The Chap Man

Hi. Do you like baseball? I like baseball. You know who is really good at baseball? Aroldis Chapman. I wrote about Aroldis earlier this season already, but because I have a borderline inappropriate fascination with him, I’m going to do it again. Right here and now.

Here are some select Aroldis Chapman stats as of today, September 7:

Name IP SV H K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP ERA FIP xFIP WAR
Aroldis Chapman 66 35 30 15.95 2.32 0.41 0.248 1.23 1.11 1.59 3.6

I don’t know about you, but it would be a lie to say that I’m not a little bit aroused right now. Those are excellent statistics. Chapman has been worth 3.6 fWAR this season –  as a relief pitcher. What other pitchers have put up similar WAR numbers this year? Madison Bumgarner and Cole Hamels, that’s who! They however, have both pitched at least 117 more innings than Chapman has.

Chapman’s K/9 of 15.95 has actually declined a bit recently, and is now a hair behind the all-time record of 16.1, set last season by Kenley Jansen. I’ve written him letters informing him of this, informing him that he had better pull up his socks, but as of yet I have not received any responses. For what it’s worth, his K% is still higher at 46.8% compared to 44% last year for Jansen. And 15.95 is still the second highest of all time. Did you know that, if over 3 straight one inning saves, Aroldis Chapman struck out 2 batters, 1 batter, and then 2 batters, his K/9 for the season would actually decrease? It’s true. And that’s crazy. Because 5 strikeouts in 3 innings pitched is really good. But Aroldis Chapman has been better than that over the course of 66 innings.

Respond to my letters Aroldis Chapman!

Basically my conclusion here is that Aroldis Chapman is really good. Not Cy Young worthy good, but really good. If you look at FanGraphs’ RA9-Wins measure, Chapman has actually been worth 3.7 WAR this season, so this isn’t just a case of having really good peripherals but lackluster results. He’s tied for being the 17th most valuable pitcher in baseball this season. Chapman is awesome.

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