Boston Red Sox: Numbers don’t tell the story of Teddy Stankiewicz
By Hunter Noll
The Boston Red Sox have seen some prospects’ stocks sky rocket, while others plummet. Teddy Stankiewicz has fallen, but numbers don’t tell the whole story.
The other day I discussed Bryan Mata‘s insane leap from unranked to number four on the Boston Red Sox top-30 prospect list. There were some players that dove off a cliff when it came to the rankings as well though. One of those players was Teddy Stankiewicz.
A few seasons ago, Stankiewicz found himself as the number 15 prospect in Boston’s organization. Flash forward to 2018 and the pitcher isn’t even on the top-30 list in a system considered much weaker.
So why the drop for the 24-year-old? Simply enough, his numbers are getting worse. Or, at least, some of them are; which is why I’m hear to tell you some numbers don’t tell the whole story.
Stankiewicz burst onto the scene in 2013 in his first season in Boston’s system. In 19 2/3 Short-A innings, he posted a 2.29 earned run average and 0.97 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP).
He spent all of 2014 in Full-A, where he had a strong year. In 140 1/3 innings, the right-hander posted a 3.72 ERA and 1.21 WHIP to go along with 102 strikeouts.
Since then however, Stankiewicz has seen a decline in most of his numbers. His ERA has risen each year, as has his WHIP.
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With the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs last season, things looked ugly. Stankiewicz posted a 5.03 ERA and 1.47 WHIP (both career-highs). Meanwhile, he had a career-worst .303 batting average against.
It wasn’t all bad though. In 139 2/3 innings, Stankiewicz recorded a career-best 107 strikeouts. The 6.89 K/9 was by far the best of his career. 47.3% of the balls hit into play against him were on the ground, which was a career-best as well.
Meanwhile, his 2.32 BB/9 wasn’t great, but it improved from the previous season.
Stankiewicz had 13 games last season in which he allowed three-or-less earned runs over six-or-more innings. Those included two shutouts over six innings, and one over seven. The problem is, he had four outings of five-plus earned runs, including a 3 1/3 inning performance that yielded nine earned runs. Those are stat line killers.
Obviously you can’t take away bad performances, that’s not how baseball works. Forget that one nine-run game though and all of a sudden, Stankiewicz has a 4.56 ERA. Still not great, but it’s actually an improvement from the year before.
A lot of his problems came post-All-Star break. Before the All-Star break, Stankiewicz had a 4.45 ERA, but held a 5.98 after it. Go back further, and after the first two months of the season he boasted a mid-3.00s ERA. Fatigue could definitely have played a role in the poor numbers as well.
At 6’4″, 215 lbs, Stankiewicz has the frame of a Major League pitcher. He possess a solid fastball and a deadly slider, but desperately needs a true third pitch. That’s something he’s been working on though.
Stankiewicz has both a curveball and a changeup. Neither are great, but the need for another pitch forces him to use them more-often than he’d like. Therefore, you can kind of look at past seasons as trial-and-error. Stankiewicz is trying to improve those pitches and find the best spots to use them. Something that, if he learns, could make things like his BAA and WHIP drop drastically.
Next: Red Sox trade Bryce Brentz to Pirates, clear roster spot for J.D. Martinez
Fans of the Boston Red Sox might look at Teddy Stankiewicz’s numbers and ask what happened to him. Look a little deeper and you’ll notice those surface stats don’t always tell the whole story. If you get the opportunity watch him pitch in 2018. He might surprise you.