Player data: Age: 26, B / T: R / R
Primary statistics: 26 G, 25.2 IP, 2-1, 1.75 ERA, 2 HLD, 2 HR, 14 BB, 50 SO, 1.25 WHIP, 6 SV
Advanced statistics: 244 ERA +, 2.18 FIP, 1.3b WAR. 0.9 fWAR
Free agent: 2023
Salary for 2020: $ 5.1 million
Grade: B +
After the 2019 season, many Mets fans lost hope for Edwin Diaz because of his full 180 performance when he came to New York.
But last season, Diaz’s inability to command the mound was due to more factors than people were aware of, so fans seemed to hold his breath every time he stepped on the hill.
Most of these problems seemed to be due to lack of confidence and poor control of the slider, which is half of the repertoire. During the season, some pitchers came out to explain how changes in the seams of the ball affected off-speed pitches.
When Diaz lost control of the pitch, he often left them on the plate, leading to the 15 home runs allowed in 2019. This can explain how the young star wasn’t in a position where he was supposed to succeed.
Entering 2020, his slider problem has improved significantly. In 2019, the batter knew he could sit on Diaz’s fastball because he could be hit hard by his slider. In 2020 they were afraid of his slider. He produced a ridiculous whiff rate of 57.6% and cleared up 33.3% of batters on that pitch.
The first two weeks of the season were pretty tough for Diaz, but then he went into a ditch hitting 45.9% of the players he faced. This is actually the best of his career so far.
In 2019, he had one of the highest hit rates at 45.7%. He hadn’t returned to Seattle’s numbers (38.6%) this year, but was pretty close.
Diaz actually uses only two pitches, four seams, and a slider. Therefore, when struggling, he is much more affected than a pitcher who has one extra pitch on his sleeve.
One of the notable things about Diaz’s season is that he still has four saves and continues the story of not being successful in New York. Still, the 26-year-old pitcher had a great season in 2020, especially when looking at his advanced indicators.
Diaz was ranked above the 96th percentile in xwOBA, xERA, xBA (98th), xSLG (99th), K% (99th), and Whiff% (100th). Based on these indicators, Diaz was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.
Some might say that it’s not impressive that Diaz finished the 2020 season with six saves, but Mets is honest with 16 saves this season. Did not give many save opportunities.
In the short season, when only one inning is thrown every few days, it is difficult to meet everyone’s expectations. However, given his performance in September, when Diaz was able to run only once in 11 games, the flamethrower met his claim as an elite closer.
Despite his adversaries, Diaz changed his story and was a finalist on the 2020 All-MLB team.
With Steve Cohen being voted as the new owner of Mets, Diaz is in high hopes as Cohen is said to be considering expanding the franchise’s analytics department. Efforts to this analysis have the potential to further maximize Diaz’s strengths.
Diaz could have been one of the unsuccessful players in New York, but the 2020 season was wrong with the addition of more stressors in the 2020 season.
When Closer entered a nice ditch, he was still an elite, despite so much criticism last season. Diaz was by no means a bad pitcher and he did a great job of proving that they were saying so wrong.