The Braves are going to be well represented on MLB Network’s Top 100 players list. Sean Murphy was the first member of the team to be announced, and we have another first-timer — Spencer Strider.
Atlanta’s own Huckleberry clocked in at no. 65 after one of the most impressive rookie seasons we’ve ever seen. It’s an ironic ranking; it matches his 2022 jersey number. He’ll be wearing #99 in the future, though.
Every other year, Strider would’ve taken home the Rookie of the Year award; however, Michael Harris II stole the spotlight from Strider with his spectacular season. The Stockbridge native was the team’s best player, but Strider was arguably the best pitcher in baseball once he joined Atlanta’s rotation, going 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA over 131.2 innings.
In the process, Strider broke Randy Johnson‘s record for the fastest pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts while also becoming the 10th rookie since 1969 to reach that mark. Moreover, his 13.81 strikeouts per nine innings was the second-highest mark for a pitcher with at least 100 innings. He became the first pitcher ever to record at least 200 strikeouts without giving up 100 hits. Like his rookie counterpart, the impressive first season resulted in Spencer Strider inking a long-term extension to stay in Atlanta through the rest of the decade with a six-year, $75 million deal.
His stuff is absolutely nasty; Strider has as much talent as any pitcher in the league. If he had begun the year in the rotation instead of the bullpen, there’s no doubt he would’ve challenged Sandy Alcantara for the NL Cy Young award. With a year of experience under his belt, the sky is the limit for the hard-throwing righty. Chase went as far as to say he’ll win the Cy Young next season if he can remain healthy:
Spencer Strider’s 2023 Stat Predictions: 17-7, 2.28 ERA, 1.98 FIP, 13.0 K/9, 6.4 fWAR (Winner NL Cy Young award)
Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire
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