Philadelphia Phillies: This Zach Eflin Stat is Absolutely Wild

Zach Eflin #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Zach Eflin #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Philadelphia Phillies starter Zach Eflin isn’t having the best season, but he does have one stat that really stands out (in a good way).

He’s only walked 14 batters over 102 innings.

By comparison, his rotation-mates Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, the only other pitchers on the Phillies who’ve thrown more than 100 innings, have each issued at least 23 walks. Plenty of the other Phillies arms have even more walks in far fewer innings; fellow starter Vince Velasquez has issued a team-high 40 walks over 72 1/3 innings, and right behind him is reliever Jose Alvarado, with 29 walks over 33 2/3 innings.

Taking a look at the starting rotations of other teams in the division, Eflin’s accomplishment shines even brighter.

No Atlanta Braves or Miami Marlins starting pitcher with at least 70 innings has allowed fewer than 25 walks.

Each of the Washington Nationals starters has thrown at least 63 innings and walked at least 22 batters. Yes, even the great Max Scherzer has walked 22 batters over 98 innings.

Of course, Jacob deGrom is in a class of his own; he’s only walked 11 batters over his 92 innings of work. Aside from him, everyone in the Mets rotation has issued 25 walks, minimum; none have thrown 100 innings.

Philadelphia Phillies starter Zach Eflin is leading all MLB pitchers in this one category.

But of all MLB pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched so far this season – 32, to be exact – no one has limited their walks to the extent that Eflin has. Only two other pitchers with 100+ innings have fewer than 20 walks: Clayton Kershaw and Cole Irvin each have 19.

In every other statistic, Eflin is having a mediocre-to-disappointing season. He’s 4-6 with a 3.88 ERA over 17 starts, he’s only struck out 22% of the batters he’s faced and has pitched one scoreless start all season.

But weirdly, in this one area, Eflin has excelled. It’s also a marked improvement from previous seasons; he walked 15 batters over 59 innings in 2020, and a career-high 48 walks over 163 1/3 innings in 2019.

Overall, Eflin needs to be much more effective for the Phillies. But it’s cool that by this one particular metric, he’s actually been better than everyone.

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