Bobby Miller, a 2017 McHenry West graduate, continued an impressive start to his major league career Sunday night, striking out a career-high seven batters in six shutout innings against the New York Yankees.
Although Miller, 24, didn’t factor in the decision, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ right-hander certainly has looked the part of a front-line starter. Through his first three starts, Miller is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 16:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 17 innings.
Here are five interesting facts about Miller through his first three starts.
1. Good company
Since his debut against the Atlanta Braves on May 23, Miller’s 1.06 ERA ranks 13th best in baseball among all qualified starters. Miller has not allowed more than one run in any of his three starts against the Braves, Washington Nationals and Yankees.
Since May 23, Miller also ranks among baseball’s top pitchers in WAR (wins above replacement), which measures how many wins a player is worth compared to a replacement-level player at the same position.
His 0.7 fWAR (FanGraphs.com’s calculation of WAR) is second only to the St. Louis Cardinals’ Miles Mikolas (0.9).
[ McHenry grad Bobby Miller wins MLB debut on national TV ]
2. Dodgers history
According to MLB.com researcher Sarah Langs, Miller is the second Dodgers pitcher since at least 1901 to throw five-plus innings and allow one run or fewer in each of his first three career appearances. The other was Kenta Maeda in 2016.
On Sunday, he became the first Dodgers pitcher since at least 1901 with a six-plus inning start allowing one hit or fewer within his first three career appearances.
3. Elite stuff
Miller is one of seven pitchers in baseball with four pitches that rate over 100 in “Stuff+,” a measurement that looks at the physical characteristics of a pitch, including release point, velocity, vertical and horizontal movement and spin rate. Miller rates 100 or better in Stuff+ on his curveball, changeup, four-seam fastball and slider.
The other six pitchers are Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish, Brandon Woodruff, Shane McClanahan, Jacob DeGrom and Sandy Alcantara, according to The Athletic’s Eno Sarris.
4. Miller time
Two of Miller’s three starts have come under the bright lights, and he hasn’t looked fazed one bit. Miller’s debut against the Braves was televised on TBS, while his latest game against the Yankees was on ESPN.
His six-inning, one-run performance Sunday garnered rave reviews from Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
“He was firing today,” Boone said in a story from the New York Daily News. “He was obviously tough on us. I mean, that’s a big-time arm. I’ve heard about him now for a little while, and that arm came as advertised.”
5. Don’t blink
Miller’s 99.1 average velocity from the minor leagues has transferred just fine to the big leagues. According to Baseball Savant, the 24-year-old’s 99.4 average velocity on his fastball over his first three starts ranks in the 98th percentile of all pitchers.
Only Jhoan Duran (101.9), Ben Joyce (101.7), Jordan Hicks (100.8), Andres Munoz (100.8) and Ryan Helsley (99.6) have a higher average velocity.
Miller is the only starter out of that group.