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Pirates Playoff Projections: Trevor Williams

Miami Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Welcome to episode six of the Pirates Playoff Projections series!

If you read my intro to the Bucs Dugout site back in July, you’ll remember that I’m a big fantasy baseball fan, which makes me a bit of a numbers/projections guy at times. I still use the eye test plenty to help me find players I like, and there’s nothing quite like enjoying a Pirates baseball game with the emotional interest of a lifelong fan, but I love the statisical, fantasy side of the game as well.

With that in mind, I thought it might be a worthwhile project to start projecting what key Pirates players will need to do in 2020 if the Bucs are going to shock the league and end up in the playoffs come October. I know, I know, it’s a stretch based on the season we all just witnessed. But with a new manager and staff coming soon (three cheers for a new GM!), I figured it’s a good time for some optimism.

Each week I’ll pick a player and go through what their 2020 season might look like under the assumption that they’re able to help lead the black and gold to their first playoff appearance since 2015. Let’s go Bucs!


Trevor Williams

After an amazing 2018 season that had Pirates fans etching Trevor Williams’ name in the middle of the rotation in black Sharpie for years to come, Project 34 came crashing down to Earth in a roller coaster 2019 season that involved some early-inning blow-ups, command issues, injuries, and even a few gems. So good luck projecting his 2020 numbers, right?

Well, thanks to the lens of this article, I get to be a little optimistic, and I can take the stance of “2019 was largely an outlier” rather than project Williams to be out of a job by the time Jameson Taillon returns to a depleted group of starting pitchers. After all, I do think that’s the much more likely outcome for what was one of the most consistent starting pitchers in all of baseball just one year ago.

Williams looked just fine outside of two outings of four and five runs respectively before his right side straing on May 16th. Upon returning to the rotation just over a month later, things were... Well, let’s just say “off”. He let up 16 runs in three starts leading up to the All-Star Break, and things were shaky after the break as well. There was plenty of speculation that Williams was still dealing with the injury, and while it’s tough to say that for sure, we can certainly all agree that it affected him somewhat (his mindset, if nothing else).

Finally in the last seven starts towards the end of August and on through September, we saw a more familiar version of Trevor Williams. He collected four quality starts in those seven outings, and he allowed more than four runs just once. Those results in that sample size, while not nearly as good as the 2018 lines, give us some hope and ability to predict a positive turn for Williams in 2020.

Mixing those two groups of stats mentioned above and looking through a positive lens at the upcoming season, I can start to put together a decent looking, bounce back outcome for what will likely be the Pirates third best pitcher in 2020. Let me know what you think about what I came up with below!


Trevor Williams 2020:

32 games started

13-10 record (9 no-decisions)

180 innings pitched, 148 strikeouts (7.40 K/9)

4.07 ERA and 1.21 WHIP


What do YOU think? Give me some over, under, or just rights down in the comments below. I’m also always happy to hear your thoughts on more in-depth statistics like HR/FB, xFIP, BABIP, and more. Hope you’re all having a good offseason so far, and I’ll be back next week to tackle another Bucco stat line for 2020. Until then, Let’s go Bucs!