In 2020, Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer dominated the central divisions and deservedly won the NL Cy Young Award.
— MLB (@MLB) November 11, 2020
He had a standout season, pitching to the tune of a 1.73 ERA over 73 innings.
Because of this, he took home the Cy Young award with 27 out of 30 total votes.
Now, Bauer is a free agent this offseason with a lot of buzz being generated around his name.
He is widely looked at as the best starting pitcher available on the market this season and would be looked at as a major signing for many teams.
However, is he overrated?
Is he deserving of the large contract he will command this offseason, and is he truly a difference maker?
Let’s delve into a breakdown of his career to get a better understanding.
Bauer’s Career So Far
So far, Bauer has had an alright career.
His totals are not the best, but they are solid numbers for a pitcher in an offense-boosted generation of baseball.
He has a career ERA of 3.90, which is a bit misleading.
Over his first six MLB seasons, Bauer posted an ERA over four each season.
However, he showed his potential domination in 2018 with the Cleveland Indians where he posted a 2.21 ERA in 175.1 innings.
This was good enough for a sixth-place finish in the Cy Young Award voting for that season.
He finally put together the talent he had shown during the 2017 postseason where he didn’t give up a run against the New York Yankees.
After a forgettable 2019 due to a midseason trade and dealing with injury issues, Bauer came back with a vengeance in 2020.
The 2020 season established Bauer’s name among the MLB’s best pitchers.
Beyond his regular season performance, he stepped up for the Reds during the postseason.
Though he only pitched in one game during the playoffs, he had a record outing.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 30, 2020
This game alone shows just how good Bauer can be and why he is considered to be among the league’s best pitchers.
While it can be deceiving to look at his career stats, Bauer is showing a clear upward trend.
The Willingness to Improve
If there is something that Bauer has proven during his career, it is that he’s far from a typical character.
He is weird, and anyone that has paid attention to him knows this.
However, it would be hard to find someone that cares more about the sport and improving than him.
Each offseason, he works with the baseball training facility of Driveline Baseball to improve his strength and mechanical efficiency.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 6, 2017
He has also begun charting his training on his YouTube channel, and sharing his thoughts on topics within the sport.
With this, he is ushering in a new age of the professional athlete.
Because of this, his willingness to improve suggests that he will continue to get better.
With him being a free agent, the love of the game is an important aspect of his improvement in the sport.
Is Trevor Bauer Overrated?
With Bauer’s career in mind, paired with his recent success and his noted willingness to improve, he is not overrated.
He may not quite be the best pitcher in the MLB yet, but he certainly deserves a spot in the top 10.
You could also make a good argument for him as a top five talent among pitchers going into next season.
I doubt many fans and writers in the sport would argue with this.
However, the 2021 season will be a big one for Bauer.
It will give him the opportunity to truly prove himself as one of the league’s best, showing that he deserves that spot.