How good of a year is Edwin Diaz having? This one simple statistic shows just how dominant the New York Mets closer has been.
Can a closer get much better than this?
Mets closer Edwin Diaz is dominating with strikeouts this year
For some specifics, here is how this 50%+ strikeout rate comes from. Diaz has faced 139 batters and fanned 70 of them. It’s pretty easy math. What isn’t easy is having half of the batters you face go down on strikes.
Diaz’s 17.83 K/9 rate is the best in baseball for pitchers who have faced 100 batters or more. Josh Hader is second at a laughably awesome 15.38 after his first 112 opponents tried and failed.
The 70 strikeouts itself is no joke. It matches Max Scherzer’s total and is well above what many starting pitchers have amassed this season. Diaz is pitching on a whole new level. He is pitching on a whole new level, going toe-to-toe with the performance he had in 2020 but now more innings deeper into this season than that shortened campaign.
Diaz is a free agent at the end of the season but accomplishments like this should have the Mets already considering an extension. During the Steve Cohen era, Francisco Lindor is the only player to actually get extended while already under contract with the team. Along with Diaz, there’s Brandon Nimmo to think about. As important as he is to the team’s future success, Diaz is the one somewhat silently doing his job.
Strikeouts are, of course, only a part of what is expected from Diaz. He has converted 18 of 21 save opportunities this year and is now the owner of a 1.78 ERA. It’s hard to find a closer in baseball right now that matches his mix of dominance and success.
This is beginning to look like the newest chapter in Diaz’s redemption arc in Flushing. His horrific 2019 season put him in the doghouse. Now, he has gotten even better. He’s not just getting batters out via strikeout half of the time. Literally half of the hitters are walking back to the dugout and in shame.