In case the rookie campaign of Tanner Bibee has eluded your attention, now is the time to become acquainted with one of the Cleveland Guardians' young pitchers.
In 19 games this year, Bibee has a 2.90 ERA, 1.206 WHIP, 106 strikeouts, and has accumulated 2.8 WAR, per Baseball Reference. This alone is beyond impressive for a rookie. Being able to put together a good performance more often than not has allowed the Guardians to stay competitive in the lowly American League Central division. But this current eight-game stretch shows just how special he can be.
Since July 1st, Bibee has an ERA of 1.82 in 49.1 innings pitched. Allowing only 10 runs on 40 hits while striking out 48 and walking 12. The 24-year-old right-hander has limited opposing batters to just a .221/.283/.320 slash line and a .603 OPS. This is an improvement over his season-long super slash line of .235/.302/.340/.652.
Only two starts this season have resulted in Bibee giving up more than three runs. When looking at games of less than runs, that has occurred 14 times. There are nine instances of one run or less allowed by Bibee and two games where the opponent did not score.
If there is one area that Bibee needs to work on, it is his command. Bibee has walked four or more batters five times and walked three batters once. Issuing free passes is usually an issue for young pitchers, and Bibee is no exception. But there appear to be improvements in this area as he has not issued a walk in his last two starts.
Bibee is pitching well enough and progressing at the right time regarding end-of-season award candidates. It is clear with how he has performed this year he deserves to be in the conversation for American League Rookie of the Year at the very least. Excluding him from that possibility would not only be an insult to Bibee and the Guardians but the entire baseball community.