Atlanta Braves: The New Year is looking mighty bright!
7.) Mike Foltynewicz
Folty’s fastball has been supreme for a few years and now that he is developing his off speed pitches, he is turning into a great starting pitcher. If for some reason the starting gig doesn’t work out for Folty, I would personally like to see what kind of damage he could do out of the bullpen.
What Folty can do today in 6+ innings is phenomenal, and I think it would be fun to see how dominant he could be if his talent was compacted into 1 or 2 innings. Folty would remind me of Hunter Strickland in the bullpen, but this DOES NOT mean that a reliever is the future I see, or want, for Folty.
His pitch percentages (meaning the percentage of times he throws a specific pitch) have been changing over the years, which shows he is developing into an overall better pitcher:
His fastball% dropped from 49.2% in 2014 to 33.8% in 2017, and his slider% increased from 13.9% in 2015 to 21.5% in 2017.
I think if Folty increased his changeup and curveball percentages, he would be an even better pitcher. His changeup % went on a constant decline from 10.8% in 2014 to 5.3% in 2017, while his curveball % did the same thing from 16.3% in 2014 to 11.9% in 2017.
When talking about trading Folty, the Braves would get more long term value out of him by keeping him for the rotation rather than trading him away. Many teams value Folty because of his fastball (especially The New York Yankees), and Atlanta could capitalize on that value if they felt inclined to. But there is no reason to get rid of Folty.
Folty is developing and showing signs of becoming one of the best starting pitchers the Atlanta Braves have had in a while. Since Atlanta is so close to being playoff contenders, they should hold onto Folty and let him develop into a quality starting pitcher.