1) Kyle Barraclough (11.67)
There was a lot of gnashing of teeth in the Miami Marlins fanbase when Steve Cishek was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. That’s because no-one had heard of the guy the sent to us, one Kyle Barraclough.
Barraclough was chosen in the seventh round of the 2012 draft by the Cards out of St. Mary’s. The college had him set up as a starter, who had an 18-25 record, a 1.47 WHIP, and a 4.36 career ERA. He had struck out 290 in 331 2/3 innings.
Barraclough got up to the double-A level for the Cards when the Marlins traded for him. He would strike out 30 major league batters in 24 1/3 innings for Miami when we got called up to the parent club. He gave up seven earned runs and just 12 hits, holding opponents to a .154/.306/.256 slashline. and a 1.233 WHIP.
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In 2016, Barraclough struck out batters at a nearly inexplicable 14K/9 clip. He also dropped his walks from 6.7/9 to 5.4/9, a number that’s still dropping. In 72 2/3 innings, he struck out 113. A 1.225 WHIP, 2.11 FIP, and a .176/.299/.238 slashline back up his claim as an elite pitcher.
2017 would see Barraclough continue to pitch effectively for the Miami Marlins, although it’s technically his least impressive season to date. He allowed 1.379 WHIP and whiffed 76 in 66 innings, going 6-2 with a 3.00 ERA.
This season, we’ve seen Barraclough put up numbers never even seen before. He’s given up 16 hits in 41 1/3 innings, held batters to a 0.944 WHIP, and saved eight games since taking the closer role from Brad Ziegler.
Barraclough has never struck out players at a slower rate than he is right now, “just” 10.2 per nine innings. On the other hand, opponents are hitting just .116 off him, with a .210 slugging percentage. For about five weeks there, he didn’t allow a hit. No, I didn’t say that he pitched a bunch of scoreless innings. From May 8th through June 24th, he allowed one hit in 19 2/3 innings for an opposing slashline of .017/.119/.033. It almost seems like a typo, right?
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