From 2013 to 2017, Gerrit Cole was a very solid starting pitcher.
In 2018, when he landed on the Houston Astros via trade, he made the leap from very good to elite by embracing the high fastball and taking advantage of a wide array of quality breaking pitches.
With the Astros, his strikeout rate went up from 23.1 percent in 2017 to 34.5 percent in 2018.
It hasn’t been lower than 30 percent since.
Now with the New York Yankees, Cole is an authentic strikeout machine.
And, you know, strikeouts are often correlated to a low ERA if you are a pitcher.
Cole has been among the league leaders in strikeouts in the past few seasons.
It’s not a coincidence when FanGraphs published its projections to see him atop the MLB ranking once again.
These guys are looking for the K. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/l36dZhw5Nt
— MLB (@MLB) February 15, 2023
FanGraphs’ projection system has him projected to pace the majors in punchouts with 249.
That’s quite an honor considering that MLB is populated with lots of strikeout artists these days.
The Milwaukee Brewers’ Corbin Burnes, the New York Mets’ pair of aces, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, and other stars such as Jacob deGrom, Dylan Cease, and Robbie Ray are formidable competitors for the strikeout crown.
Carlos Rodon, Cole’s newest rotation mate, is also a strong candidate to lead the league in the category.
More strikeouts equal to more success, and Cole has had ERA finishes of 2.84, 3.23, and 3.50 in his three seasons with the Yanks.
He is still in his prime and should remain dominant for at least a few more seasons.
If you are placing a bet on who will lead in MLB in Ks, there is no better guy to take a chance on than Cole.NEXT: Mariano Rivera Has A Must-See Edwin Diaz Diss