Colorado Rockies: Five bold predictions for the 2019 season
German Marquez reaches 250 strikeouts
A bright spot in 2019 for the budding Rockies was indeed German Marquez. The now 24-year-old is coming into his third full season in the big leagues and with that comes high expectations. Marquez reached the pinnacle of his career in 2018, helping as one of the main cogs the team to reach the postseason for a second straight year.
Marquez set career highs in every pitching category, finishing the year 14-11 with a 3.77 ERA across 33 starts. Record aside because, let’s face it, pitchers’ win-loss records are less critical, Marquez didn’t just break the single-season strikeout mark set by former starter Ubaldo Jimenez, he crushed it.
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By the end of the season, Marquez finished with 230 strikeouts. The year before, in his rookie season, Marquez set a respectable number with 147 strikeouts, making this all the more special. Regarding his FIP and xFIP, Marquez produced so well he decreased his totals to 3.40 and 3.10, respectively.
In the grand scope of things, everyone was talking about fellow fireballer Kyle Freeland after his dominant performance throughout the season. However, it became Marquez who stole the show. Most importantly, his strikeout percentage increased, moving from the 21.2% rate he recorded two seasons ago, to a most impressive 28.2% rate.
As Marquez is seemingly set up to continue to leap forward as a starting pitcher, the prediction of 250 strikeouts is within reach for the young righty. From 2017 to last season, Marquez increased his whiff rate from a respectable 9.1% to an exceptional 12.5%. He also decreased his contact rate both inside the strike zone and outside. Inside the zone, Marquez saw a drop from 89.4% to 85.5% and an outside zone contact rate from 58% to 49.7%.
The most significant advantage for Marquez to reach this number is of course health and sustained production. If he can once again surpass 30 starts, it is possible. In spring training, Marquez recorded 19 strikeouts over 15.1 innings so fans should be excited at this prediction becoming a reality.