A Look at Devin Williams’ All-Star-Worthy Season

June 29th, 2023

Devin Williams has been as filthy as ever to begin the 2023 campaign.

Since taking over full-time 9th-inning duties last season, the “Airbender” has gone from dominant setup man to one of the game's elite closers.

Here’s a deep dive into Devin Williams’ All-Star-worthy first half of the season.

All-Star Numbers

Through 28 appearances, National League leaderboards have Devin Williams’ name written all over them.

Williams ranks fourth among qualified National League relievers with a 1.63 ERA and 15 saves, converting all but one save opportunity on the year. Only two other closers (David Bednar and Alexis Diaz) have matched that save total while having one or less blown saves.

Impressively, Devin sits in the 95th percentile of strikeout percentage, 99th percentile of whiff percentage and 95th percentile of expected batting average – meaning he’s straight up dominating opponents like few others.

There’s a very short list of players who have accomplished what Devin Williams has this season. The Brewers believe those numbers should be enough to send him to Midsummer Classic.

Clutch Gene

Clutch factor is an essential part of being a shutdown closer. In the biggest moments, Devin has been fantastic.

Williams dials his game up another notch when he’s in a jam. He’s left 96.3 percent of total opposing hitters stranded on the basepaths and surrendered runs to just one of seven inherited runners.

Even though it’s a one-inning job most of the time, Williams’ value can’t be understated. He ranks second in win probability added (2.34) among qualified National League relievers this season.

Devin Williams brings an innate clutch ability to the back end of a bullpen for a club that’s built on run prevention, and that’s what All-Stars closers do.

The Airbender

You don’t get one of the best nicknames in the sport without earning it. For Devin Williams, it comes from one of the most devastating pitches in the game: his air-bending changeup.

While a normal changeup is known to pull the string, Devin Williams’ causes even more confusion thanks to absurd horizontal movement. Per Statcast, Williams’ changeup moves horizontally at a whopping 5.3 inches more than average – the most horizontal break on a changeup in Baseball.

The unique action on Williams’ changeup leaves hitters fooled more often than not. The pitch has held opposing batters to a .138 average and a whiff rate of 41.6 percent.

Although Williams’ changeup has been the top weapon in his arsenal for years now, it remains perfectly suited for All-Star action as a gravity-defying spectacle.