Kendall Graveman: 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Year in Review


If you’d have asked me this time last year who Kendall Graveman was I’m not sure what I would have said. It probably would have been intelligent to Google his name but it’s uncertain whether Google even had him on their radar.

Given his rapid, unorthodox ascension through the minor leagues, it’s uncertain what the future holds for Graveman. With that said, here’s a look at the year that was for 23 year-old Kendall Graveman.

Year Tm Lev W L ERA GS IP H ER BB SO WHIP H9 BB9 SO9 2014 Lansing A 2 0 0.34 4 26.1 11 1 6 25 0.646 3.8 2.1 8.5 2014 Dunedin A+ 8 4 2.23 16 96.2 89 24 18 64 1.107 8.3 1.7 6.0 2014 NewHampshire AA 1 0 1.50 1 6.0 8 1 2 4 1.667 12.0 3.0 6.0 2014 Buffalo AAA 3 2 1.88 6 38.1 34 8 5 22 1.017 8.0 1.2 5.2

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 10/26/2014.

The Good:

The cut-fastball. On June 3rd, in a start with Low-A Lansing, Graveman stumbled upon a pitch that cut in on left-handed batters while throwing what traditionally was his four-seam fastball. Up to that point, he had been exactly what his contract suggested; an after-thought.

From there, he sped through the minor league system. Starting in low-A Lansing, Graveman climbed his way through the system, team-by-team and was a member of the Buffalo Bisons by August 1st. There, Graveman continued his dominance in six starts (38.1 Innings Pitched) averaging 5.17 K/9, 1.17 BB/9 with a ERA of 1.88. Also, in Graveman’s short stint in Triple-A, he averaged 10 ground-ball outs per game thanks in large part to a strong defence.

All this earned Graveman the September call-up to the big leagues where Graveman continued to use his cut-fastball to defeat hitters. In 4.2 IP, he recorded a 3.86 ERA with 64.3 per cent of his outs coming virtue of the ground ball (extremely small sample size). Although his success is still young in its existence, 2014 was a promising sign of what could be for the young soft-tosser.

The Bad: 

The bad for Graveman is simply the fact that his success is still extremely raw. It’s really hard to quantify Graveman’s success because, despite his fast-tracked triumph through the minor leagues, teams never had the chance to see Graveman enough to adapt to his approach on the mound. In 2014, the only level he recorded more than six outings was with high-A Dunedin. This limited opponents’ chances to familiarize themselves with the way Graveman’s pitches moved, his arsenal and the pitch repertoire he utilized. There’s no way to tell if teams could have had more success off the right-hander given the opportunity to see him two or three times over the course of a season.

The other draw back, or asterisk to these numbers is that, in Buffalo at least, Graveman benefited from pitching in front of a top rated defence as Jonathan Diaz and Ryan Goins turned seeing-eye singles into ground ball outs for the young pitcher. Again, it’s impossible quantify how Graveman’s stats would be altered on a poor defensive team, but pitching to contact (as Graveman does) wouldn’t suggest his stats would improve in that environment.

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The Future:


The future is certainly foggy for the young prospect. A year ago, Graveman wouldn’t even have been worth analyzing. He wouldn’t have been wrote about. So maybe, just maybe, next year he will take another step on the path to becoming a major league pitcher. That said, maybe he will fail to develop his secondary pitches and be forced to employ his cut-fastball as his one pitch out of the bullpen. After all, history has shown us that baseball can be quite forgiving to right-handed relievers with a lethal cut-fastball.