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#10 2020 Prospect: Keegan Akin - LHP

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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

This year was anomalous because the 28-man rosters allowed teams to throw more guys into the bullpen and yank starters early without feeling much consequence in terms of long term impact on the bullpen arms.   I expect IP/start to rise next year when they go to 26-man rosters.   

Average ERA for AL starters was 4.52, down from 4.76 last year.   

I do think Akin will have a tough time getting through 6 IP due to pitch count issues, but 5 decent innings has value.   


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Akin is a good guy to kick this can with.  I heard Sam Miller say on a podcast a year or two ago he figured in 50 years there would no longer be a difference between SP and RP.  Akin is neither Buehrle nor Aroldis, and I could imagine middle distance being his Goldilocks zone.  He could be a evolutionary link (as could probably 5-10 guys in any org).  I think we're only at the beginning of Big Data sinking its teeth into deployment, but retraining pitchers expectations even for Born in 1995 's like Akin will be a bigger task than it will in another 5-10 years.

In the meantime, we get to watch the Mike Fierses of the world freak out about stuff.

If we're honestly trying to beat the Yankees in a couple years and they still have LeMahieu, Judge, Stanton, Gleyber, Voit for a top half - even Means (and certainly not Akin) doesn't have to pitch the 1st.   It's the role Mychal Givens was born to play!

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1 hour ago, SteveA said:

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.


Sure, the average is lower because of that but 5th starters still weren’t getting much more than 16 outs well before the openers came into the picture.

In other words, Akin only getting 14-17 outs puts him in line with 5th (and even 4th) starters for the last several years.

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