Arizona’s first round draft pick of 2020 made his MLB debut in 2023. It was perfectly respectable and there may be much more to come.
- Rating: 4.93 out of 10
- 2023 MLB Stats: 11G (1GS), 23.2 IP, 2-1 record, 3.04 ERA, .972 WHIP, 145 ERA+
- 2023 MiLB Stats: 27G (19GS), 106.1 IP, 9-6 record, 5.08 ERA, 1.439 WHIP between Amarillo and Reno
- Date of birth: December 26, 1997 (25)
- 2023 Salary: $150,969
- 2024 status: Controlled via arbitration at least through 2029 (pending 2024 MLB roster time)
Like many Arizona Diamondbacks in the last few years, Bryce Jarvis’ 2023 season cannot be viewed in only MLB terms. Mostly this is because he only played in 11 MLB games, and in all but one, he entered from the bullpen mid-game. Even the lone start, September 28 at Chicago White Sox (a game I actually attended in person - it was $1 ticket day and I happened to be in the city that day!) was only a 2.2IP outing for the youngster. Sadly the team lost that game with Jarvis taking the loss (the first of his career).
Of note though, before his MLB callup on August 13 though, Jarvis had mostly been a starter for the AAA Reno Aces (he was also demoted on September 7 and recalled on September 17). From the beginning of the season to April 25, he’d spent some time as a starter in AA Amarillo (Sod Poodles), but that was only 14.0IP of his total 130IP in 2023. The difference in starting and relieving was for two main reasons: 1) many young pitchers need innings limits to develop correctly as professional ball has higher requirements of arm use than college or high school ball does and 2) he ended up with MLB experience to learn from that he can use in 2024 and beyond. These developmental tools are important for prospects of Jarvis’ caliber. None of his MiLB stats are going to wow you off the page (in fact some may make you wonder why on earth he was a first rounder), but of course the Reno/Amarillo qualifiers need to be stated. The fact that he has 4 pitches is also noteworthy, as that makes him a viable starter at the MLB level if the stuff plays.
It’s not his potential future that you’re here for though. His 2023 was important and good enough. Reaching the Phoenix Desert is the main takeaway from his season. While the MLB stats are fairly nice to look at, they fall squarely into Small Sample Size territory that really makes them little more than cursory. Remember, Ryne Nelson had a 1.47 ERA in 18.1 MLB innings to end 2022... Jarvis though will enter Spring 2024 as a longshot to make the Opening Day Rotation (assuming no additional starters are added at time of publication and health from the 5-8 names ahead of him on the depth chart). Because he reached 130IP in 2023, he will likely face zero innings limits in 2024 unless he just goes off and has a Rookie of the Year campaign. All of his development in 2024 was made possible by taking his lumps in Reno and Amarillo in 2023 then being open to a role in the bullpen to end the season.
Despite the small sample size of his MLB experience, some of his rate stats for all of 2023 are intriguing. When facing MiLB hitters, he walked over 10% but that dropped against tougher competition. Exciting, but unlikely to sustain itself. This rate was right in line with his previous MiLB norms. He did however see an increase in his strikeout rate against MiLB hitters, which is a good sign. This shows he has developed and as he’s done so, he’s still capable of getting good hitters out on his own. His home run rates were also down against MiLB talent from over 2 per 9IP to under 1 despite playing in Amarillo and Reno. This is a very good sign for him (although at the MLB level this rate spiked again).
All of this is to say that 2023 was a successful development year for Jarvis. Unfortunately for him, the next step is the hardest: adjusting to Major League Hitters when playing time is likely to be sparse.
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