Rookie Season: 28 games (2 starts); 50.1 IP; 5.36 ERA; 39 strikeouts; 1.609 WHIP
Drafted by the Blue Jays in the fifth round 1986 MLB Draft out of Fraser High School in Fraser, Michigan, Pat Hentgen sits high on quite a few different Blue Jays leaderboards after his 10-year stint with the organization. As a member of the Jays, Hentgen would finish with a 4.28 ERA through 1636.0 innings, striking out 1028 batters through 270 outings, 238 of which were starts.
After his incredible rookie season, part two of this series examines Alek Manoah’s stats compared to previous Blue Jays pitchers and legends alike.
The right-hander would exceed his rookie limits in 1992 but was a member of the bullpen at the time, appearing in 28 games (2 starts) with 32 walks, 39 strikeouts, and a 1.609 WHIP through 50.1 innings pitched. He wouldn’t hit his stride until next season, when he secured a more prominent position in the rotation, earning all-star nods in 1993, 1994, and 1997. He would be traded to the Cardinals in 2000 and would spend one season in St. Louis before spending three years with Baltimore and eventually finishing his career with the Blue Jays in 2004.
Crunching the Numbers
A comparison of the stats between Manoah and Hengten in regards to rookie season values would be a bit unfair, mostly because the current Blue Jays pitcher was a starter this year compared to Hentgen finding himself in the bullpen for most of his rookie campaign.
If we take a look at Hentgen’s 1993 season, his first full year in the rotation with 34 appearances in which 32 were starts, Manoah posts better numbers in terms of ERA (3.22 vs. 3.87), strikeouts 127 vs. 122), WHIP (1.048 vs. 1.336), and H/9 (6.2 vs. 8.9) while Hentgen does best Manoah when it comes to BB/9 (3.1 vs. 3.2).
It should be noted that this Hentgen’s first full season as a starter saw him make the all-star game while finishing sixth in Cy-Young voting, earning his second World Series ring and pitching six innings with only one earned run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1993 World Series.