Spencer Strider continues to dominate, and reaches a milestone

spencer strider
Dale Janine – USA TODAY SPORTS

Later Aaron Judge And Shohei Ohtani — in the order you want them to be placed, I have spoken — There may not be a player in the Major who is putting in mind boggling numbers spencer striderWe do. The 23-year-old rookie has been absolutely dominating this season, especially since entering the Braves’ rotation on May 30. Beginning against the Phillies on Sunday, he reached 200 strikeouts for the season, joining and even surpassing some notable company. Way.

Strider hit 10 Phillies in six innings during his 5-2 victory with his usual one-two punch of an upper-90s four-seam fastball and a shocking slider. Nick Matton Going down swinging against a 99-mph heater in the fifth inning. 200. Strider had no hitter in progress at the time, and maintained it for the first 5.2 innings Alec Bohm A single against him is linked for Homer.

Strider became the sixth pitcher this season to reach 200 strikes. It’s extraordinary how many innings he needed to do it compared to the previous five:

Pitchers with 200 Strike Outs in 2022

Pitcher crew ip TBF So K% 200 date 200. shift of
gerrit cole NYY 182.1 725 236 32.6% 8/26 157.1
Carlos Rodone sfg 167.2 670 220 32.8% 9/4 157.0
Corbin Burns MIL 179.0 713 219 30.7% 9/3 163.1
dialing off CHW 167.0 674 214 31.8% 9/8 158.0
Aaron Nola PHI 186.1 736 210 28.5% 9/6 177.1
spencer strider ATL 131.2 528 202 38.3% 9/18 130.0

Source: Baseball-Reference

In fact, strider set a record Doing so in 130 innings, less than 0.2, for the minimum number of shifts required to reach the 200-strikeout plateau. Randy Johnson needed in 2001. Cole was the second fastest by that measure, doing so in 133.2 innings in 2019.

To be fair, Johnson was doing this in a very short strike out environment. By K%+, a normalized strike rate where 100 equals the league average, Johnson had 208 points in 2001, meaning he was hitting batsmen at slightly more than double the league-average rate. Using a 120-innings cutoff, that ranks 13th in a unification era (since 1947) pitcher. Strider has “only” 170 K%+, which means he’s hitting hitters at 1.7 times the league rate, only 105th by those parameters. As with so many context-adjusted pitching statistics, it is Pedro Martinez Joe tops this particular list, with 239 K%+ in 1999, the year he hit 313 hitters in 213.1 innings. Martinez reached 200 in 147 innings, through a rare relief Reasons for being late to the ballpark (and his Division Series Game 5 adventures a few months later).

Strider is the 17th rookie to dismiss 200 batsmen in a season since 1901, and the first in this millennium to do so without pitching in Nippon Professional Baseball:

Rookie Pitchers With 200 Strikeouts

Cautionary tales abound in the above list, although the problems of the score, Gooden, and Wood—citing the three most famous ones here—have little to do with each other. The chronological distribution of these players is remarkable, with four pitchers (including Hall of Famers Mathewson and Alexander) from the dead-ball era, then just one between that period and the comparatively pitcher-friendly 1960s, 70s and 80s. Then the jump from the wild card era to five, three of which made their debut in Japan. If you’re wondering about the K%+ from this group, Score (222), Gooden (212), Wood (190), and Nomo (177) outperformed Strider.

Strider is also the first rookie to have a strikeout total that is more than twice his total hits. Using the same 120-inning cutoff, only 11 pitchers have doubled this way, including another pitcher this year and two from last year:

Pitchers with twice as many strikeouts as are allowed

Pitcher crew weather age ip h K k/h
spencer strider ATL 2022 23 131.2 86 202 2.35
Christian Xavier new 2022 25 131.2 85 173 2.04
Freddy Peralta MIL 2021 25 144.1 84 195 2.32
Carlos Rodone CHW 2021 28 132.2 91 185 2.03
gerrit cole new 2019 28 212.1 142 326 2.30
Justin Verlander new 2019 36 223.0 137 300 2.19
Max Scherzer WSN 2018 33 220.2 150 300 2.00
Chris Sell BOS 2018 29 158.0 102 237 2.32
Max Scherzer WSN 2017 32 200.2 126 268 2.13
Randy Johnson ARI 2001 37 249.2 181 372 2.06
Peter Martinez BOS 2000 28 217.0 128 284 2.22

Source: Baseball-Reference

At least 120 innings were played.

Again speaking of the way a high-strikes era has made this possible, here are two pitchers from the past six seasons, Johnson and Martinez being the only pitchers to do so already; The above seasons of both Johnson and Cole are represented here. Note that Javier has flown somewhat under the radar making this list, as most of the attention given to Astros starters has gone to Verlander, who wins the AL and is the ERA leader and potentially Cy Young Award frontrunner, and framber valdezCy Young who is on the outskirts of discussion and only set a season record With its 25th consecutive quality debut.

