The key to the Brewers success has been their pitching. Despite early scuffles, Devin Williams has returned to his elite form, and is once again an anchor in the back of the bullpen.
For the season, Williams has recorded a 2.52 ERA in 39.1 innings, striking out 37.5% of all batters he’s faced, walking 13.7%, while primarily serving as the set-up man for Josh Hader, but filling in as a closer with Josh Hader on the COVID IL.
During the first 2 months of the season, Williams had struggles. In 19.1 innings he recorded a 4.19 ERA, a 2.20 FIP, struck out 13.5 batters per 9, walked 5.59 per 9, and allowed 9 runs to score.
He allowed just 4 runs to score his entire 2020 season.
Devin Williams broke out with the Brewers in 2020, showcasing his elite changeup and winning Rookie of the Year, and he’s back to that form again.
Since June 1st, Williams has pitched in 20 innings, struck out 15.30 K/9, walked 4.95 / 9, recorded a 0.90 ERA, 2.22 FIP, and only allowed 3 runs to score.
Devin Williams, who had postseason surgery and elbow discomfort in July, has regained his elite form that made him absolutely unhittable. Opponents have an xBA of .184 and an xSLG of .294 against him, and a real life batting average against of .191 and a real life SLG of .312, both up from last season, but still placing him in the elite company.
His changeup has been the best in baseball when looking at Run Value, with the Airbender at -13 (lower is better), as well as the highest average spin rate of a changeup in baseball. The infamous Airbender makes batters look lost, confused, and contemplating their existence.
Williams has the 5th highest Whiff% in baseball (min 10 PA) of 42.6%. Williams’ Whiff% is in the 99th percentile per BaseballSavant. His chase rate also places him in the 73rd percentile.
While his Whiff% is high, his BB% also is high, the 13.7% places him in only the 7th percentile among qualified pitchers per BaseballSavant. While Williams does have a higher BB% than last season, there are circumstances when a walk is favorable to a hit in certain high leverage situations.
Devin Williams has been a key contributor to the bullpen this season, while he had a rocky start he has found his form. Williams is an exceptional talent and has kept the Brewers in the position they are in.
The Brewers, especially with Josh Hader on Covid IL, have needed Williams to find his 2020 form again and thankfully, he has.