There’s been a lot of discussion of this on the Braves radio and telecasts, but Lucas Sims seems to be one of those few players who had serious control issues and managed to solve them. His ERA has always been okay to bad, and his strikeout numbers have been fine, but his stats were undermined by a very high walk rate. Here are two charts that show his progress. The seasons and partial seasons on the X axis are:
- 2015 season with A-advanced Carolina (Carolina League)
- 2015 season with AA Mississippi (Southern League)
- 2016 season with AA Mississippi (Southern League)
- 2016 season with AAA Gwinnett (International League)
- 2017 season with AAA Gwinnett (International League)
- 2017 season with Atlanta (National League)
For each chart, I’ve put Sims’ numbers along with the league average for that season for comparison.
So we see that while his ERA was actually slightly below average at Gwinnett this year, the bigger issue is that he managed to lower his walks per 9 innings from 6.7 in his 2016 Gwinnett season to 2.8 at Gwinnett this year. His control has carried over into the majors as he has only a 1.5 BB9 in his first two games. Let’s see how well he can do today against the Cardinals, who are fighting desperately for the National League central division.