Grant Dayton has shown in his near 90 innings sample that, when healthy, he can be an effective reliever with surprisingly high K-rates. Unfortunately for Dayton staying healthy has been tough, hence the 90 total innings collected through his age 32 season.
In 2020, Dayton showed promise once again as he pitched 27.1 innings of 2.30 ERA baseball, limiting walks to 3.6/9 while striking out 10.5/9. What’s likely the most important stat for a lefty, the ability to keep left-handed hitters off the bases, Dayton proved more than adequate, holding them to a .398 OPS in 38 plate appearances. For the most part, Dayton was granted low leverage appearances and was highly successful, but he also found success in a small sample of high-leverage innings. However, with Will Smith, A.J. Minter, and Tyler Matzek in the 2021 bullpen, I foresee Dayton staying in middle relief, likely throwing multiple innings if the situation calls for it.
Grant Dayton Advanced Metrics
Advanced metrics have never really seen eye to eye with Dayton’s ERA as both his career FIP (4.47) and xFIP (4.52) come in much higher than his 3.07 ERA. This is the sole reason why his value of what actually occurred on the field (BRef) was 0.8 in 2020 while what was expected (Fangraphs) was 0.1 Why is this, you might ask? Dayton was aided by some good fortune as his BABIP against was quite low (.261) while the line drive % went up as did barrel rate. However, the ball stayed in the park, therefore the ERA wasn’t impacted too much. Also falling in the category of not impacting the 2.30 ERA ….6 of 10 runners Dayton inherited scored, which is a much higher % than one would want.
Grant Dayton, 2021
Dayton settled for a non-guaranteed contract for $900K instead of going through arbitration. Truthfully, I think it was a take it or leave it offer and Dayton, of being on the fringy side of MLB, took the money. Dayton will be given the opportunity to retain his role as an effective middle relief option that likely appears in low-leverage situations. If he can show in spring training the same track record we’ve seen these past 2 years, he’ll be a cheap option for Anthopoulos to help fill out what should be a very effective bullpen.
Thanks for reading Grant Dayton’s 2020 Player Review. If you enjoyed this piece, check out this one on another relief pitcher.
I’ve been doing some hypotheticals on the Twitters. Thoughts?
If #Braves signed Michael Brantley, Jurickson Profar, and Mark Melancon and called it a day, would you be happy?
130 hit lucky at bats does not make Profar a good signing.
Not a Profar fan here
Profar’s the age group I like to take a flyer on, but I feel like we took that flyer on Camargo already.
Have we talked enough about how the best reliever in the Braves pen gave up the winning run in the biggest Braves game in 20 years?
Braves pen was great in 2020. Excellent even. But no getting around the fact that most any way you slice it, the Dodgers pen was better.
I don’t think merely bringing back Melancon – whose tightrope act was already getting to the point where many were questioning his set “closer” role – is enough.
I’m not sure how much more money a mid-market team ought to be spending on the pen. Smith, Martin, and even a discounted Melancon are taking up quite a bit of money. Hopefully we’ll see a replacement of Greene’s $6.25M and O’Day’s $2.25M, so I would think there is one more decent bullpen arm added and that’s it.
The reality is that we just didn’t come out of the rebuild with enough pitching, which just boggles my mind. We will go into 2021 having gotten almost nothing to stick in our pen than AJ Minter and Tyrell Jenkins’ replacement Luke Jackson. I don’t consider Matzek as a rebuild guy. But Webb should have a bigger role. Jeremy Walker is an option, along with Ynoa, Touki, and other fringe arms.
A big wildcard is Sean Newcomb. He did not pitch after August 10th. And in the clustf*ck of Games 4-6, he wasn’t even mentioned as some sort of IL-somebody-so-we-can-get-him-in-there option. I mean, is he going to be another pitching prospect we’ve successfully ruined? If he’s in the bullpen’s plans, then he’s somebody that you should definitely pencil in as a guy you’d put in the late innings in a playoff game if he has a successful regular season. Or he might be dead. We just don’t know.
Yeah, I don’t mind Muh Lan Sun either way. But I don’t believe in Profar. And I want Springer.
I consider Newcomb’s failure to stick in the rotation to be of his own making. And my sense is that the organization isn’t going to be giving him any more chances. He’s a part of a trade at this point.
@6 – If weâ€™ve resigned ourselves to the payroll of a â€œmid-market teamâ€ during the window of biggest opportunity in 20 years, well then weâ€™ve got bigger problems.
I also donâ€™t get the Newcomb situation. Dude has 1.5 pitches, sucks as a starter, and was great during the 2/3 season they made him a reliever. Why not send him to the pen for good and let him thrive? Never understood why he started 2020 in rotation and not pen. My only guess is that he is personally stubborn as hell and demanding to be a starter? Am I missing something else?
New weekend thread.