Trevor Williams Success Dates Back Further Than You Think


Trevor Williams is much more than just a starting pitcher enjoying a great second half

Starting pitching is the name of the game in baseball. When a team gets strong starting pitching they are going to win more games than they lose. Since MLB’s All-Star Break ended no starting pitcher has been better than the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Trevor Williams.

In 11 starts since the All-Star Break Williams owns a 1.08 ERA and a 3.02 FIP in 66 2/3 innings pitched. This gives Williams the lowest post-break ERA in Pirate history and the second lowest in National League history.

This success for Williams is no fluke. In fact, his success as a starting pitcher dates back to May of 2017. Very quietly, Williams has been pitching at a high level for the Pirates for an extended period of time.

In his first career start on May 8th, 2017, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Williams got shelled. In 3 innings pitched he allowed eight runs on seven hits, a walk, and two home runs. Since this start, however, Williams has been as consistent as any starting pitcher in the NL.

During this 54 start stretch, Williams owns a 3.32 ERA and a 3.81 FIP in 301 1/3 innings pitched. He’s allowed just 27 home runs (0.75 HR/9), walked 7.7% of batters faced, and struck out 18.2% of opposing hitters.

The biggest reason for Williams’ success has been his ability to limit quality contact. He is inducing soft contact 20.8% of the time while allowing hard contact just 29.3% of the time. Both of these rates are better than league average.

Among starting pitchers with at least 300 innings pitched, Williams has been among the best since the start of 2017. Among NL starters, Williams ranks 8th in ERA, 12th in FIP, 18th in soft contact rate, and 5th in hard contact rate during this stretch. He also owns the 12th best walk rate and has allowed the fewest home runs.

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As the final start of Trevor Williams’ magical 2018 second half looms tomorrow night, do not forget, this is no fluke from Trevor. He has been pitching as one of the NL’s best starters since May of 2017, and there are no signs of that changing any time soon.