I want to introduce you to the star of that short lived Caveman sitcom that ran on ABC for all of one month. Only joking of course, this is Andrew Miller. I’m not just writing about him because he’s on my precious Red Sox and I’m a complete homer, but because he’s one of the most effective relievers in the league this year.
Why am I wasting your time with this? Because look at his career stats (Let’s keep it relatively simple)
7.42 K/9, 5.23 BB/9, .89 HR/9, 17.6K%, 12.4 BB%, 78 ERA+, 1.705 WHIP
and now for 2012
10.57 K/9, 2.74 BB/9, .78 HR/9, 30.3 K%, 7.9 BB%, 161 ERA+, 1.00 WHIP
Those are drastically different numbers to say the least. One of the most incredible turn arounds in recent memory. Now how has he managed to strikeout more, walk less, and keep the ball in the yard more? Well thanks to one of my favorite websites FanGraphs, I can dig a little deeper to figure it out.
At first glance batter’s are swinging at about 6% more pitches then they have in the past. They’re making contact with said pitches about 15% less then last year. So he’s throwing better pitches that batters aren’t hitting… How is this happening? Once again let’s dig further.
It seems that he’s throwing his fastball about 11% less then his career average, throwing his Changeup 6% less and most drastically throwing his slider over 20% more often then his career average.
That’s odd. His slider must be filthy or something. See for yourselves, click the GIF’s to see one of the nastiest pitches of 2012.
Yeah homie. You just got taken off your feet looking at a nasty junkball. This ain’t no high cheese big dog.
That’s not even getting gassed up. That’s getting embarrassed.
This is why Andrew Miller fascinates me. It brings me to one thing Sabermetrics can’t tell me. What did Andrew Miller do to finally make things “click”? I guess that’s between him and Mac (Sox pitching coach Bob McClure-possibly the only success he’s had with the pitching staff all year). All I know is this tall drink of water figured out that his changeup was mediocre, his fastball was decent, and his slider is stupid filthy.
As always kids, keep reading and supporting,