Antonio Senzatela had a weird year for the Colorado Rockies in 2021.
If you just look at his record, you’d think he had an awful season since he went 4-10. His ERA was 4.42 so you’d probably think “that’s okay but not great” and you’d be right, as his ERA+ was 108. Then, you see that he gave up 10.2 hits per nine innings, which is way too high.
However, Senzatela was, arguably, the best pitcher for the Rockies … depending on what stats you use and which site you get your numbers from.
Senzatela had a FIP of 3.61, which was best among all Rockies starting pitchers. He had the lowest home run rate (0.7 HR/9) and he also had the lowest walk rate (1.8 BB/9) by wide margins.
In fact, his FIP and walk rate was the lowest of any pitcher on the Rockies staff with more than one inning pitched and the homer rate was the lowest among any Rockies pitcher with at least 30 innings pitched.
But Senzatela only had an rWAR of 1.3 in 2021, whereas FanGraphs had his 2021 WAR at 3.5. fWAR had him tied for the Rockies best player and the best Rockies pitcher but rWAR had him as their 10th-best player overall and their fourth-best pitcher.
Antonio Senzatela is projected to have a bit of a dropoff for the Colorado Rockies
ZiPS projects that Antonio Senzatela will have a slight dropoff in 2022 for the Colorado Rockies. It projects that he will go 8-6 with a 4.35 ERA, a 4.08 FIP, and a 114 ERA+. It also projects a slight uptick in both walk rate (2.4 BB/9) and home run rate (1.0 HR/9), amounting to an fWAR that is down as well (2.6).
As is the case for most of the Rockies pitchers, Senzatela has shown glimpses of being great but he has to develop some more consistency in between starts and seasons. In 2019, he had an ERA that was close to 7.00 in 25 starts but his FIP was 5.44. His ERA was nearly halved in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season but the FIP was more than a run higher (4.57).
The FIP lowered again in 2021 but the ERA was elevated.
Senzatela also has to have a lower hit rate to see more consistent success in the majors as allowing more than 10 hits per nine innings is way too much.
If he can keep his hit rate along with some more run support, Senzatela can easily outperform his 2022 projections.