ANALYZING INTERESTING STARTING PITCHERS FOR THE 2022 SEASON

All ratings are from the 2021 season. I looked at starting pitchers who I thought needed a detailed look.

Age:

ERA/FIP in IP:

K%:

BB%:

GB %:

FB%:

FB Velocity (MPH):

Pitch #1 (% thrown) & Value:

Pitch #2 (% thrown) & Value:

Pitch #3 (% thrown) & Value:

Pitch #4 (5 thrown) & Value:

Notes (if necessary):

Alcantara, Sandy MIA (RHP)

26

3.19/3.42 in 205.2

24.0%

6.0%

53.3%

27.7%

98.1

FB (50.0%) 11.6

SL (24.0%) 7.4

CH (23.3%) 3.0

CB (2.7%) -3.1

Why doesn’t he strikeout more hitters?! The combination of his fastball velocity and a good fastball should lead to more strikeouts but it does not. If he can work on that, he can be a legit top 5 starter.

Anderson, Ian ATL (RHP)

23

3.58/4.12 in 128.1

23.2%

9.9%

49.3%

30.9%

94.6

FB (47.4%) 9.3

CH (31.5%) 6.0

CU (21.1%) -4.5

Projection systems are down on Anderson, but he has two above average pitches and is young enough to improve. I think that he can sustain his 2021 production. hIS hr/fb RATE

Berrios, Jose TOR (RHP)

27

3.52/3.47 in 192.0

26.1%

5.8%

42.8%

34.0%

94.1

FB (56.3%) 8.1

CB (30.5%) 1.4

CH (13.2%) 4.2

He’s a consistent mid-rotation starter, but he could improve if he threw his changeup more often than his curveball. That might be what is needed to take him to the next level.

Bieber, Shane CLE (RHP)

26

3.17/3.03 in 96.2

33.1%

8.1%

44.0%

32.1%

FB (35.5%) -4.0

CB (31.2%) -3.4

SL (25.8%) 11.0

CH (4.7%) 1.4

CT (2.8%) 0.5

Bieber’s fastball was surprisingly bas in 2021, when in 2020 it was rated 7.4 and 12.8 in 2019. I suspect that he gets it working again now that he’s healthy. Some of the pitch declines were concerning, but if they bounce back he should be back to being a legit ace.

Burnes, Corbin MIL (RHP)

27

2.43/1.63 in 167.0

35.6%

5.2%

48.8%

30.3%

CT (52.2%) 24.2

CB (18.4%) 13.3

FB (10.8%) -2.4

CH (9.8%) 0.7

SL (9.0%) 7.0

The best cutter in the game and he could even get better if he throws his slider more. His FIP was actually significantly better than his ERA last season.

Castillo, Luis CIN (RHP)

29

3.98/3.75 in 187.2

23.9%

9.3%

56.6%

24.6%

97.3

FB (52.1%) -11.8

CH (30.5%) 6.9

SL 17.4% 3.6

His fastball was uncharacteristically bad in 2021 and I blame his shoulder. His fastball velocity is too good and so are his secondary pitches. I still believe in a breakout, but he might need a trade to a better park for pitchers, and to definitely needs to work on controlling his walks.

Cease, Dylan CWS (RHP)

26

3.91/3.41 in 165.2

31.9%

9.6%

33.3%

44.3%

96.8

FB (46.6%) -2.0

SL (30.6%) 10.3

CB (15.2%) 0.6

CH (7.4%) 0.4

Cease’s fastball has improved annually since his debut on the Major League roster, but it’s still below average and is surprisingly ineffective despite its velocity. He has an elite slider, but is too dependent on it. He also needs to get his walks under control. If he does along with significantly improving his fastball, he can turn into an ace.

Cortes Jr., Nestor, NYY (LHP)

27

2.90/3.78 in 93.0

27.5%

6.7%

27.4%

51.5%

90.8

FB (46.8%) 8.8

SL (23.4%) 4.1

CB (20.1%) 1.1

CH (9.7%) -3.4

He relies too much on a slow fastball that he may have been lucky to have succeeded with so much in 2021.

Cole, Gerrit NYY (RHP)

31

3.23/2.93 in 181.1

33.5%

5.6%

43.1%

40.5%

97.8

FB (48.0%) 12.1

SL (22.2%) 10.3

CB 15.7% -2.3

CH (14.2%) 5.9

He’s an ace.

Fried, Max ATL (LHP)

28

3.04/3.31 in 165.2

23.7%

6.1%

51.8%

27.7%

94.0

FB (50.3%) 11.5

CB (25.6%) 7.1

SL (21.9%) 2.9

CH (2.2%) 0.5

His curveball was never this good before. If he can keep it up, I don’t see why he can’t improve.

