By Casey Gagnon @CaseySportsAZ on March 11, 2014
The Arizona Diamondbacks have already announced that left-hander Patrick Corbin will start on opening day in Sydney, Australia later this month when the team kicks off the season down-under with a two-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Corbin's 2013 numbers show he was the most consistent and reliable starter on the team all year. If he continues improving this season, he will establish himself as one of the NL's top pitchers.
While others in Diamondbacks' starting rotation struggled with injuries and inconsistency as the 2013 season wore on, Corbin continued turning in solid performances. He finished with a record of 14-8, the only starter in Sedona Red to finish with winning record. This isn't bad considering that it was his first full MLB season. Provided that he can avoid the "sophomore jinx" that young pitchers dread, Corbin's winning ways should continue.
Corbin has developed an abilty to keep the ball down that gets better every year and opted for the sinker on just over 43 percent of all his pitches last season. Opposing batters were rarely able to get the ball airborne. Even when Corbin went with his next top two pitches, a four-seam fastball and slider, he rarely allowed allowed a four bagger. In just over 200 innings pitched in 2013, Corbin only surrendered 19 home runs.
Corbin's WHIP last season was only 1.17, the 17th lowest in the National League. Considering the fact that Corbin was originally projected no higher that a No. 3 starter in the rotation, this is impressive. And the way Corbin has trended thus far in the big leagues, he'll likely bring it down even lower in 2014.
Corbin has achieved a stalwart command and accuracy with all the pitches in his repertoire, not only his sinker. He fanned 178 opposing hitters in 2013 and walked only 54, giving himself a strikeouts to walks ratio well over 3:1. He threw first-pitch strikes 70 percent of the time, best in the NL. He has the potential to become somewhat of a southpaw version of Greg Maddux if he continues improving.
Despite his youth, Corbin was also a National League gold glove finalist in 2013. He finished with a .962 fielding percentage after only being charged two errors all season. A stellar ability to field the ball truly cements Corbin into an all-around pitcher set to become the ace in the Diamondbacks' starting rotation.
April 27, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser
Every team in the MLB is trying to separate themselves from the rest of the competition. Here is how successful each team has been so far. Read More
April 26, 2015 by Brad Berreman
The Milwaukee Brewers are off to a terrible start this season, which could prompt some trade activity. Here are five Brewers who belong on the trade block right now. Read More
April 26, 2015 by Brad Faber
Filling in for Justin Verlander, Kyle Lobstein has been quite solid over three starts with the Detroit Tigers. Read More
April 26, 2015 by Jason Fletcher
MLB should have all teams play by the same rules. It's time to eliminate the designated hitter for good. Read More
April 26, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser
With Adam Wainwright likely done for the year, there's a good chance Marco Gonzales will be recalled from the minor leagues to take his spot. See why he has all the makings of a superstar. Read More
Even though ace Adam Wainwright was lost for the season, the St. Louis Cardinals should be okay. They have the pitching depth to overcome this injury better than any other team. Read More
As May approaches, the Detroit Tigers will need Victor Martinez to begin swinging the bat a bit better from the left side of the plate. Read More
April 26, 2015 by Michael Terrill
St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright is likely done for the season after injuring his Achilles tendon on Saturday night. Read More