These eye-opening numbers shouldn’t obscure Strider’s impact on the Braves’ season. Since being selected in the fourth round of the 2020 draft from Clemson University, having missed all previous seasons due to Tommy John surgery, he has made some big strides in the short order. After performing at five levels in 2021, from A-ball to Major (2.1 innings in two October regular-season games), he broke camp with the team in April and made 13 relief appearances, mostly in low-leverage positions. Dominated (2.22 ERA, 1.42 FIP, 38.9% strike rate). He joined the rotation on 30 May and quickly consolidated fifth place behind Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Kyle WrightAnd Ian Anderson, By most measures, he has outperformed them all in that time frame:

Since Strider joined the rotation on 30 May

Pitcher gs ip K% bb % HR/9 Era FIP war
spencer strider 20 107.1 38.1% 7.9% 0.59 2.77 1.91 4.2
Max Fried 18 114.1 22.9% 4.5% 0.55 2.20 2.70 3.1
Charlie Morton 19 113.1 31.9% 7.9% 1.51 3.73 3.95 1.4
Kyle Wright 19 116.1 21.7% 6.7% 1.16 3.40 3.95 1.4
Ian Anderson 13 64.0 21.1% 10.7% 0.84 5.48 3.92 0.7
Jake Odorizzi 7 33.2 18.4% 7.5% 1.87 4.54 5.28 0.0

Strider ranks fourth in innings among this group, but leads the pack—even Fried, who made the NL All-Star team—more than complete wins in this period. Including his time in the bullpen, he has a 4.9-4.6 lead in WAR on Friday and the group’s lowest FIP ​​(1.83) and xERA (2.39); His 2.67 ERA is second only to Fried’s 2.52. Between Wright leveling off after a strong start and Anderson pitching his own way Back to Triple-A (and recently suffered a slant tension That’s likely to end his season), Strider’s is big in terms of performance. Braves turnaround from the start of 23-27,

In fact, Strider’s FIP and xERA are among the lowest among pitchers with at least 130 innings, and his 38.3% strike rate and 29.7% strike-walk difference are the highest. Even after falling 15.1 innings short of qualifying for the ERA title (the Braves played 147 games, scored a total of 131.2 innings), he remained behind Rodan (5.7), Nola (5.5) in the Battle of the Chiefs. in seventh place. kevin gossman (5.2), Verlander (5.1), sandy alcantara (5.1), and Ohtani (5.0).

Remarkably, Strider is doing it all, more or less, as a two-pitch pitcher. He’s like a close who throws five innings at the start of a game (to explain to someone I’ve momentarily forgotten about; apologies in advance). no starting pitcher Throws his four-seamer as often as Strider (67%), but again, he is a very good four-seamer. Not only does it average 98.2 mph with a high spin rate (2,343 rpm, placing him in the 76th percentile), but it also adds to his size (listed as 6-foot-0) and plenty of movement and deception to detail. (6.9 feet, 93rd percentile). When combined with that velocity – hey, good luck. as Justin Choi wrote In comparison to Strider’s fastball in July Hunter greenWhich approaches the three-figure mark with greater regularity (28% of all four-seamers compared to 5% for Strider):

[A] The lack of height actually works in his favor, as the strider is able to get to the top of the ball without raising his release point. You can also tell from their respective deliveries that the strider leaves the ball closer to home plate than the green. The benefit of extra detail is straightforward: for a hitter, the pitch appears sharper and thus harder to tackle. Triple points from Strider is more destructive than triple points from Green.

…compared to the Green, it is the strider that not only creates more vertical motion, but also opens it up through a lower release point and longer extension. As a result their approach angle is flatter, giving the illusion of rise.

Updating the table involved in the comparison by Choi:

Spencer Strider vs Hunter Green Fastball Comparison

Pitcher velocity We move (in.) h move (in.) V Riley (ft.) H Riley (ft.) Extend (feet)
spencer strider 98.2 17.6 5.2 5.7 2.0 6.9
Hunter green 98.7 15.9 11.5 6.0 2.4 6.4

Source: Source: Alex Chamberlain’s Pitch Leadboard

The negative values ​​of horizontal speed and release point have been flipped for ease of reading.

Batsmen have managed only .201 average and .295 slugging percentage when Strider joined fastball, which is not often his rate of 27.7%. He has struggled even more with his slider, with Eric Longenhagen rated the pitch as “still below average and not strong enough to miss batsmen in the strike zone”. their June prospect report, grading it as 40 present and 45 future. He throws it 28.2% of the time, with batters hitting .139, slugging .197 and hitting 52.2% of the time. He rounds out his arsenal with a change (4.8%) that has stunned the batsmen despite its minimal use, as he has hit .136 and slowed to .237 against it, which is 47.5. % there is time.

If there is a knock on the strider, he usually doesn’t pitch deep in games because of such a deep count. He averages an NL-high 4.31 pitches per plate appearance and has thrown more than six innings only twice, most recently in his eight-inning, two-hit effort against the Rockies on September 1, during which he set a franchise record. Made with 16 strikes. Manager Brian Snitker has been quite cautious with him and has built him up slowly; He averaged 90 pitches per start in June, progressing to 93, 94, and 104 pitches each month since. In his final six starts, he threw between 102 and 106 pitches (his later season high) and went in at least six innings five times, pitching up to 1.70 ERA and 1.46 FIP along the way. He bowled 96.1 innings last year, so he’s out of 35 now, and I think the Braves’ postseason plan for him is to stick with a five- to six-innings turn and let the bullpen take care of the rest .

Overall, Strider had a great season. With all due respect to teammates Michael Harris II, who has hit .305/.343/.537 with 142 wRC+ and 4.4 WAR since his arrival on May 28 and has been equally instrumental in the team’s turnaround, I think Strider NL Rookie of the Year would be my choice. What Harris has done is special and impressive, but as the figures above show, what Strider has done is out of this world.

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