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Tony-OH

#10 2020 Prospect: Keegan Akin - LHP

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We’re at the point of arguing whether you like chocolate chip cookie dough or fudge ripple.  All depends on your favorite flavor.  It’s pretty subjective from this point out.  You can group five or six with similar levels of talent (tiers) and shuffle the cards.  Big drop off from 7-8.  8-12 are probably pretty closely matched before another drop.

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Chocolate chip cookie dough - no question!  What's your point?  just kidding.

It will be interesting to watch whether Kremer can harness his stuff and cut down on the BBs.  The BBs are too much of an issue for me with Kremer to put him at 9.

On the flip side, Akin seems to have lesser raw stuff, but comes at hitters with a more traditional lefty arsenal using the angles and speed changes to his advantage.  The K rate is high-end, however, and suggests a refinement and/or elimination of certain pitches, if possible, can really solidify Akin as a reliable 4/5.

I do agree with Tony that both pitchers are ready to face major league hitters.  It will be interesting to see which one of these two is able to make the adjustments/refinements against those hitters.  I hold out more hope for Akin here as he experiences and adjusts to what works and what doesn't while I worry that Kremer is just wild and will not bring the BB rate down.  I also think recent trends in analytics asking SPs to go 4-6 IP is to Akin's benefit.

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1 hour ago, NCRaven said:

We’re at the point of arguing whether you like chocolate chip cookie dough or fudge ripple.  All depends on your favorite flavor.  It’s pretty subjective from this point out.  You can group five or six with similar levels of talent (tiers) and shuffle the cards.  Big drop off from 7-8.  8-12 are probably pretty closely matched before another drop.

Yep, but I do like Kremer a little more than the next group though overall. Saying that, they are similar 50 ceiling pitchers.

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1 hour ago, hoosiers said:

Chocolate chip cookie dough - no question!  What's your point?  just kidding.

It will be interesting to watch whether Kremer can harness his stuff and cut down on the BBs.  The BBs are too much of an issue for me with Kremer to put him at 9.

On the flip side, Akin seems to have lesser raw stuff, but comes at hitters with a more traditional lefty arsenal using the angles and speed changes to his advantage.  The K rate is high-end, however, and suggests a refinement and/or elimination of certain pitches, if possible, can really solidify Akin as a reliable 4/5.

I do agree with Tony that both pitchers are ready to face major league hitters.  It will be interesting to see which one of these two is able to make the adjustments/refinements against those hitters.  I hold out more hope for Akin here as he experiences and adjusts to what works and what doesn't while I worry that Kremer is just wild and will not bring the BB rate down.  I also think recent trends in analytics asking SPs to go 4-6 IP is to Akin's benefit.

When bullpens go back to their previous size, I'm not sure a pitcher who only good for 4-5 innings a start is going to remain a starter. I think you need guys who are going to get you 6 and hopefully into the 7th a decent amount of times. Sure, pitchers nowadays aren't expected to go much over 100 pitches, but unless MLB wants to keep the extended rosters, I think starters will need to give you more than what Akin gave in his limited time this year.

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It looks like we’re going to have a plethora of 50:FV guys coming up at the same time. How much trade value does Akin have? He’s a Young LHP with some success, so he’s got some. Enough to peddle him this offseason?

If he’s really a long reliever, I bet several teams would gamble that they can get him over the hump and would give up value for him.

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Last year, the average starter went just over 5 innings.  This year, it was just under 5 innings.

Getting 5ish innings out of your 5th starter puts you ahead of the game.

I can’t find anything on average ERA but the last time I saw it, I think it was in the 5-5.5 range.

I think Akin can be better than that

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I like the Arthur Rhodes "comp", for nothing else than Rhodes was one of my favorites back in the day.   And he did make a heck of a career as a reliever.    I'd take that for Akin for sure, but hoping he can stick as a 4th/5th starter.  Either way watching the O's starting pitching is going to be the most enjoyable it has been in quite a while. 

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I get the Arthur Rhodes comp a little bit.  LHP.  Possible starter turned reliever.  However,  Rhodes barely had two pitches. His breaking pitch was okay but he had no changeup at all from what I remember.  Akin has an inconsistent but potentially plus changeup.  That gives him a weapon that Rhodes never had.

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2 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

Last year, the average starter went just over 5 innings.  This year, it was just under 5 innings.

Getting 5ish innings out of your 5th starter puts you ahead of the game.

