Red Sox: Sale is among the most accomplished lefties ever under thirty
Red Sox starter Chris Sale has already accomplished a lot by the age of 29. He’s also in some pretty great company among lefties who achieved similar feats before turning thirty.
Chris Sale‘s recent run of dominance has been nothing short of spectacular. Over his last six starts for the Boston Red Sox, Sale has a FIP of 0.78 while striking out 42.9% of batters; good for 14.5 strikeouts per nine. He struck out 7.3 batters per walk and allowed only .73 batters to reach per inning over that stretch.
But of course, this is nothing new for Sale. The 29-year-old lefty has been among the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball every year since his first full season in 2012. Among pitchers who accumulated 500 or more innings during that stretch, Sale has ranked 3rd in K/9, 4th in ERA, and 3rd in fWAR. Oh, and his career 5.17 K/BB ratio is the greatest mark in the history of baseball among pitchers with 1,000 or more innings tossed.
It’s hard to predict the future in baseball and that’s especially true when talking about how starting pitchers will age; one has to take into account the possibility of waning velocity, Steve Blass syndrome, and, above all else, injuries. However, what Sale has accomplished prior to his age-thirty season has been nothing short of amazing. No one can say where he will rank among left-handers when it is all said and done. Or whether he’ll finish his career with the Red Sox. But we can talk about the rare company he is in so far.
So, just for fun, let’s see where Sale’s career to date ranks among the southpaws who accomplished the most before their age-thirty season. Let’s count down the top ten.