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Austin Adams Newsbeat

Friday, September 10, 2021

How One Padres Reliever Is Plunking His Way to an Unlikely HBP Record

Despite little name recognition, Austin Adams is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Among all pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched in 2021, the Padres’ right-handed reliever is allowing the lowest slugging percentage (.201) and the third-lowest batting average (.149), behind only Jacob deGrom and Josh Hader.

Adams has come by those numbers honestly: Statcast’s “expected” statistics show that based on the exit velocities and launch angles of batted balls allowed, he ranks first in expected slugging percentage allowed and tied for second in expected batting average. He boasts the lowest hard-hit rate for any pitcher with at least 50 batted balls against, and he’s thrown by far the most innings for any pitcher who hasn’t allowed a home run.

Yet the most fascinating part of Adams’s otherwise stellar season has nothing to do with batting average or home runs or any sort of bat-to-ball contact at all. No, the weirdest, wildest, most wonderful wrinkle is that Adams, a reliever with all of 46 2/3 innings, also leads the league by hitting 20 batters; nobody else—not more frequently used relievers, not any of the qualified starters on pace for 200-plus innings—has hit more than 15. And with three weeks remaining in the season, Adams has a chance at the liveball era record.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 10, 2021 at 10:49 AM | 22 comment(s)
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