Among many things that fascinates me about Graham Ashcraft:
He throws hard, averaging 98 mph and topping out at 100 last night.
He's Top 4% in fastball velocity in MLB.
He doesn't strike out a lot of guys.
Bottom 9% in strikeouts rate.
Guys made contact vs him. But they don't hit him hard. His exit velocity against is Top 2% (lowest).
He's pitch efficient....14.2 per inning. That would be 3rd best with enough innings to quality. For comparison, Tyler Mahle throws the most among qualified pitchers at 18.96.
63% ground ball rate/ML average 43%.
9 more ground ball outs last night....39 in four starts.
He's allowed one HR in 23.2 IN.
He gets ahead....throwing a first pitch strike 70% of the time...the ML average is 60%.
He embraces one pitch/one out more than needing at least three pitches to get a K.
He's shown better control in MLB than the minors.
Minors: 3.42 BB per 9 innings, including 4.68 in 2021.
ML: 1.90 BB per 9 innings. A lot of rookies hesitate to challenge/trust their stuff and wind up nibbling. He's been the opposite. He's not afraid to put his stuff up against any hitter.
He offers a variety/balance on pitches to keep hitters on their toes: 44% Cutter, 30% Sinker, 24.4% Slider, 1.2% Changeup.
Batting average against: .105 Sinker, .120 Slider, .244 cutter.
Yes, he's faced the woeful Diamondbacks and Nationals in half his starts....and his FIP indicates he's also been lucky, with an expected ERA of 3.35, but man. He's been impressive.