Why the Miami Marlins Should Pursue Free Agent Ken Giles in 2021

    TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 10: Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the ninth inning during an MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on September 10, 2019, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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    The shortened 2020 season proved to be favorable for the Marlins as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Looking into the 2020-2021 free agency, there are some big-name free agents, including closer Ken Giles. Ken Giles had Tommy John Surgery back on October 1st, which was a big blow to Toronto as his contract has now expired. Gile’s status for the 2021 season is one that requires full recovery, but the young Marlins core could use this great bullpen arm to add to their fairly strong bullpen as they look to contend for the future.

    Ken Giles was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 7th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Giles made his MLB Debut in 2014 and had two of his bests season in Philadelphia. He had a strong rookie campaign with an ERA of 1.18, a FIP of 1.34, xFIP of 2.03, and a War of 1.8. He didn’t become a closer, however, until 2015, where he would collect 15 saves. Giles did not become a main closer until 2017, where he recorded 34 saves with the Houston Astros.

    Giles would get traded out to Toronto, where he has spent the last few seasons. In 2019, Giles played in 53 games with the Blue Jays and recorded an ERA of 1.87, a FIP of 2.27, and xFIP of 2.73, and a WAR of 1.8. He had a 14.09 K/9 as well as a 2.89 BB/9, which was one of the lowest BB/9s of his career. Gile’s 2020 was a short one due to having Tommy John Surgery. He struggled in his four appertaining, massing an ERA of 9.82.

    These two photos above show 1) his pitch distribution between the fastball and slider combo that he effectively institutes and 2) where he ranks in the MLB Percentile. Since 2020 was not a real show of his talent, 2019 shows how well he was. He throws a commanding fastball that can touch anywhere from as low as 94 to as high 101-102 mph. His fastball averages around 97-99 mph. His slider is a super effective pitch as it averages around 87-89 mph, a dropoff from the fastball. Giles ranked great in xEra, xBA, xSLG, K %, Whiff %, xwOba, and fastball velocity. Giles is a really great package among these stats.

    The offseason could be a big one if Miami could land a few top free agents, but one of the big ones to consider for the future is Giles. Seeing that he recovers 100%, he could add a veteran presence, great numbers, and a nasty fastball/slider combination to the Marlins bullpen.

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