Blue Jays FanGraphs Steamer Projections Analysis for 2022
After joining the team at the trade deadline last season, Jose Berrios played a big role in the team’s success down the stretch. After signing a 7-year, $131 million dollar extension this offseason, he seems primed to be one of the Jays’ top starters for years to come, but FanGraphs is projecting him to put up pretty average numbers in 2022. During his time in Toronto last season, Berrios posted a 3.58 ERA over 70.1 innings, but his projections have his ERA rising to 3.96 over 196 innings. They have his K/9 dropping to 9.24, much lower than his 10 in 2021 with the Jays, and have his FIP going up to 3.95, which would be the highest of his career in a full season.
Overall, I think these projections for Berrios are extremely pessimistic, however, Steamer Projections generally do not favour pitchers, and his projected ERA is actually in the top ten for AL starters. That being said, I would expect Berrios to perform much better than these projections and hopefully live up to his contract
Kevin Gausman has been the Blue Jays’ big offseason acquisition to this point, after signing a 5-year, $110 million dollar deal with the team. He’s coming off a career year with the Giants in which he put up a 2.81 ERA over 192 innings and finished sixth in NL Cy Young voting. Much like Berrios, FanGraphs has him regressing and his ERA rising to 3.93 over 188 innings. The rest of his rate stats follow the same pattern, generally regressing to the mean to a certain degree.
Just as I said with Berrios, I think these projections are very pessimistic, and I don’t think it would be unreasonable to expect another Cy Young calibre performance in Gausman’s first year with the Jays.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, was excellent in 2020, his first year with the Blue Jays, finishing third in AL Cy Young voting in the COVID shortened season. He carried that success into the first half of 2021 posting a 3.56 ERA, but struggled in the second half, to the tune of a 5.50 ERA. He finished the year with a 4.37 ERA over 169 innings, but this time FanGraphs actually has him improving slightly with a 4.10 ERA over 177 innings. That would still be a down year for Ryu’s standards and, once again, I think it would be reasonable to expect him to perform a bit better than that.
Ryu’s second-half struggles came pretty much out of nowhere so it’s hard to project exactly how he’ll perform next season. When it comes to players with a proven track record like Ryu, I tend to lean on the side of optimism, but it’s possible that a 4.10 ERA type guy is just who Ryu is now, only time will tell.
Right-hander Alek Manoah debuted to the majors last season after only pitching 35 innings in the minor leagues and was absolutely fantastic with the Blue Jays. In 111.2 innings he posted a 3.22 ERA and finished eighth in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Once again though, FanGraphs has him regressing and putting up a 4.21 ERA over just 147 innings, although they do put his K/9 at 10 which would be near the top of the league.
Manoah having only pitched one season in the majors makes him very hard to project, so I don’t blame this projection for giving him such weak numbers. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I would expect Manoah to put up better numbers than he is projected to, especially considering he now has most of a season in the majors under his belt.