Despite winning zero games, what a year it was for San Diego’s Kirby Yates . Don’t worry, I know wins don’t matter and is a flawed statistic. Okay, moving on. Yates converted 41-of-44 save chances and posted a glimmering 1.19 ERA. His 1.30 FIP and 2.25 xFIP indicate while luck may have been on his side a bit, he was still darn good in 2019. His .325 BABIP was the highest of his past three seasons, so it’s comforting that his ERA was that low despite the elevated BABIP. Another thing we’ll get to in more detail later is the fact that he induced more grounders than ever before, which certainly helped his HR/9 mark. His career mark is 1.26 HR/9, but was a miniscule 0.30 in 2019. Yes, being in a pitcher’s park helps, but a nasty repertoire is more crucial.

Yates allowed a meager 4.8-percent HR/FB rate, which is exceptional. It’s a testament to his stuff, and his ability to cut back on fly balls and the amount of hard contact allowed. Take a look at the chart below, and the...