Originally posted on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 8/17/12
Sabermetric Spotlight: Jered Weaver, SP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Reason -

Being located in the Eastern Time Zone of the US, updates on pitchers not named Felix Hernandez are slow to arrive. Whispers of Jered Weaver’s stellar year have been beginning to creep into media and radio broadcasts of games I listen to, of course after the mention of the phenom, Mike Trout. If you happen to of forgotten, Weaver through a no-no against the Minnesota Twins on May 2nd (I know I did) and also has spent some time on the DL in early June. With all that said, having fallen in love with SoCal each time I visit, I thought it would be the perfect time to look into Jered’s year and see what all this fuss is about.

Basic Numbers -

Since Jered finished 5th in the AL Cy Young in 2010 and 2nd in 2011, lets toss those numbers in with this year for comparison purposes.

Why hello continued progression. A steady ERA drop of almost .8 in two years is quite incredible, especially when starting at 3.01 and tossing in the American League. It’s fairly obvious that his DL stint will hurt the overall height of some of his numbers, but even so, this man has been consistent as can be the past 2+ years. Walks and strikeouts are both down, but I can deal with that when he rattles off 9 consecutive decisions that result in a win (yeah yeah, I hate W-L, I know). While on the subject, I’m curious of the run support he had in 2010, those are Felix Hernandez type numbers!

Sabermetrics -

Since it’s shark week, I wish there was a Saber Shark, so I googled it. Bad idea, someones OK Cupid account, ha. Charty:

Besides HR/9, every single one of the stats in the upper portion of the graph have fallen from the past year. He has pin point control, that much is evident. While the K/9 of 6.91 isn’t what you were expecting this year on your fantasy team, the lower BAA (.196) and WHIP (.92) more than make up for it.

Staying in theme so far, Jered just keeps the ball down in the zone, plain and simple. GB% is up almost 5% to 37.3%, while FB% is down just under 7% to 41.5%. With the increase in ground-balls, its shocking to see that the batting average has gone down too, he has been a bit on the lucky side with a .225 BABIP, credit the above-par Angels defense for this (One can only imagine what Verlander’s numbers would be with a ranging defense behind him, anyway). Taking a look at his SIERRA numbers for the past few years, he has been out performing expectations of the statistical story, but this year takes it to new heights.

Pitch Types and Speed -

What has he done to reel in his control? Throwing his two-seamer (27.1% up 8% from 2011) almost as much as his four-seamer (28.5%) is one. To counter this, the slider (down to 12.5% from 18.2%) and change-up (13.1% from 15.9%) are each being thrown less. Velocities on all pitchers have remained just about the same, Jered’s arsenal is sick!

As you may have guessed, Weaver is throwing into contact more often. When a pitch is thrown for a strike, contact is made 88.6% of the time this year, up from 79.7% in 2010 and 84.8% in 2011. None of his other numbers really have changed dramatically, and quite honestly, I get a sense that he has been a boring pitcher to watch this year, which isn’t a bad thing. Pitches being swung and missed on have decreased, as well as his first pitch strikes, he is dictating what transpires in the game, bottom line.

Forward Looking -

His next three starts are against AL East teams in the Rays, at Fenway for those BoSox, then home vs Boston. A proverbial showdown for the Cy Young could go down on Sunday, September 9th when the Detroit Tigers are in town. Justin Verlander and Jered are both throwing tomorrow night, so lets hope that everything works out in our favor. Needless to say, the road isn’t an easy one, and if Jered wants that Cy Young, he will have to be clutch down the stretch.

Fantasy Analysis -

Jered is not the strikeout machine that he was in 2010, but he has been A++ in batting average against and WHIP. Oh and those wins don’t hurt either. He good, keep him.

Did You Know? -

Weaver is on the cover of MVP 07: NCAA Baseball, in his college uniform.

Conclusion and Projection -

After having time to let the story waft its way to me, I’m not shocked that Jered’s year isn’t one of national relevance. He isn’t doing anything overwhelmingly sexy, he is just dominating with control and defense. Could a bit of a regression be coming? Perhaps, but not too likely, even with the difficult upcoming schedule IMO. The inquiry when I started revolved around the AL CY Young talk, and you can’t dismiss it. I do think the DL stint might play a minor, minor factor, but if he didn’t win it the past two years, I feel like that this year may finally be his time. Just not of the unanimous variety.

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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