Sure, they are probably shooting for something more like Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer, but if you tell a kid that he/she would be a solid, league-average starter for 12 years in the big leagues, they would probably take it, considering the extremely low odds of someone making the majors, let alone having so much staying power.
Tomlin, however, is the owner of an extremely rare stat.
See, Tomlin has very, very good control.
As far as tools go, his control is absolutely elite, having walked only 1.29 hitters per nine innings.
However, his ability to avoid home runs is…not good.
Tomlin has more homers allowed than walks, an unwanted “honor” for a pitcher.
It’s actually a pretty incredible stat, given that walks are extremely more common than home runs.
Homers off Tomlin never count
— Zach (@Zachluigi) August 12, 2021
Tomlin, however, is not a common pitcher.
A Peculiar Pitcher
His ERA is not particularly good, but it’s not so bad (4.77 for his career) that nobody wants him on the roster.
In fact, he has played 12 years in the majors with just two teams, so it’s not like he is jumping around looking for stability.
His fastball, however, is not good: it averaged only 88.9 mph in 2021.
With the pitch being so vulnerable, he has to have elite command to consistently hit his spots and avoid the fat part of the zone.
He doesn’t always achieve that.
In 1,067 innings pitched, he has allowed 197 home runs and conceded 153 walks.
The good thing is that he limits walks and, therefore, he doesn’t that many people on base when he gives up the inevitable home run.
But it gets ugly sometimes.