Punchouts are a huge piece of the puzzle with arms. The ability to miss bats has never been more significant than it is at this point in time. Seems like everywhere you look there are strikeouts. Who performed the best in the K/9 category? Who didn’t show up? Let’s review the 2020 season.
*Further work on things like swinging K-rates and the like, will be touched on next season.
THE LEAGUE AVERAGE
The MLB average for walks per nine innings in 2020 was 3.54. That’s the worst rate in 20-years.
*We will be using 50-innings pitched of this study. Why not 60, the number needed to qualify for the K/9 title? Only 40 arms threw 60-innings. When we use 50 that ups the group of hurlers to 81 arms.
STRONG WALK MARKS
|Hyun-Jin Ryu||Blue Jays||5||2||12||12||67||2.28||2.69||3.01||3.32|
|Dallas Keuchel||White Sox||6||2||11||11||63.1||2.42||1.99||3.08||3.98|
Kyle Hendricks walked eight batters in 12 starts.
Marco Gonzales walked seven guys in 11 starts.
Zach Plesac walked six guys in eight starts.
Zack Greinke posted a mark of 1.29 in 2019 and he slightly bettered that rate this season at 1.21
Clayton Kershaw’s mark of 1.23 was a full point below his stellar 2.26 career mark.
Yu Darvish walked 4.73 batters per nine in 2018. The rate was 1.66 this season as he pitched tremendously.
Chris Paddack didn’t pitch too well, but he backed up his under 2.00 walk rate last season with a mark of 1.83 this season.
Ryan Yarbrough walked 12 batters over 11 outings. He’s walked 32 batters his last 39 games.
Framber Valdez walked 5.70 batters his first two seaosns. The rate this year was a tremendous 2.04.
Brandon Woodruff walked 2.22 batters per nine last season. This year, the mark was 2.20.
Dylan Bundy lopped off .90 tenths of a point this season at 2.33, easily a career best mark.
Here are the walk rates over the years from Chris Bassitt: 4.50, 3.59, 2.94 and 2.43. That’s what we in the business call, improvement.
Patrick Corbin walked 2.47 batters per nine, his second best mark in five years. He still pitched terribly poorly overall.
WEAK WALK MARKS
|Robbie Ray||– – –||2||5||12||11||51.2||7.84||6.62||6.50||5.84|
|Dylan Cease||White Sox||5||4||12||12||58.1||5.25||4.01||6.36||5.87|
|Martin Perez||Red Sox||3||5||12||12||62||4.06||4.50||4.88||5.20|
|Lucas Giolito||White Sox||4||3||12||12||72.1||3.48||3.48||3.19||3.35|
|Lance McCullers Jr.||Astros||3||3||11||11||55||3.27||3.93||3.70||3.68|
Robbie Ray should be embarrassed. Actually, the D’backs and Rays should be embarrassed for continually running Robbie out there even as he had no idea where the ball was going.
Dylan Cease – I like everything about the kid and his makeup. However, he doesn’t miss bats and his walk rate this season was insanely high. Certainly wasn’t close to the growth season I was hoping for.
Spencer Turnbull is perfectly serviceable as an end of the rotation big league arm. He’s not usable in mixed leagues though.
Sonny Gray had oodles of success. He also had two horrid outings and through it all there were an awful lot of walks.
Martin Perez isn’t a good pitcher.
Kyle Gibson pitcher very poorly for the Rangers. He’s never been a walk wizard, but he was way worse than his 3.29 career mark this season.
Frankie Montas saw his walk rate explode from 2.16 per nine to 3.91. He just wasn’t right after that hot start.
Jose Berrios is better than this. He added a full point to his 2.67 walk rate from 2017-19.
Griffin Canning made it through the season after all the concerns about arm health. Still, he added 0.7 walks to his BB/9 rate and there is some concern as a result.
Though Carlos Carrasco kept missing bates (10.85 K/9), his walk rate exploded. From 2014-19 he was one of the best in baseball at 2.03 per nine before seeing the number skyrocketed in ’20.
Tyler Glasnow added more than 1.3 points to his 2.08 walk rate from 2019.
Matthew Boyd went from 2.56 walks per nine in 2018-19 to 3.28 in 2020. The walks were just one of his issues this past season.
Blake Snell had a 3.36 rate in 2019 and then settled in at 3.24 this season.
Zac Gallen pitched consistently well this season. He also knocked nearly a full point off his 4.05 mark from his rookie season.
For the entire walk leaderboard, click on this link.