Matthew Kent 2019 Projections
Steamer: 4.74 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, 1.29 HR/9
ZiPS: 4.79 ERA (4.49 FIP) 5.45 K/9, 2.69 BB/9, 1.02 HR/9, 1.3 WAR
In his minor league career, Kent’s never struck out many batters, but he hasn’t walked many, either. He’s had a fairly consistent 3.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which is definitely above-average. Kent held left-handed batters to a .241 average in 2018 in AA, but only a .264 average against righties. So, he doesn’t have obvious platoon splits, meaning he’s a realistic multi-inning option.
The MLE’s (Major League Equivalents) for Kent in 2019 aren’t fantastic, but they are passable. He’s never been that susceptible to long balls, so the ZiPS projection of 1.02 HR/9 is probably more in line with his past history. It’s possible that the strikeout rates are a bit low and the walk rates may be a bit high. Even then, a starter being worth 1.3 WAR is worth about $10 million on a one-year deal on the open market. This guy has potential.
That Kent projects so well to essentially be the Sox’s 6th starter speaks well to his ability. He’s not someone you ever hear much about either. He could log meaningful MLB innings late in 2019 or 2020.