It seems like all athletes have their own conspiracy theories. Kyrie Irving thinks the world is flat, Steph Curry doubts the moon landing and Adam Ottavino believes he would strike out Babe Ruth every time he faced him. As far as free agency pitches go, it’s not a bad one.
Ottavino is coming off his best career season in almost every aspect. He set career bests in wins above replacement (2.6), ERA (2.43), strikeouts (112), strikeouts per nine innings (13) and hits per nine (4.6). Ottavino also finished the season with a 2.74 fielding-independent pitching and 0.991 WHIP.
While I’m not sure it would best the Babe every time, Ottavio’s stuff is filthy. He used his slider 49.97% of the time and it might be one of the most unhittable pitches in baseball. The rest of Ottavino’s arsenal consists of a mid 90 fastball and a cutter that averages at 91 MPH.
With that being said, there are plenty of red flags around Ottavino. He has pitched over 60 games just three times in his eight-year career while posting an ERA below three in just one of those seasons. Ottavino walked 4.2 batters per nine innings this season and walked 6.6 per nine last year.
While it has been quite some time, Ottavino did undergo Tommy John surgery back in 2011. Due to Ottavino’s low profile, he might not draw as large of a contract as others making him a smart sign. A righty, funky-motioned combo of Ottavino and Pat Neshek would be a pain for opposing hitters.