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Six MLB pitchers who have taken a big step forward in 2019

Mike Soroka, Atlanta Braves

There are stellar performances every year that get overlooked because another player had an even bigger year. That’s going to happen in the MVP races, but also to Mike Soroka in the National League Rookie of the Year race, likely thanks to Pete Alonso.

Soroka will probably take a trip to the postseason over that individual award, though. The young righty has accumulated 3.7 fWAR in 164.2 innings despite owning a 19.7% strikeout rate. He’s managed to lower his season-long ERA by almost a full run compared to last year (3.51 to 2.57) because he’s limited base runners and has stranded those who have reached base.

The 22-year-old has lowered his WHIP from 1.44 to 1.09, while in turn rising his strand rate from 64.6% to 80.6%. That’s certainly a recipe for successful run prevention. For a guy like Soroka — who isn’t a big swing-and-miss pitcher — it’s imperative to control contact as much as possible.

That’s exactly what he’s done, with the biggest change coming in his infield-fly rate. That number has risen from 0.0% to 14.4%, while his fly-ball rate hasn’t crested above 25.0%.

About Matt Musico

I love baseball and talking about baseball. My work has appeared on sites such as Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, FanSided and FanDuel Insider.

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