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Statcast spotlight: 5 players to watch

MLB.com

Using revolutionary Statcast™ data, here are five players to keep an eye on Monday. Watch it all on MLB.TV.

Chris Archer, Rays
In his first three starts, Archer was effective (2.21 ERA), though he wasn't missing a lot of bats, relative to his 2016 rate of 13.5 percent. Then, last Wednesday against the Tigers, he allowed four runs on seven hits over five innings -- but he struck out nine and racked up 20 swinging strikes. Archer's swinging-strike rate of 19.2 percent was his sixth highest in a game in the Statcast™ Era (since 2015) and tied for the sixth highest by any pitcher in a game this season (minimum 100 pitches). The righty's slider accounted for 12 of those 20 whiffs, with 10 of them being chased out of the strike zone.

Using revolutionary Statcast™ data, here are five players to keep an eye on Monday. Watch it all on MLB.TV.

Chris Archer, Rays
In his first three starts, Archer was effective (2.21 ERA), though he wasn't missing a lot of bats, relative to his 2016 rate of 13.5 percent. Then, last Wednesday against the Tigers, he allowed four runs on seven hits over five innings -- but he struck out nine and racked up 20 swinging strikes. Archer's swinging-strike rate of 19.2 percent was his sixth highest in a game in the Statcast™ Era (since 2015) and tied for the sixth highest by any pitcher in a game this season (minimum 100 pitches). The righty's slider accounted for 12 of those 20 whiffs, with 10 of them being chased out of the strike zone.

Archer's game-by-game SwSt percentage in 2017
April 2: 12.0 percent
April 8: 11.4 percent
April 14: 8.8 percent
April 19: 19.2 percent

Highest single-game SwSt percentage in 2017 (minimum 100 pitches)
1. Jacob deGrom: 25.7 percent, April 22
2. Chris Sale: 21.6 percent, April 20
3. Danny Salazar: 20.6 percent, April 5
4. Carlos Martinez: 20.0 percent, April 2
5. James Paxton: 19.3 percent, April 15
6. (tied) Max Scherzer: 19.2 percent, April 12
6. (tied) Chris Archer: 19.2 percent, April 19

Amir Garrett, Reds
Cincinnati's rookie left-hander was dominant in a tough-luck 2-0 loss to the Orioles last Wednesday, striking out 12 hitters while walking just one over seven innings. Garrett's biggest weapon was his curveball, which generated eight swings and misses to tie his teammate Lisalverto Bonilla and the Indians' Corey Kluber for the most in any game this season by a pitcher. Garrett generated eight of his 12 punchouts with his breaking ball (including seven of those eight swinging strikes, plus a foul bunt by pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez), and the Orioles were unable to put a single one of the 20 total curveballs from Garrett into play.

Video: BAL@CIN: Garrett's 12 strikeouts in 12 seconds

Most swinging strikes on curveball in a single game in 2017
1. 12: Luis Perdermo (4/23/17 vs. Miami)
2. (tied) 8: Amir Garrett (4/19/17 vs. Baltimore)
2. (tied) 8: Corey Kluber (4/15/17 vs. Detroit)
2. (tied) 8: Lisalverto Bonnila (4/22/17 vs. Chicago)
5. (tied) 7: Jordan Montgomery (4/23/17 vs. Pittsburgh)
5. (tied) 7: Jerad Eickhoff (4/16/17 vs. Washington)
5. (tied) 7: Charlie Morton (4/10/17 vs. Seattle)

Miguel Sano, Twins
Sano's powerful start to 2017 continued Saturday, when he lined a double off Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd with an exit velocity of 110.6 mph. That extra-base hit gave Sano a total of seven hits with exit velocities of at least 110 mph, second only to the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton among big league hitters. Sano tallied only 10 such hits during the entire 2016 season.

Video: MIN@DET: Sano connects for 440-ft. home run

Most base hits with exit velocities of 110 mph or higherin 2017
1. Giancarlo Stanton: 9
2. Miguel Sano: 7
3. (tied) Marcell Ozuna: 5
3. (tied) Joey Gallo: 5

The Royals
Off to a rough start, Kansas City is averaging an MLB-low 2.55 runs per game, with a MLB-low .326 slugging percentage. But the Royals' 145 strikeouts are 11th-fewest in the Majors, and a few offensive metrics suggest this squad is not far from hitting a stride. In looking at expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) -- which is calculated similarly to Hit Probability by taking exit velocity and launch angle on comparably hit balls -- the Royals are significantly off compared to their actual wOBA (.269), which is worst in the Majors.

Largest margin between xwOBA and wOBA in 2017
1. Royals: 
.055
2. White Sox: .053
3. Giants: .049
4. Blue Jays: .047
5. Tigers: .046

Blake Parker, Angels
Parker struck out the side Sunday in his lone inning against the Blue Jays, continuing the roll he began in Spring Training when he struck out 17 of the last 18 batters he faced. Parker has now struck out 15 batters in his first 9 1/3 innings of the season, with plenty of those punchouts coming on his split-fingered fastball and curveball. Parker has generated the sixth-highest swinging strike rate among pitchers who have thrown at least 25 splitters, but his curveball has arguably been even more untouchable as opposing hitters have whiffed on 63.6 percent of the curveballs they've swung at from Parker so far.

Video: TOR@LAA: Parker strikes out the side in the 6th

Highest swinging strike percentage on splitters in 2017 (minimum 25 splitters thrown)
1. Josh Smoker: 34.2 percent
2. Zach Putnam: 34.0 percent
3. Tyler Clippard: 31.0 percent
4. Jorge De La Rosa: 30.0 percent
5. Masahiro Tanaka: 25.7 percent
6. Blake Parker: 26.3 percent

Highest whiff/swing rate on curveballs in 2017 (minimum 10 total swings)
1. Amir Garrett: 65.2 percent
2. (tied) Blake Parker: 63.6 percent
2. (tied) Hunter Strickland: 63.6 percent
4. Lisalverto Bonilla: 61.5 percent
5. Jerry Blevins: 60.9 percent