Free Agent Target: Marcus Stroman

Consistent, Durable, Energetic, Doesn’t rely on high velo and had success in New York. That’s Marcus Stroman. The 30 year old righty is coming of a great year as a Met as he (like Gausman), made the most off his QO and is now set to get a multi year deal in free agency.

In 2021, Stro made all of his starts (33) with great consistency. Something no other Mets starter was able to do. He was a rock in the Mets rotation after New York lost their ace in Jacob deGrom. It wasn’t Stro that cost the Mets their first place spot, as he gave the Mets quality innings in most of his starts.

Sports Productions

Stroman had the ninth best ERA in 2021, pitching to a 3.02 ERA over 179 innings. In that span he pitched to a 3.49 FIP and 1.14 WHIP. For a pitcher that pitches to contact, a 1.14 WHIP is very solid. Best part of Stroman’s game? Keeping the ball in the ballpark. Stroman had the 6th best HR’s allowed per nine rate at 0.85 HR/9. He was also 10th in the majors in ERA plus at 133, which shows how good his 2021 was.

But it’s not just the 2021 season with Stroman. In comparison to Gausman, Stroman has had consistent success for years. Over his career he owns a 3.69 ERA, 3.62 FIP and a 1.26 FIP. His formula to success with a 7.5 K/9 is pitching to contact and keeping the ball in the yard. Him being a terrific athlete himself, helps too.

Made the Cut

So how does Stroman find success? He doesn’t rely on strikeouts and doesn’t rely on high velo. Different pitches with different movement is the way to go for Stro.

Stroman uses 6 different pitches, mostly relying on 4 (Sinker, Cutter, Slider and Splitter). He uses a four seamer up in the zone to surprise a batter at times and sneaks in a curve once in a while, but those pitches combined for just 3.3% of the pitches thrown.

So let’s get more into his main arsenal of pitches. Stroman throws his sinker the most, trying to get ground balls with it. His Sinker gets 3 inches of drop, which he mostly throws down in the zone. With the sinker he features a slider, which gets solid horizontal movement (4.2 inches), which moves the other way. The slider mostly ends up down and away to righties, while his sinker ends up mostly down and in. He throws these two pitches for a combined 65.1% of the time and works very well together.

Baseball Savant

With the Sinker and Slider, Stroman also features a Cutter and Splitter. His Splitter is a new pitch and he mostly throws in down and in (below the zone) to right hand side, while he throws his cutter to the outside part of the plate. His Splitter gets him a high ground ball percentage, which might become a bigger part of his arsenal in years to come.

Mathew Brownstein

It’s beautiful to see how he locates and uses the movement on his pitches for the best. Below is a great look at Pitching Ninja overlay on his Sinker/Slider/Splitter, which shows why he is successful.

People might look at his Baseball Savant page and get scared? Yes Stroman allows some hard hit contact and doesn’t fan a lot of hitters, but that’s how he had found success for years. Another plus is that Stroman doesn’t rely on velo, so if he loses some with age, he should still be solid. Movement is what makes Stro great.

Stroman will get paid, probably in the Wheeler range and he deserves everything he gets. He is a durable, consistent bet on the market with consistent success for years. To me, him or Gausman are the pitchers to go after, with them not costing the 14th overall pick. Personally I would be very pleased if the StroShow stays in Queens.

Photo credit: New York Porch Sports on Twitter

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