38 Days Until Opening Day: Previewing #38 Anthony Misiewicz

Anthony Misiewicz of the Seattle Mariners throws.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 06: Anthony Misiewicz of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Texas Rangers. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

We are now just 38 days away from Mariners Opening Day! So, let’s learn a little more about #38 Anthony Misiewicz, who debuted last season.

The 6’1″ left-hander was one of the lone bright spots in the lackluster Mariners bullpen last season. He posted a 4.05 ERA which might not seem that impressive but his FIP was down to 3.04.

For context, the best FIP in 2020 was from Shane Bieber, who won the AL Cy Young Award. Mariners ace Marco Gonzales on the other hand had a 3.32 FIP.

Getting to know Anthony Misiewicz

Misiewicz grew up in Chesterfield, Michigan, and attended Anchor Bay High School. At Anchor Bay, he set the single-season strikeout record with 126 and earned numerous accolades at the All-Conference, All-District, and All-County levels.

Misiewicz was also the starting quarterback for two years in high school.

Once he got to MSU, he made an immediate impact on the team. During his freshman season, he led the relief core with 33.2 innings pitched and finished with a 1.60 ERA.

And then in his next two seasons, he struggled a bit. He posted a 3.55 ERA in 2014 and 3.80 ERA in 2015. But even then, the Mariners saw something in him in the later rounds and selected him in the 18th round of the 2015 draft after his junior year.

Misiewicz signed a $70k signing bonus with Seattle and was with the Mariners until 2017. And up to then, he was pitching pretty good.

His performances caught the eyes of the Tampa Bay Rays so he was sent to Tampa alongside Luis Rengifo, in exchange for Mike Marjama and Ryan Garton.

But, Seattle wanted him back and returned in 2018 for an international signing bonus slot. After rejoining the Mariners organization, he has struggled a bit. But, he had pitched 19 games in Tacoma, 17 of them as a starter, which made the staff confident enough to have him in the pen.

It is interesting that he has mostly been a starting pitcher in the minor leagues despite being a reliever in college. Out of the 120 minor league games, he started 111.

But, he seemed comfortable out of the pen in 2020, which is a great sign coming from a 26-year-old. The Mariners bullpen doesn’t have too many left-handers so Misiewicz will play a crucial part in the 2021 staff.

Expectations for Anthony Misiewicz

Like I said earlier, I don’t think his baseline numbers show the whole picture. He finished 2020 with a 3.04 FIP and 106 ERA+. Furthermore, some of his numbers on Baseball Savant are encouraging.

Anthony’s barrel percentage was in the 98th percentile, which is amazing. His fastball spin rate and curveball spin rate are above the 80th percentile. His strikeout rate was in the 81st percentile. And lastly, his xwOBA, xSLG, xERA, whiff rate, and walk rate were all in the 70+ percentile.

To say the least, pretty darn good. But of course, many people will forget about it, overlook it, or just think Misiewicz wasn’t that good because of his 4.05 ERA last year.

To be completely fair, I would be totally happy with the same numbers from last year. Hopefully, Misiewicz can have some better luck so his ERA would reflect his advanced statistics.

How about a 3.25 ERA? I think that is totally reasonable and attainable by Anthony. Let’s hope he delivers!