Sunday, November 18, 2018

Eovaldi in the Orange and Black?

That's what MLB.Com's David Adler thinks. He lists the Giants as one of five teams where Eovaldi might go

Nathan Eovaldi's velocity makes him stand out from nearly all starting pitchers -- but especially from the others in this free-agent class.
That seems strange to say. MLB pitchers are throwing harder than ever before. But among the headliners in free agency this offseason, Eovaldi's velocity is at the head of the class. Patrick Corbin's fastball averaged 90.8 mph last season; Dallas Keuchel's averaged 89.3 mph; J.A. Happ's averaged 91.9 mph. All were below league average for starting pitchers, 92.3 mph.
Eovaldi's fastball, meanwhile, averaged 97.1 mph -- third-fastest among regular starters, behind only Luis Severino and Noah Syndergaard. He hit 100-plus 10 times, the most of any regular starter. And that doesn't even count the postseason showcase he put on for the Red Sox during their World Series run.
Highest average fastball velocity by starting pitchers in 2018
Minimum 500 4-seamers/2-seamers/sinkers thrown
1. Luis Severino: 97.6 mph
2. Noah Syndergaard: 97.4 mph
3. Nathan Eovaldi: 97.1 mph
4 (tie). Gerrit Cole: 96.5 mph
4 (tie). Tyler Glasnow: 96.5 mph
Plenty of teams need starting pitching and will target rotation upgrades this offseason. But here are five that don't just need any starter -- they need a starter with Eovaldi's elite velocity.

2. San Francisco Giants
Avg. FB velo by team SP: 91.2 mph (7th-lowest in MLB)
Percent of FBs thrown 95+ mph: 0.4% (lowest in MLB)
With the analytically minded Farhan Zaidi taking over baseball operations in San Francisco and looking to build the Giants back up into a contender, Eovaldi would be an attractive option for a lot of reasons beyond pure velocity. But velocity is a big part of the package, and it would give the Giants' rotation something it doesn't have.
The Giants didn't have a single starting pitcher this season with even a league-average fastball velocity. Their hardest-throwing regular starters, Jeff Samardzija and Andrew Suarez, averaged 92.1 mph. Derek Holland sat at 91.5, Dereck Rodriguez at 91.2, Chris Stratton at 91.0, Madison Bumgarner at 90.8, and Ty Blach and Johnny Cueto at 89.7. Perhaps most shockingly, San Francisco's starting rotation as a team threw just 30 fastballs 95 mph or harder all year. That was by far the fewest in MLB -- Eovaldi alone threw more than 20 times as many.

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