10-02-20 Roster Update
October 02, 2020
The 2020 season has come to its conclusion and what a memorable season it was. We saw some fantastic pitching performances from some likely names like Gerrit Cole (2.84 ERA) and Yu Darvish (3.0 WAR). Rookies such as Kyle Lewis, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Luis Robert showed us how they’re superstars in the making while players like Fernando Tatis Jr and Mike Trout continued to prove why they’re considered some of the best in the game.
For our final roster update, we’ve decided to do things a bit differently. Rather than have rosters reflect what they looked like in the final week of the season, we’ve updated rosters to best resemble a team’s most frequently utilized lineup. For example, while a player like Corbin Burnes had his campaign cut short by an injury, he still spent a majority of his time in that Brewers rotation, so we’ve made sure to include him there.
While the NL Cy Young could be between two or three pitchers, the AL Cy Young seems as if it’s Shane Bieber’s to lose. The Indians’ ace ended the year with a 1.63 ERA, 2.07 FIP, 41.1% K rate, and 17.1% swinging strike rate; all of which were career highs. Need more proof of how dominant he was? Bieber had three pitches that had a batting average against under .200! His slider had a .135 BAA, his changeup had a .063 and his curveball had a .095. We’ve boosted Bieber’s Command, and Knuckle-curve quality and movement ratings.
The NL MVP race is going to be a tight one. Marcell Ozuna led the league in HR with 18, while Juan Soto won the batting title with his .351 AVG. The WAR leader belonged squarely to Freddie Freeman (3.4) who put up career best numbers all over the place. The Braves first baseman sported a .341/.462/.640 slash line with a .456 wOBA and a 187 wRC+ all of which were the best numbers of Freeman’s career. While he didn’t lead the NL in HR or AVG (though to be fair, his .341 was 2nd), he did lead the league in runs (51) while coming in 2nd in RBI (53). We’ve boosted Freeman’s Contact rating.
While Shane Bieber may have led the league in ERA, Kenta Maeda led the league in another very important metric: WHIP. Maeda sported an incredible 0.75 WHIP which is almost half the 1.30 league average! Maeda was able to keep runners off of the base paths thanks to arguably the best changeup in baseball. The change had a .122 batting average against and didn’t give up a single HR the entire season with 291 thrown! The success of the off-speed also benefited his four-seamer which had a .083 BAA, the lowest of any four-seamer from a starter in baseball. We’ve boosted Maeda’s Drop, Command, Changeup Quality and Movement ratings.
MLB is filled with power bats. Jose Abreu, Jose Ramirez, Mike Trout, the list goes on and on. Luke Voit bested all of them with his 22 HR; the only player in baseball to surpass the 20 HR mark in the 2020 season. While Voit’s 13.1% barrel rate was very similar to the rate he put up in the 2019 campaign, the Yankees first baseman made strides in terms of his expected SLG – which rose from .496 to .596 – as well as his K% – which dropped from 27.8% to 23.1%. Voit ended the year with a fantastic .324 AVG against heaters, as well. We’ve boosted Voit’s Contact and Power ratings.
Arguably the most dominant performance from a reliever this year came from Milwaukee Brewer Devin Williams. Using a pitch he and Pitching Ninja deemed the “Airbender” (which is really just an absolutely fantastic changeup), Devin Williams recorded a league leading 53% strikeout rate. He was the only pitcher in the league to record a K% higher than 50%. The Airbender allowed just two hits the entire season which is made all the more impressive when you consider the fact that he threw 227 of them! We’ve boosted Williams Command, Changeup Quality and Movement ratings.
When you’re looking at specific leaderboards there often isn’t a wide margin between the leader and second place. For example, while Jose Abreu led the league in RBI with 60, Marcell Ozuna wasn’t too far behind with 56. This was not the case in 2020 when it came to stolen bases. 2nd place on the stolen base leaderboards was Jonathan Villar with 16. The league leader? Adalberto Mondesi with a whopping 24! That projects to about 66 stolen bases over a full 162 game season. While Mondesi took a little while to hit the ground running (no pun intended), he ended the year strong, slashing .356/.408/.667 in the final month of the season. We’ve boosted Mondesi’s Contact, Power, Arm, Fielding and Speed ratings.