MLB Top Players for 2014 Yu Darvish
Oh, man, where do we even begin? Darvish works off a four-seam fastball that sits 94 to 95 with some life, but he also has a sinker, slider, curveball, slow curveball and splitter. His is easily the most diverse arsenal featured by any starting pitcher in the big leagues, and his slider gets my vote as the nastiest the world.
Darvish does walk more hitters than your average pitcher, with his walk rate hanging around the nine percent range this year. That’s worse than the league average for starters, and it adds up seeing as how Darvish doesn’t pound the zone more than the average starter. His command isn’t a total loss, however. His fastball command has gotten a lot better since he first began his MLB career, as has his command in general ever since he simplified his repertoire late in 2012.
Darvish induces more swinging strikes than anybody in MLB, and he stands alone as the top strikeout artist in the league as well. He’s the only pitcher in the league with a strikeout rate over 30 percent, and his is well over that mark. Facing him is one of the toughest challenges in the game today, as everything he throws is meant to miss bats.
Racking up innings isn’t the easiest chore in the world for Darvish due to his high-strikeout ways and the fact that he walks a few more batters than the average starter. However, he’s one of the only pitchers in the league averaging 110 pitches per start, and he can go a lot higher than that.