Mariners 25-Man Ultimate Preview: Roster-Projected Starting Pitchers
SP- James Paxton
IP- 182 W- 13 L- 9 ERA- 3.58 WHIP- 1.15 K-176 WAR- 2.3
Chris Towers at CBS sports referenced an amazing stat of James Paxton that was brought to his attention by BrooksBaseball.com. James Paxton hit 99 MPH on his fastball 54 times in 2016.
Why is that so special, though? Aroldis Chapman is throwing 100 MPH+ regularly.
However, James Paxton before 2016 had only hit 99 MPH one time in his life. When Paxton tweaked his mechanics before the 2016 season, he experienced a serious increase in velocity.
Paxton struck out almost one batter per inning, and he showed glimpses of truly being an ace. Is this the year Paxton gets it together and becomes the ace that he is destined to be? I don’t think so.
I think Paxton is still a year or two away from being a #1 or #2 option in a rotation. Paxton shows that he has the ability to change and adapt, but he still has more changing and adapting to do. His changeup is by far his weakest pitch, and he still has work to do in figuring out how to face righties.
I think he will put a lot more of the pieces together this year, but he is still a year or two away from figuring it out completely. Also, he will most likely be on some sort of inning limitation this year as the Mariners want to preserve his arm for the long-term future.