June 28, 2011 at 8:24 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves
Through 13 major-league starts, Brandon Beachy has a 4.765 K/(BB-IBB+HBP) ratio. He’s struck out 28.3% of the non-IBB batters he’s faced and he’s (BB-IBB+HBP)’d 5.9% of the non-IBB batters he’s faced. Beachy is ~14 innings short of qualifying for the ERA title, but if he did qualify his K/9 would be the best in the league.
I see no reason why he can’t continue to pitch with an elite K/BB ratio. He doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, but he throws it with average velocity and also throws three offspeed pitches, including a swing-and-miss offering to both right-handers and left-handers. All of this to go along with plus plus command and control, excellent pitchability, and off-the-charts makeup.
The only real knock on Beachy is he’s a fly ball pitcher, but so what? If he keeps striking out over four times as many as the batters he faces, I certainly don’t care.
When I’m “labeling” pitchers, I consider the best 10-15 or so pitchers in the game–the unquestionably elite workhorses–to be “aces”, the next 15-20 to be #1 starters, the next 30 to be #2 starters, the next 30 #3, etc. The Braves don’t have an ace, but Beachy has pitched like a #1 starter so far. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that continues.