How did SF Giants righty Logan Webb become an ace?
All of the pitchers listed were guys that were considered to be an ace of their teams, but not necessary across baseball. So what if the bar was higher for Webb? What would his season have to look like to match true aces before him?
For this exercise, I just looked at three recent pitchers who are in a league of their own. Once again, looking at their third season in the majors.
First up, Gerrit Cole in 2015 in his age-24 season went 19-8 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. His ERA? 2.63. Cole finished that season with a 4.3 WAR.
Next, we have Aaron Nola. The most recent of the three, Nola was 25-years-old in 2018 when he went 17-6 with an ERA of 2.37 for the Philadelphia Phillies. Not to mention he eclipsed a WAR of 10.2(!).
Finally, we have arguably the best pitcher in the game today: Jacob deGrom. He was a late bloomer, as his third major league season came in 2016 when he was 28. He had a 3.04 ERA, 3.4 WAR, and finished with a 7-8 record.
Taking the average of the three came out to a line of 14-7 and an ERA of 2.67.
Now we have our two statistical benchmarks. In my opinion, based on the data presented to you today, for Webb to obtain ace status going forward, he needs to finish with a record of 13-10 (which can vary depending on team success, run support, etc. - just ask deGrom), and an ERA of 3.22,
For reference, in case you forgot, Webb finished with an ERA of 3.03 in 2021.
Now, for Webb to obtain MAJOR LEAGUE ACE status, to be considered the best-of-the-best, he needs to finish the upcoming season with a 14-7 record, an ERA of 2.67, and a WAR around 6.0