Over at MiLB there is an interesting article about Batting Average Balls in Play that essentially screams— Holy Hell! Look at that Tremendously Huge Pirates right hander Tyler Glasnow! Why more people aren’t talking about the Pirates right hander is beyond me.
Watch this video of Glasnow.
Sure, he overthrows a few times, the fastball is up, but still how many Lakewood hitters make contact? I think it’s four?? Watch the swing and miss. Stop drooling at the frozen arms and legs of the Lakewood hitters.
Glasnow is far from a finished product, but damn. Talk about blowing batters away.
The chart Ashley put together shows Glasnow’s lowballing .218 BABIP, sparkling ERA over 111.1 innings pitched and then it gets good…just 54 hits allowed, nine homers, but 61 walks, and then it pops–those 164 strikeouts. Un. Real.
Lowest BABIP among Top 100 Prospects
Tyler Glasnow 0.218 2.18 111.1 54 9 61 164 1.16 0.142
Eddie Butler 0.228 1.80 149.2 96 9 52 143 2.14 0.180
Allen Webster 0.249 3.60 105 71 9 43 116 1.38 0.190
Henry Owens 0.253 2.67 135 84 9 68 169 0.89 0.177
Anthony Ranaudo 0.273 2.96 140 112 10 47 127 0.92 0.219
It’s too simplistic to say the five prospects above were only successful because they got lucky in 2013.
Though fewer batted balls against them fell for hits than on average, there were other factors to consider in the quintet, who sported a combined 48-23.
The biggest thing may be the high strikeout totals. Owens, Ranaudo and Webster ranked first, third and fifth among Red Sox pitching prospects, Glasnow led the Pirates organization and Butler was second among Rockies farmhands. When you combine fewer balls being put in play with an already-low hit rate, a player’s ERA is likely to drop.
Even though they combined to allow 46 homers, 11 more than the five pitching prospects with the highest BABIPs, the effects of the long balls were lessened since fewer runners were on base.
But there’s also a cautionary tale to observe. As good as these players were, the chances of a repeat in 2014 are slim.
Firstly, good seasons are more likely to be rewarded with promotions to higher levels where hitters are better and more patient. Secondly, low hit rates are notoriously difficult to maintain, considering a pitcher has little effect on what happens to the balls in play once the pitch leaves his hand. Glasnow, for example, surrendered one-third fewer hits than he would have if his hit rate had been average.
Of course it’s silly to think Glasnow could match his numbers as he moves up the ranks of the Bucs system. But consider this fact as well, did you see that breaking ball? Yeh, it always gets the ball dirty–needs some work. But it’s about plus.
Of course I get ahead of myself sometimes, and I only saw Glasnow once this season outside of Bradenton, but he impressed me. He comes right at hitters, the delivery is pretty compact, but it seems to our untrained eye a tweak is needed in 2014 for him to get the bump up the ladder to where he can be on the doorstep for 2016.
Glasnow’s hit rate was so low, because the hitters simply couldn’t make contact. As he moves up in the minors that is sure to change, but let’s also not forget the right-hander is also going to improve too. Let’s see Glasnow respond to improved teaching, more advancement with his change and breaking balls.
Glasnow is 20 years old, he will turn 21 in August and can throw 96 while sitting 91-93 with all kinds of movement that can petrify A-ball hitters. What happens when he fills out?
The fastball he throws is usually high or at the letters of the opposing team. Watch some videos again and see those hitters bailing out. That needs work, kinda, but it also allows him to control the inner half. As Glasnow pitches deeper into games, he gets better too–always listening to his battery mate.
The changeup is still a work in progress. This quote from July:
“It’s like night and day from the beginning of the season or from last year,” he said “These past seven or eight starts, I’ve been working with our pitching coach, Jeff Johnson, and he’s changed my whole my mind-set on changeups. I never really wanted to throw ‘em because I felt like, in high school, there wasn’t a need to, so I wasn’t a believer in them. I feel just as confident, if not more confident, in my changeup than my fastball some games.”
On the whole, the walks reduced as the season progressed. So consider this and it’s hard to make comparisions, but let’s do it anyway. The pitcher that a lot of Buccos fans are pumped up to see in Pittsburgh sometime this season pitched when he was 19 at West Virginia as well. So here you go…
Jameson Taillon struckout ____ in _____ innings at West Virginia. Care to make a guess?
Glasnow made small improvements throughout the season. So if he takes an even bigger step and makes marginal improvements in 2014, how freaking scary will this beast be for the Bucs?
Taillon struckout 97 in 92.2 innings at West Virginia. I see you smiling.