As with every MLB season, the 2013 MLB season has seen some surprise pitchers come out and dominate. Sure, proven veterans like Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, Cliff Lee, James Shields, and Anibal Sanchez are going out there and doing what they always do, but some of the best pitchers this season have been of the young and unknown kind.
Mets’ ace Matt Harvey has been the epitome of this. While Harvey did excellent in his tenure with the Mets in 2012, and was considered an elite pitching prospect, nobody could have expected this from him. He’s gone 6-1 with a 2.16 ERA and 9.95 K/9. He’s also been worth 3.7 Wins Above Replacement already.
Another relatively unknown pitcher, mostly because of the fact that he had never pitched in a MLB game before this season, is rookie Shelby Miller. Although Miller has begun to struggle a little bit, he’s still been awfully impressive on the year, with a 2.08 ERA and a 8-4 record. Miller has been worth 2.7 Wins this season.
Another surprise has been Clay Buchholz, who is currently on the DL with a neck strain. Buchholz struggled in 2012, going 11-8 with a 4.56 ERA, but has since regained his status as the Red Sox ace. Buchholz has gone 9-0 with the best ERA in baseball at 1.71.
While all of these guys have been great, no pitcher has matched Adam Wainwright. Wainwright has an ERA/FIP/xFIP line of 2.37/2.04/2.65, which is better than anybody in the world. In addition, he’s actually gotten very unlucky on the season with a .313 BABIP, well over league average. It’s scary to think that, with average luck, Wainwright could actually get even better. It’s for this reason that I think he’s been the best in baseball so far.