25 years old
5th major league season
6'1" 200 pounds
Bats R/Throws R
The Mets face 25-year old Jair Jurrjens tonight for the second time this year. Jair Jurrjens was one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball in 2009, and finished with a 2.60 ERA, as a result of giving up three runs or less in 26 of his 34 starts (and never more than five runs), and a 1.23 WHIP. When most Braves fans were expecting him to improve on those good numbers, I predicted last year when the Mets faced him in April he would regress, and expected a 3.8-3.9 ERA in 2010. Well no one could've predicted the cascade of injuries that hit him (shoulder pain in spring training, followed by a hamstring strain which cost him 56 games, and knee surgery ended his season September 14th). That limited Jurrjens to 20 starts (116 1/3 innings), and he finished with a 4.64 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. What changed to account for the 1.84 ERA difference from 2009 and 2010? His K/9, BB/9 and ground ball rate stayed essentially the same. His 2009 BAPIP was incredibly low (.268), and it regressed back to the mean in 2010 (.300).
He has a smooth, easily repeatable delivery, with a 3/4 arm slot. He knows how to pitch, and adds/subtracts on his fastball depending on the situation. He throws his fastball 60% of the time, and it's dropped from 91 mph to 89.5 mph this year, something to keep an eye on. He also throws a decent slider (80 mph), and a change-up (83 mph). He has seen his K/9 rate drop significantly this year to 5.2/9, but he has also cut his walk rate from 3+ to 1.5 BB/9.He's cut the number of 3-ball counts he has gotten to this year from 18 to 15%.
This year Jurrjens is 7-1 (9 starts, 65 innings), and has a shiny 1.51 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP. It's surprising he's doing that well considering his velocity has decreased this year;he's minimized HR (3 so far), and has left an unsustanible amount of runners on base (88%, career is 75%), while also benefitting from a low BAPIP (.262). His FIP is 2.93, so he's still having a very good year, but not a year for the record books as his standard numbers suggest. He has not let up more than 2 earned runs in a game all year, and has gone 6+ innings in each game.
On April 16th, he dominated the Mets, throwing 7 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk. In 2009, the righty faced the Mets 5 times, and went 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA. Last year he only made 2 starts against the Mets, and was 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.62 WHIP (10 walks in the 12 1/3 innings).