2019 Projection Series - John Brebbia


Look at that awesome beard. Damn. Gives away who I’m talking about. Wait, his name is in the title. Okay, let’s start this all over.


John Brebbia has been downright filthy in the pen the last two years for the St. Louis Cardinals. What? You don’t believe me?


From 2014-2018, all relief pitchers combined for the following line over every 60 games pitched.

Compare these numbers to the red line above - let’s go by column on the rate stats: In Brebbia’s last two years:

  • He’s thrown 102 1/3 innings in just 95 games.

  • He has a 2.81 ERA - over a full run better than league average.

  • He has a 1.046 WHIP - nearly 0.3 better than league average.

  • He has a 4.11 K/BB - over 60% better than league average.

  • He has about 7 hits allowed per 9 innings - over one hit less than league average.

  • He has 2.4 BB allowed per 9 innings - over one BB less than league average.

  • He has 9.8 K per 9 innings - over one K more than league average.

  • His 3.58 FIP is nearly half a point better than league average.

  • His 20.1% K%-BB% is nearly 50% better than league average.

Here is what I have projected for John Brebbia’s 2019 season:


60 games, 60 innings

3.60 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 1.250 WHIP, 3.94 K:BB

8.700 H/9, 10.050 K/9, 2.550 BB/9, 1.200 HR/9


What can be pointed out to show that things CAN be better than that?!?


If you weren’t paying attention above, I can’t help you.


How/If things go wrong:


Injury

Continued lack of use either by games pitched or by leverage

Volatility of being in the bullpen

An elevated HR number for a season


Truthfully, not much in the stats is telling me that he’ll be worse than that this year.


One of the reasons I have a lot of faith in him is his 4 seam fastball and slider combo that is overlaid below (with a scopic) by the incomparable @cardinalsgifs. Batters swung and missed over 28% of the time on Brebbia’s slider in 2018 and over 30% of the time on his 4-seam. In 2017, it was over 25% for the FB and 30% for the slider. Brebbia’s xwOBA (expected weighted on base average) on batted ball outcomes in 2018 was top 8.2% in the entire league.