By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your MLB highlights for the week of September 30-October 6, 2019, the first week of the playoffs:

Mazel tov

  • Kevin Pillar is San Francisco’s nominee for the 2019 Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the outstanding offensive player in each league (see article).

Stats to share

  • By one measure, Max Fried may be the best-fielding pitcher in the Majors. According to FanGraphs, Fried’s defensive play saved Atlanta six more runs in 2019 than the average pitcher would have. Meanwhile, his 34 assists were tied for the MLB lead.
  • Alex Bregman swung at only 18.8% of all pitches that arrived outside the strike zone in 2019, the best rate of any MLB batter (see table). The worst rate? Kevin Pillar held that dubious honor, at 48.8%.
  • Joc Pederson’s home run in Game 1 of the N.L. Division Series had an exit velocity of 114.9-mph, the second-fastest by a Dodger since 2015.
  • Though several respected journalists have argued for naming Alex Bregman the A.L. MVP, at least one oddsmaker has him finishing a distant third in the voting, behind Mike Trout and DJ LeMahieu.
  • Special thanks to JBN reader Jack W. for many of today’s statistics.

 At the plate

  • 3B Alex Bregman (Astros) hit .500 (3-for-6) with a HR, double, RBI, and a .625 on-base percentage. Houston leads Tampa Bay 2-0 in the A.L. Division Series.
  • LF Joc Pederson (Dodgers) hit .286 (2-for-7) with a HR, double, RBI, and a .444 on-base percentage over three playoff games. Los Angeles leads the Nationals 2-1 in the N.L. Division Series.
  • LF Ryan Braun (Brewers) went 1-for-4 in Milwaukee’s Wild Card loss on October 1, ending his season.

On the mound

  • Max Fried (Braves) pitched 2.1 scoreless innings across 3 games, yielding a hit and 2 walks while striking out 4. Atlanta leads the Cardinals 2-1 in the N.L. Division Series.

Arizona Fall League

  • Orioles prospect Dean Kremer tossed 4 innings for the Surprise Saguaros in an October 4 start, yielding one earned run on 2 hits and a walk while striking out 2.
  • Mariners prospect Sam Delaplane pitched 2 scoreless innings over 2 games for the Peoria Javelinas, yielding 2 hits and no walks while striking out 4. He is one of just 8 pitchers in the AFL with 2 or more saves.

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