Finding the Next Danny Duffy
About a year ago, I wrote a story about how Danny Duffy was finally figuring things out. Duffy went on to finish the year with a 3.51 ERA in 176 innings and earned himself $60 Million in salary for the 2018-2022 timeframe. This year, his excellence has continued; he’s at a 2.92 ERA through 10 starts. The thing about that Duffy article is that I wrote it as I was eying the lefty on my fantasy waiver wire. Before it published, my editor swooped in on Duffy and his fictional squad has thoroughly enjoyed its newfound Ace. I was not pleased. I’m still not pleased. It’s time to find Danny Duffy 2.0.
So what made me so optimistic about Duffy so early? The reason was three-fold:
- He had great velocity
- His walk rate was at a career low
- He was throwing a third pitch (a changeup) at a career high rate
Basic baseball arithmetic says that those three in combination add up to a pretty successful pitcher. So let’s find a pitcher who has all three!
I took the list of every pitcher who both threw a pitch last year and has made a start this year and sorted for those with average fastballs above 93.5 (Sorry Bartolo Colon). That left me with 58 pitchers. Then I took a look at those who have lower walk rates this year than last (Sorry Eddie Butler). That left me with 25.
The last step is to take a look at the third pitch aspect. I took a look at changeup usage. Sure, there could be pitchers who have added a second variety of curveball to their repertoire, but I’m not so concerned with those guys. Here’s the full list of guys who have made it through our filters searching for Danny Duffy 2.0:
To continue reading about the next breakout MLB pitcher, please click on over to offthebenchbaseball.com.