Triston McKenzie, SP, Cleveland Indians
The start of the 2021 season was rough for Triston McKenzie. He bounced between Cleveland and Columbus and just couldn’t gain traction in Cleveland through what turned out to be most of the season. However, once it started to click for McKenzie he really hit a groove.
More from Away Back Gone
- Cleveland Guardians tantalizingly close to locking up AL Central tiebreakers
- Cleveland Guardians: Terry Francona becomes meme in profanity-laced ejection
- Say goodbye to defensive shifts and hello to bigger bases, pitch clock in 2023
- Cleveland Guardians: Shane Bieber second-fastest to 800 strikeouts in major-league history
- The next week will make or break the Cleveland Guardians’ season
From April through July, McKenzie posted an ERA of 6.11 over 63.1 innings, tossed across 15 games. His opposing batting average was decent at .200, but 45 walks plagued his outings. Then, once the calendar flipped to August, he started to turn the corner.
Since the beginning of August, McKenzie has made six starts for the Tribe, holding a 3-3 record over that time. He’s been able to post a much improved ERA with a mark of 1.80 and a lot of his success has spawned from a drop in his walks.
McKenzie has walked just four batters over his last six starts, an incredible turn around from the beginning on the year. On top of that, opposing batters are now hitting just .125 against him over the same stretch.
The flip of the script for McKenzie has been a huge gain for the club and has essentially secured the starting rotation for the 2022 season. While McKenzie’s season-to-season stats haven’t shown improvement, what he’s done in just this season has been enough to get placed on this list.