This article was originally written by Seth Walder over at Fake Teams
It doesn’t take a genius to say that Jered Weaver is having an impressive season. At this point, he’s 9-5 with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. Oh, did I forget to mention the 142 strikeouts?
But I’m here to tell you exactly how good Jered Weaver has been. And if you want me to cut to the chase, as far as I’m concerned, all systems are go for Weaver. He has completely vaulted himself into what I would call the second tier of pitchers, and not far off the first.
I feel like I’ve been teasing the pitching rankings for awhile now, but I will tell you that Weaver got some very serious respect from the four of us. Weaver finished our rankings with two votes at 10 and two at 12—so all four of us are fully buying his breakout. By the way, that ranking puts him ahead of Justin Verlander and Chris Carpenter.
But let’s get down to why Weaver has been so good. For one, Weaver is sporting a 9.98 K/9 rate with a 1.9 BB/9. Both those numbers mark significant improvements from his career averages. But the K’s aren’t an anomaly. His career 9.5 swinging strike percentage has increased to 11.3 this season. According to my K-Efficiency formula, Weaver’s K rate should correlate to an 11.9 swinging strike percentage. So while his Ks so far might be slightly inflated, the marked increase is real.
Everything else about Weaver seems in line. His BABIP is normal, as are his HR rates. His LOB% is a little high, but right with his career average. His groundballs have increased, which can only be a good thing. FanGraphs says Weaver’s curveball has been his most valuable pitch—and looking at Pitch f/x we can see that Weaver’s curveball has increased in vertical movement significantly.
I can happily say this is one case where we can tell you: do not expect a regression to the mean—Weaver is for real.