Review of the 2021 Atlanta Braves: AJ Minter
AJ Minter had an odd regular season for Atlanta, but became part of Night Shift in the knockout stages. In the end, when the Braves won a title, you could tell he did well as the Braves’ pulled him relatively high for a painkiller several times before. A trivia question for years to come will be, “What painkiller led the 2021 World Champion Atlanta Braves in fWAR during the season,” and the answer won’t be Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson, or even Jesse Chavez. The answer, of course, is AJ Minter, even though he was demoted to Triple-A midway through the season.
How can I get it?
AJ Minter written by Detroit Tigers graduated from high school in batch 38 of the 2012 draft, but opted to attend Texas A&M instead of signing. In College Station, Minter spent his first two years as a pain reliever, but the Aggies tried him as a starter in his junior season, which ended with the need for Tommy John surgery. and a lead-only profile of relief. With that said, the talent was clear…clear enough that some analysts may have considered him a first-class prospect prior to surgery. The Braves seemed tantalizing enough to draft Minter in the second round of the 2015 draft, with a competitively balanced pick, despite the serious risk of painkillers.
It’s safe to say that expectations are pretty high for Minter to come out in the off-season, and for good reason. Minter not having great results in 2020 (0.83 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 3.74 xFIP, 2.92 xERA, 0.4 fWAR in 21 2/3 innings), with some big playoff moments to go with his strong regular season and has the promising pedigree to make it all happen. The peripheral stats don’t quite back up his ERA 2020 yet, but still show an extremely good dose reduction (64 FIP-, 84 xFIP-). With all of this being said, Minter has had to go through inconsistent periods before in his career, and painkillers in general are not a particularly stable commodity.
Stats for the 2021 season
Regular part: 61 G, 52.1 IP, 9.80 K/9, 3.44 BB/9, 0.34 HR/9, 61.1% LOB%, 45.0% GB%, 4.2% HR/FB, 3.78 ERA, 3.01 xERA, 2.69 FIP, 3.81 xFIP, 1.3 fWAR
Post-production: 8 G, 12.0 IP, 13.50 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 69.2% LOB%, 38.5% GB%, 0.0% HR/FB, 3.00 ERA, 1.42 FIP, 2.89 xFIP
Minter has had a good season by ERA estimators worldwide, with his xERA (88th percentile) and FIP particularly great. However, he managed to be dropped from the minors in July, despite having a mid-range ERA and xFIP along with a great legit FIP… despite his pitch at the time. that is 113 ERA- / 73 FIP- / 100 xFIP- and against .282 xwOBA. Essentially, Minter gets punished for clearly A) defending behind him, resulting in a match with .324 wOBA despite against .282 xwOBA against and B) in fact the heck in the game. defense and play tend to happen in the center of the pitch, as he gained -0.90 WPA before being demoted. He still has 18 shutdowns to 13 melts before being sent down, so it’s not some kind of disaster, but that’s clearly what happens when you have options. Minter has more fWARs than any of the Braves relievers except Will Smith when he was demoted, but he has the second-worst WPA (behind Jacob Webb). Baseball is cruel sometimes.
Minter stayed in Gwinnett for about four weeks before returning to major. After the rollback, Minter’s FIP and xFIP were both about 0.5 lower than they were before his descent, while his ERA was lower running the full run, but the sample size is clearly too small to tell. up anything significant about these statistics. The ball game gods also smiled at him, as he only allowed a .241 xwOBA after returning, but benefited with the tune of a .197 wOBA against. He doesn’t really see high leverage after his return, with just three outages to one outage, but at least WPA is pretty decent. He led the team with a pain-relieving FWAR after his return, which is how he ended his first season, due to Will Smith’s homer problem in the long run.
What went right? What is up?
Just before being demoted, Minter had two consecutive opening matches with suboptimal results before being sent down, both against the Rays. With that said, it’s been two appearances, against a very good team, and in a season where he’s largely played well, so sending him down seems a bit strange. As all painkillers, he made a few appearances throughout the season before and after his demotion, but those were probably Minter’s worst two consecutive performances of the season. Minter only allows runs to earn in about 26% of his performances in the regular season, and has one more time to suppress home players (or again very lucky with goals). balloon).
If you mark dismissals, ballgame stuff, bad WPA results, etc. Minter’s pitching combination is still pretty devastating, even with some weird pitching positions, because of him. did better at his quick ball lift and relied heavily on his cutter/slider while coordinating shifts very effectively.
Road to title: Night Shift
In the post-season, Minter usually dominates. He was one of four pitchers that Brian Snitker clearly trusted at the cowshed more than anyone else, i.e. Tyler Matzek was nicknamed “Night Shift,” and rightly so. In the 2021 postseason, Minter only allows 8 hits, 4 walks, and 4 runs (three of which appear in one hit). World series Game 5) over 12 post-season innings, most of which are highly leveraged.
By the nature of the way he’s used, nearly every Minter post-season appearance is a big hit and he dominates almost every outing. One big downside was the fateful World Series 5 game that came out, in which he dropped three runs and put Houston in the lead and eventually the game.
Arguably Minter’s biggest performance after the season was also oddly the only other performance he ran away with. In Game 1 of the World Series, everything seemed to go according to plan, with the Braves soon leading by scoring 5 runs in the first 3. The problem, however, was that Charlie Morton had broken his leg and had to leave the game (although only after scoring three starts following the aforementioned broken leg, including two strikes, one of which was his. former MVP Jose Altuve, otherwise we would have forgotten). The heroes suddenly had to cover 6 2/3 inning against the best offense in baseball while both maintaining their lead and failing to destroy the bullpen in the remaining games in the series. Minter took the call and insurance 2 2/3 round with three hits, even though he was allowed to run once. Covering the rounds with that quality in that position was really great for Atlanta. Minter also had a clean round in Game 3 with two attacks, along with some great performances before that in the knockout stages, including, most notably, two rounds of four hits in Game play NLCS 6 when the Braves finally beat Dodgers to advance to the knockout round.
The actual result was that Minter didn’t end the season with WPA or cWPA positive, but both tested positive for him in the post-season period. His clean pass in a World Series 3 game was his highest cWPA match. As for his highest WPA of the season, it came in a regular-season game against the Dodgers, where he entered Saturday with a two-goal, two-over, and second-to-none lead to Max Fried, and retired Will Smith, Gavin Lux and Max Muncy on feeble balloons to get out of a jam in a game the Braves eventually won.
Outlook for 2022
AJ Minter is eligible to serve as salary arbitrator in 2022, pending whatever is agreed in the upcoming CBA negotiations. MLB Trade Rumors Projects $2.1 Million Salary for Lefties Entire Night Shift is on contract and will presumably return to Atlanta in 2022, excluding unexpected deals or no bidding. The specific role Minter can safely take on is being a high leverage firefighter out of the siege and he’s likely to be somewhere in the above average to very good range, which is which he has achieved in each of his major league seasons but 2019 has his problems.
https://www.talkingchop.com/2021/12/1/22794146/a-j-minter-2021-atlanta-braves-season-in-review Review of the 2021 Atlanta Braves: AJ Minter