I can’t find anything on average ERA but the last time I saw it, I think it was in the 5-5.5 range.

I think Akin can be better than that

I think this is misnomer though. I could be wrong and haven't done the research, but that average is typically brought down by those awful starts where a pitch may not make it the 4th inning. 

Just doing quick analysis, John Means averaged 4.3 Innings a start if you just divide his innings by starts, but he pitched into the sixth inning in all five of his September starts when he was healthy and focused.

So is he a 4 inning pitch or more of a guy that will get you at least into the 6th? 

Akin only got into the 6h one time in six starts and this was a problem in the minors for him as well. In 2019, he only pitched into the 6th inning 7 times in 25 starts against AAA hitters. He was frequently around 90 pitches in the 5th inning against AAA hitters. He was better in AA, but he's just a guy that gets into a lot of deep counts and doesn't seem to get many quick outs.

Now can he be a 5th starter with his stuff and penchant for getting in pitch count trouble, probably, but he'll need to improve this aspect in order to be viable option as a starter in my opinion unless that staff has some real aces that will rest most of the bullpen on most of their starts..

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6 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

I think this is misnomer though. I could be wrong and haven't done the research, but that average is typically brought down by those awful starts where a pitch may not make it the 4th inning. 

Just doing quick analysis, John Means averaged 4.3 Innings a start if you just divide his innings by starts, but he pitched into the sixth inning in all five of his September starts when he was healthy and focused.

So is he a 4 inning pitch or more of a guy that will get you at least into the 6th? 

Akin only got into the 6h one time in six starts and this was a problem in the minors for him as well. In 2019, he only pitched into the 6th inning 7 times in 25 starts against AAA hitters. He was frequently around 90 pitches in the 5th inning against AAA hitters. He was better in AA, but he's just a guy that gets into a lot of deep counts and doesn't seem to get many quick outs.

Now can he be a 5th starter with his stuff and penchant for getting in pitch count trouble, probably, but he'll need to improve this aspect in order to be viable option as a starter in my opinion unless that staff has some real aces that will rest most of the bullpen on most of their starts..

Actually, what brings the average down are "openers" who never planned to go more than 1, 2, or 3 innings.

If you weeded those out I'll bet the average "real" starter is still going significantly over 5 innings per game.

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1 minute ago, SteveA said:

Actually, what brings the average down are "openers" who never planned to go more than 1, 2, or 3 innings.

If you weeded those out I'll bet the average "real" starter is still going significantly over 5 innings per game.

They need to just retire the whole concept of starters and what is expected of them.

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10 minutes ago, SteveA said:

Actually, what brings the average down are "openers" who never planned to go more than 1, 2, or 3 innings.

If you weeded those out I'll bet the average "real" starter is still going significantly over 5 innings per game.

This isn’t true.

I have looked this up over the years and 5th starters usually are somewhere around 5 IP over the last several years.

The reality is we usually overrate how deep into games starters go outside of the top 2-3 in a rotation.

Its why openers and things like that is actually a brilliant concept.

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10 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

This isn’t true.

I have looked this up over the years and 5th starters usually are somewhere around 5 IP over the last several years.

The reality is we usually overrate how deep into games starters go outside of the top 2-3 in a rotation.

Its why openers and things like that is actually a brilliant concept.

I didn't say it's a bad concept.   I just said that its prevalence in recent years is going to affect the computed value of average innings/start across the majors and make it seem smaller than it really is.   If a team starts Ryne Stanek with the intent of only pitching 1 or 2 innings, and he does, and that happens hundreds of times like it did in 2019, and then the average innings per start in the majors has dropped, let's say from 5.8 to 5.2.   But I don't think you can use that as evidence that "starters are pitching less".   Starters in the traditional mold might be going just as long as they did 3 years ago, but the average is lower because of some teams' adoption of the opener concept.

Now obviously it dropped this year because teams had 15 or 16 man bullpens, there was a short rampup in June camp so a lot of starters, especially in late July / early August when the roster was at 30, were not going very many innings at all.

 

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3 hours ago, Philip said:

It looks like we’re going to have a plethora of 50:FV guys coming up at the same time. How much trade value does Akin have? He’s a Young LHP with some success, so he’s got some. Enough to peddle him this offseason?

If he’s really a long reliever, I bet several teams would gamble that they can get him over the hump and would give up value for him.

What is the point of trading him?

We need more pitching, not less. It’s not like we’re going to get anything special in return. 

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