Eflin, Zach PHI (RHP)

27

4.17/3.68 in 105.2

22.4%

3.6%

43.5%

32.9%

93.2

FB (54.2%) 6.0

SL (13.3%) -1.5

CT (11.2%) -1.6

CB (10.8%) -1.7

CH (10.5%) -2.8

I feel bad for Eflin, as he has a good fastball and his FIP paints him as a mid0rotation rather than bottom of the rotation starter. He has excellent control and just needs to get healthier. I feel that if he was on a team with a better defensive infield. he would be a breakout candidate. Especially if he gets his strikeouts up as he did in 2020 over a short sample size.

Garcia, Luis HOU (RHP)

25

3.48/3.63 in 155.1

26.4%

7.9%

38.5%

40.7%

93.3

FB (44.7%) -2.7

CT (22.5%) 8.3

SL (12.5%) 7.1

CH (11.0%) -0.2

CB (9.4%) -1.2

He might improve if he uses his cutter and slider more and his fastball less.

Gausman, Kevin TOR (RHP)

31

2.81/3.00 in 192.0

29.3%

6.5%

41.9%

36.5%

94.7

FB (52.8%) 11.5

SF (36.6%) 17.7

SL (5.6%) 0.2

CH (5.1%) -1.1

Moving to a hitter’s park from a pitcher’s park is a concern.

German, Domingo NYY (RHP)

29

4.58/4.31 in 98.1

23.9%

6.6%

42.2%

43.6%

93.5

FB (43.6%) -13.0

CB (34.0%) 7.1

CH (22.3%) 7.0

If only his fastball velocity bounced back and he improved his fastball’s effectiveness, he could breakout. His K/9 rate has went down annually since he debuted in 2017.

Gilbert, Logan SEA (RHP)

24

4.68/3.73 in 119.1

25.4%

5.6%

32.3%

46.3%

95.4

FB (61.5%) 17.5

SL (23.9%) -9.8

CH (7.8%) -5.5

CB (6.8%) 0.3

Gilbert is very fastball reliant and needs to get his secondary pitches working better before he can take the next step.

Giolito, Lucas CWS (RHP)

27

3.53/3.79 in 178.2

27.9%

7.2%

33.2%

42.3%

94.0

FB (43.9%) 1.1

CH (31.8%) 10.3

SL (21.4%) 8.5

CB (2.9%) -2.0

Giolito’s fastball velocity has declined annually from 94.4 in 2019 to 94.0 in 2021. It’s not a lot but I still find it alarming. Projection systems don’t really see him as an ace and if his improved slider goes back to how it was before, it could affect him negatively.

Hernandez, Carlos KCR (RHP)

25

3.68/4.08 in 85.2

20.7%

11.5%

39.5%

40.3%

97.2

FB (55.8%) 8.5

CB (18.8%) -1.8

SL (16.1%) 2.7

CH (9.3%) -0.2

I can’t stop looking at that fastball velocity. His strikeout percentage was very good in the Minors, topping out at 29.5%, so he can definitely get there in the Majors. He does however need to improve his secondary pitches, before he can take a step forward.

Houck, Tanner BOS (RHP)

25

3.52/2.58 in 69.0

30.5%

7.4%

48.2%

32.1%

94.7

FB (55.5%) 5.4

SL (37.1%) 5.1

SF (7.4%) 1.2

I think that he’s underrated. His pitches have improved annually and looking at the above profile there’s really nothing to dislike other than the below average walk percentage. It’s important to note however that his BB/9 dropped from 4.76 in 2020 to 2.74 in 2021.

Hernandez, Carlos KCR (RHP)

25

3.68/4.08 in 85.2

20.7%

11.5%

39.5%

40.3%

97.2

FB (55.8%)

CB (18.8%)

SL (16.1%)

CH (9.3%)

Javier, Cristian HOU (RHP)

25

3.55/4.43 in 101.1

30.7%

12.5%

27.6%

48.7%

93.7

FB (59.4%) 1.4

SL (26.8%) 10.8

CB (7.9%) -1.8

CH (5.9%) -0.9

What if he made his slider his main pitch? Would his overall results improve?

Kikuchi, Yusei TOR (LHP)

30

4.41/4.61 in 157.0

24.5%

9.3%

48.4%

30.3%

95.3

FB (36.0%) -1.2

CT (34.6%) 0.7

SL (18.5%) -2.7

SF (10.5%) 1.4

I don’t see any major improvements coming to his performance this season.

