Every Wednesday, the Rambling takes a youthful turn…
This week, let's catch up on more rookie excellence in the Majors with some quick hits, as the regular season winds down…
Brandon Drury (OF/3B, ARI) has been tearing it up since the end of August, with a .392/.458/.662 line over 83 PA. This includes five homers and five doubles. But the most important stat? His BB-rate over this stretch is 10.8%. This nearly doubles the 5.6% he was putting up before that run. Looks like Arizona will get an everyday player in Drury.
Aledmys Diaz (SS, STL) had his season interrupted at the end of July. He had already put up a .312/.376/.518 line up until that point, and had 14 HR, 25 2B, and 3 3B to go along with it. Since his return, in just 23 AB, he has two homers and a 2B. Look for him to take his solid plate discipline and power into future All-Star games for the Cardinals.
Jonathan Gray (SP/COL) is one of several young Colorado pitchers that we can actually get excited about for the future. Even after a recent rough patch (which ended Saturday with a 16-K shutout of the Padres), Gray is really looking very special. He has a 9.76 K/9 (which puts him 9th in the Majors), and a 3.56 xFIP. In Colorado, this is extraordinary. What’s even more extraordinary is that that number goes DOWN in Colorado to 3.07. Very special, indeed.
Tyler Anderson (SP/COL) is another Rockies pitcher that we can actually watch without cringing. In fact, he really would be a Rookie of the Year favorite, if not for people named “Seager” and “Maeda.” He has put up a 3.58 ERA and 3.52 xFIP, which tells you that his ERA is for real. He has an 8.17 K/9 and 2.17 BB/9, both fantastic numbers, and he’s only had four starts where he gave up more than three runs (and they were no more than five runs). So consistent, the Rockies have a great thing going for 2017.
Michael Fulmer’s success has drawn a lot of attention, and it should. The Detroit pitcher has a 3.03 ERA and a tiny 1.08 WHIP, which puts him tied for 16th in the Majors in that category. He is the main reason the Tigers have stayed in the Wild Card race to this point, and he’s an AL Rookie of the Year favorite. Just keep in mind that his xFIP is actually 4.00, as he’s been a bit lucky in BABIP. But he’s looking like a mainstay in the Tigers’ rotation for years to come.
Sean Manaea (SP, OAK) has flown a bit under the radar, for two big reasons: he pitches for Oakland, and he was pretty bad after his callup, right up until he was sent back down in June (6.02 ERA, 4.65 xFIP, only 40.1% GB-rate). However, since his callup later that month, he has put up a 2.84 ERA, 3.65 xFIP, and a 43.8% GB-rate. He also has an 8.31 K/9 and 2.08 BB/9. In his last four starts, he has a 10.13 K/9, a 0.42 ERA and a 3.13 xFIP. In other words, he just keeps getting better and better, and this post-hype rookie star (if we can call someone post-hype within the same season, as this year’s rookie successes have forced us to do) is looking very good for 2017.
All stats through Tuesday, September 20th.
You can contact Geoff on Twitter @gigglebowl
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