You likely do not need me to tell you this, but Devin Williams of the Milwaukee Brewers is one of the very best relief pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. To kick off the 2023 regular season, he has continued to branch off of a highly impressive stretch of play that began back in 2020.
One of the better stats to use to measure a pitcher’s overall success (especially compared to other hurlers around the league) is ERA+. This statistic takes a pitcher’s ERA into account, as well as the ballpark they call home and the opponents they face. With this, it essentially determines how strong they’ve been compared to other pitchers in the game. For reference, 100 is considered league-average, and anything above 100 goes a long way in comparing pitchers to each other.
For instance, if a player has a 101 ERA+, he is one percent above league-average on the mound.
If a pitcher has a 210 ERA+, they are 110 percent better than a league-average pitcher.
You get the point.
In the current campaign, Devin Williams has an ERA+ of 1044, meaning he is 944 percent above league-average. Yes, you read that right.
Devin Williams 2023 dominance put into perspective with insane statistic
Of course, it’s important to note here that this number is heavily swayed by the fact that his overall pitching sample size has been tiny compared to others around the league. This is almost always the case with relief pitchers, as their 150 ERA+ may mean something different than a full-time starter’s ERA, only because the starter will finish with two or three times as many innings as the reliever does.
Still, Williams’ dominance this year can’t be understated. Replacing someone like Josh Hader as the “relief ace” of a club is no small feat, and for Williams to take this on and become an even better pitcher than Hader is crazy. There are very few teams who have an immediate relief ace waiting in the wings to replace their top bullpen arm.
Again, the sample size for Williams is fairly small in the grand scheme of things. After all, he has only thrown 21.2 innings this year. However, he has also allowed just one earned run (a home run) and has surrendered only eight hits. His 0.42 ERA and 2.48 FIP are both astounding numbers, and his 30 strikeouts sets him at 12.5 SO/9 on the year, which is also no slouch.
The 28-year-old stud is just one part of a Brewers bullpen that has been held together by scotch tape this year. The vast majority of the members of this relief corps are journeymen who ran out of opportunities elsewhere and wound up on the Brewers, a contending team.
For any club to rely so heavily on other team’s trash and turn them into their own treasure is a massive feat, and so far, the Brewers have done just that.
Who would’ve thought at the beginning of the year that names like Joel Payamps, Elvis Peguero, Trevor Megill and Bryse Wilson would combine to form one of the stronger bullpens in the game?
Not this guy.
This unit should only grow stronger once forgotten left-hander Justin Wilson makes his triumphant return from the 60-day IL later on this year.
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