CINCINNATI – Trevor Williams had a historic second half last season. Those who study advanced baseball statistics then spent the winter picking it apart.
Williams posted a 1.38 ERA after the All-Star break, the second-best mark in Pirates history. The only pitcher better was Zane Smith, who had a 1.30 mark in 1990 after being acquired in a trade from the Montreal Expos and helping lead the Pirates to the National League East pennant.
The analysts pointed to some of Williams’ metrics and said his post-break performance had more than a bit of flukiness to it that he would never be able to repeat. To a point, they were right. The only pitcher in history capable of duplicating such a phenomenal half was Cy Young, and he last pitched in 1911. However, that doesn’t mean that the 26-year-old Williams isn’t turning into an above-average major-league starting pitching.