For New York Mets‘ reliever Edwin Diaz, the 2022 campaign was extremely productive.
The Mets didn’t go as far as originally planned, but that was not Diaz’s fault.
On a personal level, he was able to cement his place as one of MLB’s premier closers and he expanded his personal brand to new horizons, thanks to the fame that his entrance song (“Narco”, by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet).
What he did on the mound was simply phenomenal.
The master of the whiff, Diaz reached an all-time record this year.
“Edwin Díaz got swinging strikes on almost 𝟮𝟲% of his pitches this season! It is the highest such rate of any pitcher in a single season since 1988 when they started recording this info,” Codify Baseball tweeted.
Edwin Díaz got swinging strikes on almost 𝟮𝟲% of his pitches this season! It is the highest such rate of any pitcher in a single season since 1988 when they started recording this info… 🤯 https://t.co/BLDNGxltPU
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) November 1, 2022
A Historic Performance
Baseball has seen lots of elite relievers, even before 1988.
However, it’s quite likely that Diaz’s 26 percent swinging strike rate is the best mark for an MLB reliever.
There just weren’t that many whiffs before 1988, certainly not as many as there are now.
Diaz’s right arm is truly one of the most talented in the history of baseball.
With a 1.31 ERA in 62 innings, he was about as close to automatic as an MLB pitcher can get.
He rarely gave up any earned runs, and struck out a total of 118 hitters.
There are lots of starting pitchers who surpassed 130 or 140 innings that didn’t have 118 strikeouts.
Diaz used his 100+ mph fastball and his wicked slider to reach that mark in just 62 frames.
He is now a free agent and is likely to become very, very rich.
The Mets are the favorites to retain his services, though.