Bleacher Report completely disrespects Spencer Strider in rankings

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The Braves feature one of the most talented teams in baseball, but no club is set up better in terms of talent under team control like Atlanta.

Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Michael Harris II, Austin Riley, Matt Olson, and Sean Murphy highlight Alex Anthopoulos’ ability to identify and extend special players. However, as you can see, these are all position players. He only has one example of doing an early extension with a pitcher — Spencer Stider.

The 2022 Rookie of the Year runner-up is the most dominant pitcher on the planet when he is on. He’s untouchable when he can locate his fastball, paired with his wipeout slider. Last year, he broke a bevy of league and franchise records. If it weren’t for his teammate, Michael Harris, he would’ve had a ROY award on his mantle.

In 2023, it was more of the same but with some inconsistencies. He led the majors in strikeouts and wins, posted the fourth-highest K/9 ever, and finished in the top five of the NL Cy Young race. He did finish with a 3.86 ERA due to those inconsistencies, though.

Still, nobody’s confusing the product with the talent. Spencer Strider is one of the best pitchers on the planet, regardless of what you prefer in a starter. But somehow, the folks over at Bleacher Report don’t even think he’s one of the 15 best starters.

16. Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves

Stats: 32 GS, 20-5, 3.86 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 58 BB, 281 K, 186.2 IP, 3.4 WAR

The MLB leader in wins (20) and strikeouts (281), Strider was virtually unhittable once again when everything was clicking, tallying 11 starts with double-digit strikeouts. The 25-year-old didn’t always have his elite stuff, allowing four or more earned runs in 10 of his 32 starts en route to the highest ERA of any pitcher in the top 25, making him one of the tougher players to slot in these rankings.

Let me say again. Spencer Strider led the majors in strikeouts and wins, posted the fourth-highest K/9 ever, and finished in the top five of the NL Cy Young race. Oh yeah, he also led the National League in FIP at 2.85, and Joel Reuter thinks he’s not even a top-15 pitcher? Don’t make me laugh.

There aren’t 10 better pitchers than Spencer Strider on this planet, and I could make a case that there aren’t five better. The Braves ace also delivered two quality outings in the postseason, but it was Atlanta’s bats that didn’t hold up their end of the bargain in the NLDS.

This take will age like milk, and I’m sure Braves Country will be ready to remind him next year when Strider takes home his first ever Cy Young award.

Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire

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