Pittsburgh Pirates Arbitration Breakdown: Drew Hutchison


In the coming weeks here at Rum Bunter we will be taking a look at each arbitration eligible player for the Pittsburgh Pirates. We continue today with Drew Hutchison.

As Major League Baseball’s offseason begins, so does the decision making inside each of the 30 front offices. A big part of this decision making revolves around players that are arbitration eligible. Due to that, here at Rum Bunter we will take a look at each arbitration eligible Pirate in the coming days.

Today we look at a player the Pirates added at the August 1st trade deadline. This player is a right-handed pitcher who pitched out of both the Pirates’ rotation and bullpen in September. The player I am talking about is, of course, Drew Hutchison.

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Drew Hutchison on August 1st. He came to the Bucs in one of the most controversial trades of the Neal Huntington Era. Hutchison came to the Pirates from the Toronto Blue Jays when the Bucs sent Francisco Liriano, Reese McGuire, and Harold Ramirez to the Blue Jays.

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In 417 2/3 career innings pitched Drew Hutchison owns a 4.93 ERA, 4.25 FIP, 4.04 xFIP, 4.2 WAR, and a strong 384:131 K:BB ratio. While these numbers of Hutchison’s are nothing special, they still give some hope. Hope that he could be a strong number four or number five starting pitcher.

With the Pirates in September Hutchison pitched in six games, one start, he pitched 11 1/3 innings. In these 11 1/3 innings pitched he allowed 15 hits, two home runs, he walked three batters, and he struck out 10 batters. All of this led to Hutchison posting a 5.56 ERA, 4.73 FIP, and a 4.94 xFIP with the Pirates.

In 2016 Drew Hutchison earned 2.2 million dollars. According to MLB Trade Rumors, he is projected to earn the same in 2017. So the question becomes, is Hutchison worth this?

In my opinion, he is. While I am not as high on Drew Hutchison as my Rum Bunter brethren Dave, I am still higher on him than most. And the reason for this is his slider.

The past two seasons Drew Hutchison’s slider has ranked in the top five in all of Major League Baseball in spin rate. This is a good starting point for any pitcher. Especially a pitcher like Hutchison who will be needed, at most, to be a back of the rotation starting pitcher.

In 2016 opposing batters hit just .229 off of his slider, with a .309 wOBA. He also flashed a good change up. Opposing batters hit just .182 off of his change up with a .160 wOBA.

Personally, I think Drew Hutchison can be a very good reliever for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017. All it takes to be a good relief pitcher is one above average pitch, which Hutchison has in his slider. Furthermore, his stuff should play up in the bullpen.

I fully expect the Pirates to tender Drew Hutchison a contract this offseason. I also expect him to make the Pirates’ roster out of Spring Training. However, in my opinion, his best role is out of the Pirate bullpen.

Previous arbitration breakdowns: