How Good is Ryan Yarbrough?
One of the rare Jerry DiPoto transactions that haven’t worked out for the M’s is that of Yarbrough, who was drafted by the Mariners in the fourth round in 2014.
To house Drew Smyly, the Mariner roster had to be reduced by Yarbrough, Mallex Smith, and a minor leaguer for a short period of time.
Yarbrough, on the other hand, relocated to Tampa and quickly established himself as one of the game’s top contact managers.
Exit velocities for opposition hitters averaged more than two full standard deviations lower than the league average for Yarbrough in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.
To qualify for the 2020 ERA title, Yarbrough had a pitch-specific Adjusted Contact Score of 57 and a whiff rate of 18.4 percent, which falls in line with the group.
Pitch lacks pace stylistically, but it makes up for it with horizontal movement. Only Jesus Luzardo had a better average horizontal movement (by 9.7 inches) among all pitchers with at least 54 innings of work under their belts.
In terms of vertical mobility, his 2.1-inch average was significantly lower than the norm.
Over the course of his career, his fastball velocity has dipped from 87.6 mph in 2020 to 86.1 mph in his first two starts in 2021.
Only Zach Davies and Giolito have thrown a lower percentage of their changeups than Yarbrough in 2020, when his sinker was only used 23.4% of the time, putting him in last place among ERA-qualifying pitchers.