It's a fun argument for a team to have when they get to wonder which young and impressive starting pitcher is better. Having two that would likely be fighting for the #3 spot in many a rotation instead fighting for the #4/5, and ultimately just the #5 most likely, is a great problem. That's where the Mariners are at with Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo. According to STEAMER, Bryan Woo projects to have a better 2024 than Bryce Miller.
Personally, I like Bryce Miller more. It's not to say I don't like Bryan Woo, but it's more of a liking a beer after mowing the lawn than a beer after a long day of work. Both are great, but people have their preferences. Or to appeal to more people, liking Blackberries more than liking Strawberries. Both great, some people just like more than the other. (Lawn and Blackberries for me).
To get to the point, STEAMER has Bryan Woo doing a bit better than Bryce Miller this upcoming season, but it is close at 1.5 WAR to 1.3 WAR. We already talked about Miller in the previous STEAMER preview for the Mariners, so it only makes sense to have him and Woo back-to-back.
There are some that think Woo will be better, and when you look at his Baseball Savant page, it makes sense. He has a lot of red on his stats and that's exactly what you want, and it's reflected in his STEAMER projections. They've got him just breaking the 4 mark, and projected out at 3.98. That goes alongside a similar K/9 of 9.46, a lower BB/9 at 2.98, and a similar WHIP of 1.24. It would be a great season by Woo if he had a sub-4 ERA.
What stands out about the projections is that they have him with 21 starts and 19 apperances. Part of this makes sense if you think that Woo would be moved to the pen when Robbie Ray comes back, and thats the likely outcome if everyone is healthy and still around when the rotation is full.
I think it's worth keeping an eye on Woo to see if he can figure out how to up the strikeouts or lower the walks. He's been fairly consistent with his walk numbers the last few years, but has been a 10+ K/9 since coming to college back in 2018, even getting up to the 13 K/9 range. If Woo can keep the walks under 3 per 9, and get the ks up to 11/9 or so with a sub 4 ERA, that's going to be a fantastic season, even if he is only giving you around 5 innings per start, which is where he was in 2023.
STEAMER is fairly high on Woo, and that bodes well for the Mariners. Let's hope that he is in for a good season in Seattle in 2024