I had not done a projection for starting pitcher Edinson Volquez, but when I heard that the Pirates signed him this afternoon, I got busy. Here’s what I came up with:
If Volquez hits those numbers, he will be worth more than the $5 million that the Pirates will pay him. A 4.16 xFIP would make him a solid #4 starter. (Jeff Locke‘s 2013 xFIP was 4.19.)
Volquez’s strikeout rate and groundball percentages are a good fit for what the Pirates did last year with their pitching staff. The team led all of major league baseball in groundball percentage – by a wide margin – which played into the Pirates extreme use of defensive shifts.
Volquez’s GB rates over the past three seasons have been 52.4%, 50.6%, and 47.6%. (44.5% was the league average in 2013.)
His two-seam fastball has averaged 92.4 m.p.h.