Reid Detmers Dominating to Begin 2024

Reid Detmers Dominating to Begin 2024

After a disappointing 2023 season, Reid Detmers is off to a hot start in 2024 with a 1.04 ERA in his first three starts. He’s given up just two earned runs in 17.1 innings of work while striking out 26 batters, which checks out to an MLB-leading 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings. This is a very small sample size and there is so much more season to go, but what Detmers is doing to start the year is truly impressive.

Detmers is picking up right where he left off at the end of 2023, where he closed out the season with a 1.82 ERA in his last four starts in September. The strong finish to the season brought his season ERA down from 5.01 at the beginning of the month to 4.48.

Going back and counting those starts in September of 2023, Detmers has a 1.50 ERA in his last 42 innings of work with 52 strikeouts. Detmers’ five-game streak of striking out at least seven batters while giving up one earned run or less is tied with Nolan Ryan and Rudy May for most in Angels history, according to Stathead.

Detmers’ success has been in large part due to the swing and miss. According to Baseball Savant, he has the highest strikeout rate in the majors at 40.6% and the third-highest whiff rate at 37.3%. It does not matter where the pitch is located for Detmers, he will get whiffs anyway. His 30.3% chase rate is two percent higher than the league average and he has the second-highest in-zone swing and miss percentage at 34.5%.

A big reason why Detmers is getting a lot of swings and misses is because he is executing fastballs at the top of the zone. Detmers owns the fifth-highest whiff rate on fastballs in the league at 39.4% and Baseball Savant shows the locations of most of his swings and misses on his fastball at or near the top of the zone.

Detmers’ fastball sits at 94.1 miles per hour but has topped out at 96 miles per hour. He has also been using the fastball more than he ever has in the big leagues. Baseball Savant says Detmers has thrown his fastball 50.4% of the time in this young season and it is proving to be effective.

Detmers’ fastball has been getting swings and misses, but his slider and curveball have been getting soft contact. Detmers has a 29.0% hard-hit rate, which is seven percent lower than the league average. His slider owns an 11.1% hard-hit rate and his curveball owns a 20.0% hard-hit rate. Both of these pitches also play a factor in Detmers’ career-high 45.2% ground ball rate. Small sample size for sure, but this is the first time in Detmers’ career that he owns an above-average groundball rate.

Again, important to note that all of this is just a three-start sample size so all of these numbers will most likely regress to some degree, but if he can continue to locate his fastballs at the top of the zone, Detmers could find himself fighting for an All-Star roster spot come July.

Jack Janes

Journalism major at the University of La Verne. Played college baseball at Fullerton College and the University of La Verne. Also write for Inside The Rink.

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