San Diego Padres: Predicting statistical leaders for 2020 season

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PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 28: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres celebrates a two run home run with teammate Ty France #11 in the third inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 28, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 28: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres celebrates a two run home run with teammate Ty France #11 in the third inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 28, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Dinelson Lamet will lead the pitching staff in wins

The most meaningless statistic for pitchers, yet still gets mentioned when introducing a player, Dinelson Lamet, will lead the team in wins. He was recently tabbed by Baseball America writer, Kyle Glaser, as his breakout pitcher for the upcoming season.

The author spoke highly of Lamet’s pitching arsenal and improving command, which should lead to him racking up a ton of strikeouts in 2020. A review of his pitch usage last year reveals that his curveball produced a .105 batting average and 48.3 percent whiff rate. His slider was also devastating, producing a .147 average and 51.3 percent whiff rate.

He returned from Tommy John surgery in early July and made 14 starts to close out his year. In those starts, Lamet struck out 105 batters over 73.0 innings but also allowed 30 walks.

Now entering his first full season since 2017, he’s projected to strikeout 138 batters in 110.0 innings or 23 starts. Fangraphs isn’t as high on him to reduce his walks, increasing from 3.70 BB/9 last year to a projected 4.34 BB/9.

Health is going to be critical for Lamet as well, and so far, so good in spring training. He’s made two starts and struck out seven batters in 5.0 innings while allowing no runs and just two hits.

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