SF Giants Gifts: Logan Webb Batted-Ball Luck
Young starting pitcher Logan Webb seemed to stall in his second taste of MLB ball with the Giants in 2020. The lone member of the team’s staff under 30 remains the team’s best hope for improvement next season. Of course, after struggling in his first two big-league seasons, there is some reason for concern. With that said, at least one projection algorithm remains very high on the 24-year old. A huge part of that is batted-ball luck.
In 19 starts (21 games) over the last two seasons, Webb has posted a 5.36 ERA. While Webb has struggled to limit runs thus far, he has a solid 2.18 strikeout-to-walk rate and an impressive 1.83 groundout-to-flyout rate. His FIP has been at least a run below his ERA in both 2019 and 2020. Over his career, it estimates his performance more in line with a 4.15 ERA. Given his solid strikeout and walk rates, if his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) drops from .340, his career mark, there’s reason to believe more success is ahead.
Some pitchers are more prone to higher BABIP than others. Certain types of batted balls and harder contact generally lead to more opposing hits. Still, without even 25 big-league appearances under his belt, it’s nearly impossible to draw any conclusions in either direction. Ground balls do tend to induce more base hits than flyballs, but Webb’s average exit velocity against last season ranked in the 50th percentile.