The most exciting pitcher in baseball
June, 4, 2012
By Mark Simon | ESPN.com
Gary A. Vasquez/US PresswireSince joining the Angels, Ernesto Frieri has allowed one hit in 14.1 innings with 30 strikeouts.Who is the most exciting pitcher to watch in baseball right now?
If we had to guess, we’re thinking most of you will say Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw or Stephen Strasburg. If we asked you to pick a reliever, you’d probably say Aroldis Chapman.
As we noted last week, the Angels' bullpen has been a key to their resurgence. Frieri’s emergence is at the heart of that.
Frieri set a major league record by not allowing a hit in his first 13 appearances with a new team. The Rangers finally broke that streak on Saturday, but by night’s end, they had succumbed as well, as Frieri picked up his fourth save. Opponents are now 1-for-43 with 30 strikeouts versus Frieri since he joined the Angels in a May 3 trade with the Padres.
Part of the fun of watching Frieri is that his pitches are all over the place. Since joining the Angels, he’s thrown only 38 percent of his pitches in the strike zone. His fastball tails away from a lefty and in to a righty with such movement that it’s very difficult to hit.
Here’s a chart that shows what Frieri has done since joining the Angels and how that compares to the average major league pitcher:
ESPN Stats & InformationNo matter where the ball goes, hitters have had a hard time hitting Frieri.