I understand if you glance at Kodi Medeiros and his numbers and think, “yeah, he’s doing pretty good,” but this would be grossly underselling it. True, the 19-year-old (just had his birthday by the way) has an ERA of 4.21. But this is a fluke. Medeiros has held opponents to a 0.036 ISO and has a 2.61 FIP.
For reference, groundball demi-god Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros has held opponents to a 0.056 ISO this season. ISO is the measure of Slugging% minus Batting average, which shows (for a pitcher), how well they avoid extra-base hits. Just six of the 43 hits Medeiros has given up have been of the extra base variety, including zero home runs.
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Opponents are hitting just .224 off of him and that’s with a .316 BABIP (average is around .300). He also has a 67% groundball rate, reminiscent of Keuchel’s 64%.
The lefty has no doubt been overshadowed in Appleton by teammate Cy Sneed, whose exploits have been well-covered on RtB, but Medeiros’ peripherals are just as good as Sneed’s, and his stuff is far superior. Medeiros’ “struggles” with his ERA are due to his atrocious strand rate (or LOB%) which sits just under 60%, which is brutally unlucky.
That means that over 40 percent of Kodi’s opposing baserunners have come around to score, while the average throughout baseball is near 28 percent. These numbers can vary for certain players, but odds are Medeiros’ expected strand rate should stand somewhere around 72 percent, give or take a percent or two.
Medeiros has pitched 51 1/3 innings in 11 appearances (8 starts), given up 7.5 hits per 9, with a K:BB ratio of 56:21. Several times when he has gotten himself into trouble it has been courtesy of the free pass, but we’re talking about a pitcher throwing to guys who are, on average, three years older than him.
The really exciting thing about Kodi is his knack for avoiding those extra base hits. To own a slash line of .224/.310/.260 at any level verges on dominance, particularly with that .316 BABIP. And with his low three-quarters arm slot, he has positively blown away his fellow lefties, who are hitting .164 against him (.310 BABIP) with a K:BB of 26:3.
So take Medeiros’ ERA with a few grains of salt. The kid owns a .288 BABIP with the bases empty, but that number climbs to .349 with runners on. I’m not calling for a promotion for Medeiros, particularly since the 18-40 Timber Rattlers need all the help they can get, but more importantly he’s too young to risk rushing through the system, and it’s unlikely the Crew thinks any differently.