Toronto Blue Jays News

Using advanced stats to see which Blue Jays could improve regress

Henry Wright
Jun 5, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks to the bench for instructions during an at bat against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks to the bench for instructions during an at bat against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 5, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (34) pitches to the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Kevin Gausman

One important note when looking at baseball statistics is that each site values certain traits and numbers differently. For example, Baseball Reference tends to take a very basic approach, mostly looking at the raw numbers and doing little in the way of projection or expected performance, which makes it an ideal tool when looking at a player’s actual performance. Baseball Savant is reliant on statcast metrics, which have no bearing on raw numbers and are based entirely on statcast data, which makes it an ideal tool for projections. FanGraphs works as a sort of middle ground since many of its main stats are ideal for both projection and actual performance since their sabermetrics are based on formulas that account for raw numbers. Due to this, certain sites favour certain players depending on what type of player they are.

In the case of Kevin Gausman, there’s a pretty noticeable difference.

For example, Kevin Gausman ranks 22nd in the MLB with a 2.78 ERA, therefore he only ranks 35th amongst pitchers for rWAR. His Baseball Savant numbers are generally somewhere in the 60s or 70s, except his walk rate, which is in the 98th percentile, and his chase rate, which is in the 100th percentile. FanGraphs on the other hand, love Kevin Gausman. Their WAR model for pitchers values FIP (which as I mentioned before, only accounts for the three true outcomes), and Gausman in 2022 is the poster boy for FIP. This year, the right-hander has excelled at striking out batters, all while keeping the ball in the yard, and limiting walks. Because of this, he leads all of MLB in both FIP and fWAR.

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So what can we take from all of this? If you’re looking at the raw numbers I think it would be fair to say that while Gausman has been great, he hasn’t been in the top-tier of pitchers this season. Looking at it in terms of projections though, I think it’s very promising. The way in which he’s having success is exactly what the Blue Jays need, and if I were going to put money on anyone to win the American League Cy Young come November, it might just be Gausman.

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