Fantasy Baseball: 5 Strike Throwers Who Could Break Out in 2017
Baseball can be a simple game when you boil it down to its basic components. Hit the ball. Catch the ball. Run hard. Throw strikes.
But pitchers often have trouble throwing strikes -- despite the unbelievable incremental advantage it gives them.
Key first pitch strike stats.Less than 8% of first pitch strikes end up as hits. 92.7% of first strikes lead to an out or an 0-1 count.
— Jerry Weinstein (@JWonCATCHING) October 27, 2015
It's no surprise that the pitchers who are the most successful are the ones who pound the strike zone. And if we review the leaderboard of those that threw the most first-pitch strikes (F-Strike%) over the last two seasons, it's a who's who of some folks that took down some serious hardware.
All but one of these starters posted a sub-4.00 ERA, and five of them posted marks of 3.00 or less. Simply put, throwing a first-pitch strike led to a great deal of success.
If we look at 2016 pitching data, we can peep some other hurlers who threw a ton of first-pitch strikes but maybe didn't enjoy the same levels of success. Could they be primed for breakouts in 2017?
The following pitchers all ranked in the top-35 starting pitchers in first-pitch strike rate, and they also recorded a swinging-strike rate of greater than 10%.