The Nationals will not have their 5th starter Joe Ross, as he opted out of the MLB season due to COVID-19. Not having a starter can stink, but the Nationals do have an option that can be really good for them. They have Erick Fedde who had a 4.50 ERA in 78 innings, but is he their best option? Well the answer is an emphatic no, the best option for the Nationals is right-hander Austin Voth.
Soft Contact Machine
Austin Voth is one of those players who doesn’t give up much hard contact. That is something that is obviously great, as he has a 29.2% Hard Hit%, a .282 wOBA, and a .276 xwOBA against, which are intriguingly great. His curve-ball is one of the best in the sport, with a .226 xwOBA and a .184 xwOBA against which is WILD. He also gets a ton of spin on it, with a 2,828 RPM on it in 2019 which is incredible.
His ability to generate soft contact or swings and misses (with a 28.8% Whiff%) makes him a really sound pick for the 5th spot.
Best Track Record
The previously mentioned stats are part of this, but his 3.30 ERA in 2019 is great and is better than Fedde’s ERA. Voth had a 4.24 SIERA which can indicate he could’ve over-performed, but even that is better than Fedde’s SIERA which is in the 5s. He may not have had great minor league stats, but I think what happens in the MLB matters WAY more than what happens in the minors, as not all of the best MLB players had great MiLB careers (or had many MiLB games, like Juan Soto). The youngster took up the MLB challenge and unlike his counterparts like Fedde, he checked a lot of boxes.
Austin Voth is most definitely the Nationals best option for the 5th spot. I think we will see Voth replace Anibal Sanchez after this season. When it comes to having great stuff, he’s got it. Want strikeouts? His 9.07 K/9 in 2019 says he got it. Want a reliable replacement with solid MLB numbers? Give Voth a call. If the Nationals bring Austin Voth as their 5th starter, they’ll add another force to that incredible starting staff.
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