Zac Gallen has been one of the best pitchers in the big leagues so far this season.
Gallen has become a must-watch starter. In six starts, he’s tossed 34.1 innings and allowed just 18 hits, four earned runs, five walks, and he’s struck out 35 batters. His ERA is 1.05, his FIP is 2.25, his WHIP is 0.67, and his ERA+ is 389. He leads the league in WHIP, ERA+, and H/9 with 4.7.
His Baseball Savant page is one of the prettiest I’ve seen. He’s in the 96th percentile in xBA, xwOBA, and xERA, 93rd percentile in xSLG, 90th percentile in walk rate, 88th percentile in average exit velocity, and 85th percentile in hard hit rate. He’s not a strikeout pitcher, so those numbers are basically average, but he excels at inducing weak contact and keeping runners off the bases.
He is another guy who has made some change to his pitch mix, although not as starkly as Lauer. He’s throwing his slider about 6% less, and basically abandoned the sinker he threw less than 1% of the time. He’s throwing his cutter and curveball about 3% more each.
At 18-16, the Diamondbacks are 4th in the NL West, just half a game ahead of the 5th place Rockies. While the team isn’t bad, they have no chance of beating the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres in the division. What makes Gallen expensive is that he still has three years of control left, and he hasn’t even hit arbitration yet. They likely see him as their ace of the future, and it would take an eye-popping offer to pry him away.