Spencer Strider Is Matching Some All-Time Greats As A Rookie

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Spencer Strider #65 of the Atlanta Braves pitches during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Truist Park on June 10, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

 

Atlanta Braves rookie pitcher Spencer Strider had another incredible game on Thursday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In six innings, he threw 100 pitches and allowed no runs, striking out a whopping 12 hitters.

He completed the first three frames with nine strikeouts.

He has been quite a find for the reigning World Series champions.

His strikeout prowess is already earning him places in the league’s history book.

“Spencer Strider has 65 strikeouts since joining the Braves rotation. It’s the 4th-most K in a pitcher’s 1st 8 career starts in the last 30 years behind Kerry Wood, Stephen Strasburg and Masahiro Tanaka,” ESPN Stats & Info tweeted.

In 65.2 innings, Strider has a 2.60 ERA and an even better 1.82 Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP, a metric that evaluates pitching performance while removing defense from the equation.

 

A True Strikeout Machine

The most incredible Strider stat so far is that he is striking out 39.1% of the hitters he is facing.

A number that high is usually associated with a high-leverage reliever, not with a starting pitcher.

Yet here we are, and Strider is fooling major league hitters every time he steps on the mound.

Instead of adjusting to his stuff and style, hitters are growing more and more frustrated with his incredible repertoire.

He has elite fastball velocity, averaging over 98.2 mph on his four-seam fastball so far in 2022.

However, his slider is also very, very good, and helps him earn lots of whiffs.

As long as he can improve his changeup, Strider will have a place among the best young starters in the league for a long, long time.

His rise to stardom is one of the reasons why the Braves have been able to hang with the New York Mets as of late.





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