Lopez, Pablo MIA (R)

26

3.07/3.29 in 102.2

27.5%

6.2%

47.0%

31.0%

94.0

FB (45.3%) 4.4

CH (32.5%) 0.7

CT (12.6%) 2.4

CB (9.6%) 0.4

Lopez’s big issue is staying healthy as otherwise he has a foundation of an ace. The only problem besides his health is that none of his pitches are that impressive.

Manaea, Sean OAK (LHP)

30

3.91/3.66 in 179.1

25.7%

5.4%

42.0%

35.8%

90.5

FB (60.2%) -1.4

CH (24.2%) 9.2

SL (15.6%) -2.0

His fastball was much better before and could bounce back, but he e relies too much on one pitch and the defense around him is pretty bad. He could really improve or get worse.

Manoah, Alek TOR (RHP)

24

3.22/3.80 in 111.2

27.7%

8.7%

38.8%

40.6%

93.5

FB (62.7%) 12.8

SL (27.6%) 6.4

CH (9.6%) -2.0

He overachieved last season as shown by his FIP, he also has an arsenal of a reliever.

Means, John BAL (LHP)

28

3.62/4.62 in 146.2

22.7%

4.4%

32.9%

47.4%

92.9

FB (47.9%) -3.2

CH (27.3%) 6.9

CB (16.4%) 5.0

SL (8.4%) 1.6

He overachieved in 2021 and allows too many fly balls for his home park.

McClanahan, Shane TBR (LHP)

24

3.43/3.31 in 123.1

27.3%

7.2%

45.5%

29.5%

96.7

FB (40.8%) -2.9

SL (34.8%) 7.4

CB (16.3%) 7.2

SF (8.1%) -5.0

Can he improve his fastball? If he does then he can take the next step into becoming a legit ace.

McCullers Jr., Lance HOU (RHP)

28

3.16/3.52 in 162.1

27.0%

11.1%

56.4%

27.0%

93.4

FB (34.0%) -5.7

CB (25.0%) 11.8

SL (23.9%) 10.6

CH (13.8%) -1.6

CT (3.3%) -2.5

He can’t stay healthy so it’s hard to see him getting much better ERA-wise.

Montas, Frankie OAK (RHP)

29

3.37/3.37 in 187.0

26.6%

7.3%

42.8%

35.2%

96.6

FB (58.3%) 7.2

SF (22.4%) 11.3

SL (19.3%) -4.5

His split-finger was never this good before and he can get traded to a worse home park.

Montgomery, Jordan NYY (LHP)

29

3.83/3.69 in 157.1

24.5%

7.7%

42.7%

36.3%

92.7

FB (38.2%) -7.9

CH (24.4%) 11.1

CB (23.7%) 6.6

CT (13.7%) -3.2

if he throws more changeups and curveballs and less fastballs there could be some improvement.

Morton, Charlie ATL (RHP)

38

3.34/3.18 in 185.2

28.6%

7.7%

47.8%

28.9%

95.5

FB (49.5%) 4.7

CB (36.7%) 26.6

CT (8.5%) 0.7

CH (5.3%) 0.5

He may have the best curveball in the game. As long as aging doesn’t strike, he should have another dominant year.

Musgrove, Joe SDP (RHP)

29

3.18/3.70 in 181.1

27.1%

7.2%

43.5%

33.5%

93.3

SL (27.9%) 15.8

FB (26.9%) -7.1

CB (23.6%) 13.1

CT (16.8%) -2.0

CH (4.8%) -1.6

San Diego was right to get him to throw his slider more than his fastball. With and elite slider and curveball, he might actually get better.

Nola, Aaron PHI (RHP)

28

4.63/3.37 in 180.2

29.8%

5.2%

40.5%

40.5%

93.1

FB (51.7%) 4.9

CB (27.0%) 5.3

CH (19.8%) 0.0

CT (1.6%) 1.0

He was very unlucky in 2021. His BB/9 actually went down from 2.90 in 2020 to 1.94 in 2021. His HR/FB rate actually went down as well from 19.6% to 13.5%. His fastball velocity stayed the same… Bottom line is he was unlucky, likely due to Philly’s pretty bad defense and unfortunately for him that isn’t changing this season, though.

Ohtani, Shohei LAA (RHP)

27

3.18/3.52 in 130.1

29.3%

8.3%

45.0%

35.0%

95.7

FB (44.0%) -6.4

SL (21.8%) 11.8

SF (18.0%) 13.0

CT (12.6%) 0.4

CB (3.6%) -2.1

If he throws his fastball less and focuses on his slider and split-finger more, he could be even better.

