As he starts for the first time for the Atlanta Braves this evening, let’s take a look at the stats for Eric Stults to see what we might expect from him as a pitcher.
- He doesn’t have a huge number of innings pitched for a 34 year-old, so he might have more left in the tank than we might expect. He only threw 804 2/3 innings in the 11 seasons between 2002 (when he was rafted out of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana) and 2012. He pitched 215 games in the minors, but only started 123 games. He has only pitched 635 2/3 innings in the majors. That being said, 34 is a bad place to be on the Pitching Aging Curves.
His minor league numbers are clear. Here are some of his numbers broken down my minor league level:
- What we see from this chart is that his walks per 9 innings stay fairly consistent around the 3 level, which is just fine. His WHIP went up slightly for each level, but his ERA shot up close to 5 for the AAA level. We’ll see this trend in his major league stats as well.
Here are Eric’s major league numbers, compared to the major league averages for those numbers:
- He strikes out less batters than the league average (SO%)
- He gives up more slightly more extra-base hits for opponent plate appearance and opponent hit (XBH% and X/H%)
- He is a flyball pitcher (Ground Ball/Fly Ball and Ground Out/Air Out)
- He pitches to contact (In-play%)
- He gives up a lot of line drives, but less than average of his Fly Balls become Home Runs (LD% and HR/FO). This is probably due to playing in Dodger Stadium and Petco for much of his career.
Summary: Eric Stults is in the majors due to his control, and his ability to eat up innings (His Quality Start percentage the last three years has been 64%, 61%, and 44%). He generally gives his team a fighting chance, but he rarely shuts the other team down. (He was 8th in the majors in fewest walks per 9 inn. in 2013, but also gave up the 8th most runs that year.) He will give up plenty of hits, but avoids the big inning by walking very few batters. Best case scenario is a competent #4 or 5 starter.