The New York Mets signed right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino to bolster the bullpen. This one-year deal is a solid move to make the bullpen deeper
The righty is coming off a solid year in Boston, in which he made 69 appearances and pitched 62 innings. He gave up 55 hits, 29 earned runs, 35 walks, and struck out 71 batters. His ERA was 4.21, his FIP was 3.96, his WHIP was 1.45, and his ERA+ was 113.
He essentially takes the place of Jeurys Familia, who left for the Phillies. He’s not going to be a late-inning, high-leverage reliever, but he’s a solid option in the 6th or 7th inning.
Let’s look at three important numbers to know about the newest Mets pitcher, Adam Ottavino.
19: the average horizontal break on his slider, in inches.
The first thing that comes to mind with Ottavino is his wicked slider. He can start it at the hip of a right-handed hitter and break it over the inside corner or start it down the middle and have it break low and away. He led the league in horizontal movement last year, narrowly beating out Collin McHugh’s 18.7 inches of horizontal break.
His windup is very conducive to generating this break. He basically steps into the third base dugout and throws across his body, which induces a massive spin rate of 2,745 revolutions per minute (RPM’s).
4: the average number of homers he’s given up each season over the last four years
Ottavino just doesn’t give up long balls. In 559.2 career innings, he’s only given up 53 homers. His career HR/9 is under one at 0.9. This is imperative to his success, because unfortunately, he does walk a lot of batters (career BB/9 of 4.1) and give up a good amount of hits (career H/9 of 7.8).
Looking at his Baseball Savant page, you’ll see a lot of red. He finished in the 95th percentile in hard hit rate, 93rd percentile in average exit velocity, 91st percentile in xSLG, and 90th percentile ofinbarrel rate. The movement on his pitches makes it extremely hard for opposing hitters to make solid contact against him.
3.60: his career ERA and FIP
It’s very rare to see someone’s ERA and FIP match exactly, especially going into the 12th season of their career. So what does this mean? It means that he is pitching to his analytical expectations. Defense doesn’t play a huge part in his pitching thanks to his ability to get strikeouts, and even though he has walk issues, he doesn’t give up homers.
In each of the last two seasons, his FIP has been lower than his ERA. His 2020 ERA was an unsightly 5.89, but his FIP was 3.52. Obviously 2020 was a smaller than usual sample size due to COVID, but that ERA would’ve come down significantly over a full season. His 2021 ERA was 4.21, but his FIP was 3.96. Since he’s run into a some bad luck over the last two seasons, he’s due for some good fortune and we may see that this year.
These are just a few stats to know about Adam Ottavino. I’m looking forward to watching him pitch this year.