Peralta, Freddy MIL (RHP)

25

2.81/3.12 in 144.1

33.6%

9.7%

33.0%

47.1%

93.4

FB (53.1%) 17.5

SL (26.4%) 7.1

CB (10.9%) 6.2

CH (9.7%) -2.1

The walk rate is alarming and both his slider and curveball improved drastically from 2020 and he needs to keep those gains, as the combination of his walk percentage and fly ball% could be really problematic for his home park.

Ray, Robbie SEA (LHP)

30

2.84/3.69 in 193.1

32.1%

6.7%

37.2%

44.2%

94.6

FB (59.8%) 13.8

SL (31.0%) 8.8

CB (6.0%) -1.0

CH (3.2%) -3.8

If Ray keeps up his improved mechanics and keeps the walks down, he can continue being a Cy Young award candidate.

Rogers, Trevor MIA (LHP)

24

2.64/2.55 in 133.0 IP

28.5%

8.4%

40.1%

35.6%

94.6

FB (57.7%) 12.3

CH (27.5%) 7.4

SL (14.8%) -0.7

His results were legit in 2021, so if he stays healthy and works on his walks there could be a Cy Young award in his near future.

Ryan, Joe MIN (RHP)

25

30.0%

5.0%

28.1%

53.1%

91.3

FB (65.8%) 5.8

SL (16.0%) 0.6

CH (10.4%) -0.7

CB (7.8%) 1.0

I’m not impressed by his fastball velocity or his pitch ratings, or his extreme fly ball rate. It appears as if he may have overachieved in 2021. He needs to develop his secondary pitches more.

Sandoval, Patrick LAA (LHP)

25

3.62/4.03 in 87.0

25.9%

9.9%

51.1%

30.4%

93.3

FB (43.1%) -2.3

CH (29.6%) 9.3

SL (17.0%) 4.5

CB (10.2%) -2.6

I don’t see much upside when only one of his pitches is really good.

Scherzer, Max NYM (RHP)

37

2.46/2.97 in 179.1

34.1%

5.2%

33.5%

48.3%

94.5

FB (46.8%) 19.9

SL (19.1%) 13.2

CH (14.9%) 5.8

CB (9.8%) -0.2

CT (9.3%) -0.4

Scherzer is still an elite pitcher, but his fastball velocity has been declining for years now. I think that age will affect him this season.

Taillon, Jameson NYY (RHP)

30

4.30/4.43 in 144.1

23.2%

7.3%

33.2%

48.3%

94.1

FB (55.0%) 12.3

SL (19.9%) -2.4

CB (19.0%) -6.4

CH (6.0%) -2.5

An elite fastball but nothing else.

Urias, Julio LAD (LHP)

25

2.96/3.13 in 185.2

26.2%

5.1%

40.2%

41.2%

94.0

FB (48.4%) -0.4

CB (34.2%) 23.1

CH (17.3%) 7.9

He might just have the best curveball in the game and could even get better as he’s not even in his prime yet.

Urquidy, Jose HOU (RHP)

26

3.62/4.14 in 107.0

21.3%

4.5%

32.2%

45.6%

92.7

FB (55.1%) 11.1

SL (19.5%) -2.6

CH (18.1%) 2.1

CB (7.4%) 0.2

He overachieved and relies too much on his fastball.

Valdez, Framber, HOU (LHP)

28

3.14/4.01 in 134.2

21.9%

10.1%

70.3%

14.9%

92.3

FB (57.1%) 2.9

CB (30.8%) 8.5

CH (12.1%) -0.9

His FIP, extreme groundball tendencies with a declining middle infield and only one very good pitch are concerns.

Webb, Logan SFG (RHP)

25

26.5%

6.0%

60.9%

18.5%

3.03/2.72 in 148.1

FB (46.6%) 9.0

SL (27.7%) 11.3

CH (23.1%) 0.9

CT (2.5%) 0.2

Webb seems to be a legit ace, but his groundball tendencies are a concern if anything goes wrong with San Francisco’s defense.

Woodruff, Brandon MIL (RHP)

29

2.56/2.96 in 179.1

29.8%

6.1%

41.5%

32.3%

96.5

FB (60.4%) 22.7

CB (16.1%) 6.8

CH (14.2%) 4.3

SL (9.2%) 0.7

He’s an ace and it doesn’t seem as if that’s going to change.

Ynoa, Huascar ATL (RHP)

23

4.05/3.93 in 91.0 IP

26.9%

6.7%

47.3%

31.8%

96.6

SL (48.2%) 6.9

FB (45.1%) -2.5

CH (6.6%) 0.2

If he can only throw his fastball more effectively, he could be a breakout candidate.

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