 crushed his production. The question is how much of that is skill set vs luck. The 31% Hard Hit rate against is right in line with league norms, and his 93.5 MPH fastball is close to his career best. It seems that he no longer has a + pitch....essentially he's not falling anyone right now with a Swinging K rate less than the league norms. Is an improvement possible, sure, because he can't get much worse, but on the flip side he's not likely to return to his career norms.
P Bauer, Trevor Can be dominant at time, yet can implode at other times. Improved on his 3.3 K/BB, but was unlucky on balls hit into play with a .337 BABIP against...which was partially because of an elevated 34% hard hit rate against, but clearly the BABIP was higher than it should have been and the 16% HR/FB rate didn't help. The uptick in the K rate (increase in FB velocity +1 to 94) should result in a better overall numbers in 2018, but the 17 Win total from 2017, was 7 more than deserved. Expect a down tick there.
P Berrios, Jose Lots of things went right for the former top pitching prospect. This includes a lower than expected 9.1 HR/FB rate and a 71% Strand Rate, then there was only 12 quality starts, yet he won 14 games w/ a lineup isn't considered potent. The SwStr rate isn't there yet for Berrios to be hailed as an ace, and at only 24 he's still developing.
P Boyd, Matthew Matt throws FB/SL/CH, and mixes in a curve. His FB velo isn't overwhelming at 92 and its peak seems to be 93-94. His fastball plays up because of his change delta however. He parachutes his change in low 80s at times which gives 11 mph of delta which is maddening to hitters. He throws his curveball even slower and it's the range of velos that he can present to a hitter that makes him formidable. He also has a couple different flavors of his change and curve which show more velo options and paths of movement. A 330 BABIP against hurt his overall numbers last season, but it was partly deserved as he was hit hard at a 35% clip. Improvement expected.
P Bumgarner, Madison A sprained left shoulder kept Bumgarner sidelined for most of the 1st half. The good news is that the injury was not related to his pitching mechanics, but rather a off the field motorbike injury. He appeared to be fully healthy when he finished the season. In 2017 his K/9 rate dropped from 10 to 8.2, as his changeup became a very ineffective pitch for him. The only concern is that 35% hard hit rate against him last season, which is very uncharacteristic of his skill set. There is some caution here, but at only 28, there should also be some optimism that he's still a dominant pitcher.
P Bundy, Dylan Looked great in his return to being a full time starter last season. Did tire out in the 2nd half and a hamstring injury ended his season a little premature. Overall his 1.20 WHIP was sensational and his ERA should have been 40 points lower. That said, his .273 BABIP against is likely going to regress, which will hurt his ERA|WHIP.
P Carrasco, Carlos Maintained a dominant 13.4 SwStr rate in 2017, which makes his 78% Strand Rate sustainable, which of course keeps the ERA in the elite zone. For some reason he continually struggles at home (441 SLG), and dominates on the road (.336 SLG). More of the same expected in 2018, except maybe the Win totals...they appear inflated based on his Quality Starts in 2017.
P Cashner, Andrew Appears to have been extremely fortunate last season with a .266 BABIP against and only a 8.6 HR/FB rate in a hitters ballpark. His 2nd half run of 7 Wins|3.27 ERA|1.22 improved what was turning out to be another mediocre season. His Swinging K rate is down to 6% and his K/9 only 4.6...regression expected in overall production.
P Castillo, Luis After staggering in the low minors for several years, Luis made a major jump from AA to the majors last season. Something clicked for him when he was traded over to the Reds system, and it probably had a lot to do with his changeup usage. Sure there's the 97.5 MPH fastball (explosive), but the there the 87 MPH changeup (magical -10 split) that keeps hitters off stride. Couple that with an even slower slider, and you have a 1st year pitcher who posted a 12.7 SwStr and a 9.9 K/9 rate. There's likely to be some bumps in the road as hitters get a second look, but if he can maintain his control, he could be the real deal.
P Chacin, Jhoulys Don't buy into the 1.27|3.89 from a season ago. Was lucky with his BABIP against of only .272 and 11.4 HR/FB rate. Pitches great at home, but gets destroyed on road (469 SLG against). Only posted a 7.9 SwStr rate last season, yet posted a .74 Strand Rate.
P Clevinger, Mike Finished 2017 with a solid 12 W|3.11|1.25 10.1 K/9. A closer look shows that his .273 BABIP with a 34% Hard Hit rate was very fortunate. As was his 80% Strand%. Lots to like here but he's likely going to take a step back in 2018.
P Cobb, Alex Was very fortunate last season with a .282 BABIP against, especially when considering that his hard hit rate ballooned to 37%. His fastball is back to pre TJS levels, and he's using his curveball much more frequently, which is aiding his success. Being a heavy GB pitcher also helps him. Lots to like here other than the counting K category. He only registered a 6.4 K/9 last year. and his swinging K rate is less than 7.
P Cole, Gerrit Moves to a hitter's ballpark, but the 16% HR/FB rate should neutralize to the 13-14% range for him. Was shorted 2 Wins last season, and he'll probably make that up with a +4 this year with a very potent lineup behind him this season. Still struggles vs LHP (.477). Average FB velocity has maintained at 96 MPH, and still uses it as his primary out pitch 60% of the time. Would be better served in developing a better secondary pitch to make his FB more effective.
P Conley, Adam Conley took a step back in 2017 as he was hit very hard. Consider his 40% Hard Hit rate against and almost 500 SLG against across the board. He's better than that, and the loss of 1.5 MPH on his fastball probably had something to do with this. Does this rebound in 2018? Difficult to say, so he's not likely going to be on our rosters come April.
P Corbin, Patrick Struggling in the 1st half in the ERA department, but in the 2nd half finished with a 3.26 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Tends to get a little harder than most pitchers, which tends to lead to a higher than norm 15% HR/FB rate allowed.
P Cotton, Jharel Cotton has shown the ability to stifle hitters in the minors. Two seasons ago he posted a 12.5 SwStr% in 29 IP, but last year over 129 IP a more average 9.7% and a7.3 K/9. Of concern is that he's more of a flyball pitcher which bloats his ERA without a true plus pitch.
P Cueto, Johnny Blister issues and a flexor strain derailed a season that was heading in the wrong direction. A big reason for that was lack of effectiveness with his breaking ball pitches, not his fastball (which maintained it's velocity). This is fixable, and it's also what likely led to an unprecedented 35% hard Hit rate against and elevated .322 BABIP against. Bounce back projected across the board.
P Darvish, Yu Fastball has picked up a few MPH since TJS, but is slightly less effective because his secondary pitches have picked up some speed as well. No worries as he's still sporting a 12.3% SwStr rate and 10.1 K/9 are still elite. Was a little lucky with the .284 BABIP as it came on a 33% Hard Hit rate, but was unlucky with the 15% HR/FB rate. Solid top 10 pitcher in the 2018 draft, especially now that we know that he'll have a potent offense behind him this season (Cubs). Both Arrieta and Lester averaged 6 runs of support last season, and the Cubs were 4th overall in Runs Scored.