Stat of the Day: Adam Wainwright’s Line Drive Rate: Why The Concerns For 2015 Are Legitimate

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Did You Know:
Among pitchers with at least 400 innings over the past three seasons Adam Wainwright has allowed the second highest line drive rate:

1. Brandon McCarthy – 23.8%
2. Adam Wainwright – 23.4%
3. Tim Lincecum – 23.3%
4. Corey Kluber – 23.1%
5t. Ricky Nolasco – 22.8%
5t. Ryan Vogelsong – 22.8%

Thoughts:
Many have declared Wainwraight a potential bust in 2015 and with good reason. His line drive rate has been over 23% each of the past three seasons, topping out at 23.9% in 2014 (when he benefited from a .267 BABIP).

Maybe if he was an electric strikeout artist we could expect him to overcome it, but he saw his strikeout rate drop to a 7.10 K/9 last season. It was even worse in the second half, at 6.47, as he barely averaged over 90 mph on his fastball.

He does have elite control and keeps the ball in the ballpark, so it would be unfair to say that he will have no value. That said, unless he fixes the line drive rate he isn’t going to be a Top 10 starter. Don’t pay that type of price, given the risk, and look towards other “elite” starters.

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2 comments

  1. Bryan says:

    Surprised to see Klubers names on this list too. Worry?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      No, because it’s a bit skewed by a 25.9% mark in ’13. Last season his mark was 21.4% and he also has the strikeout stuff to help overcome things (unlike Wainwright).

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