The Z Files: Difficult Pitching Projections, Part Two

The Z Files: Difficult Pitching Projections, Part Two

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

The suspense has built long enough. Last week, I promised the final 10 pitchers giving me fits when asked to rank and profile my top 90 starting pitchers. By means of reminder, I'm manually adjusting my projections more than ever this season. The foundation being used to build the 2022 baseline consists of:

  • 2019: Happy fun ball
  • 2020: 'Nuff said
  • 2021: New ball, sticky stuff, weird weather

Factor in weirdness in the minors, and neutralizing skills has even wider error bars than usual. As such, the first bit of massaging involves landing on an acceptable normalized skill set. The next step in projection is to translate skills to expected outcomes and flavoring with team context. This season, I am paying more attention to the final BABIP and LOB% since both should fall within plausible ranges. Last time, I revealed the first five guys giving me agita. Here are the others. My rank accompanies each.

33. Tyler Mahle

Mahle seems like one of those guys the industry ranks high, but when on the clock, they take someone else, citing, "I wanted a bat here", or something like that. Initially, he was ranked much lower. I don't recall exactly, but it was in the 50s or 60s. The reason was a baseline pulling a lot from pre-2020, and the boost is due to there being a tangible explanation why the influence of those seasons can be softened. Here is Mahle's pitch mix over the past few campaigns:

Year

Pitches

4Seam%

Cutter%

Slider%

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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