Logan Webb's first full season in MLB was chock full of inconsistency. Webb led the league with seven hit batsmen and finished 2020's pandemic-shortened season with a 3-4 record and a 5.47 ERA over 54 1/3 innings.
Webb has turned things around in a significant way in 2021, sporting a 10-3 record and a 2.79 ERA while being one of the Giants' most consistent starters. Giants director of pitching Brian Bannister spoke with MLB Network Radio this week, and explained how he helped Webb refine his mechanics and turn into the top-end starter for the team with MLB's best record.
"He was really working on his velocity and trying to be a power, four-seam pitcher and when you just started looking at his how his body moved, the shapes he was creating, it reminded me in a way of Corey Kluber," Bannister said. "We started experimenting with some more sweeping pitches, started getting into seam effects with him.
"To Webby's credit, he had a tremendous offseason last year, and really got a lot better. We had tried a couple different things with him, and he finally hit on a couple of combinations of grips and pitches and became more of this east/west style instead of the north/south style he was pursuing previously. You look at him, and he's got the second-highest ground ball rate for a starter in baseball, and his ball just moves all over the place and it's really fun to watch."
Webb's chase rate was in the 10th percentile of MLB pitchers during the 2020 season, and now the right-hander is in the 92nd percentile across the league at making hitters chase.
Kluber had a similarly difficult start to his career, before embarking on a five-season stretch in which he won two Cy Young Awards and finished top-10 in voting in each of those seasons.
That's not to say that Webb is destined for a Kluber-esque rise, but Webb certainly has been the Giants' most consistent starter over the second half of 2021. At 24 years old, Webb still has plenty of years left in his prime as well.
The Giants will need his consistency as they prepare for the playoffs and a potential series against the stacked Los Angeles Dodgers lineup.