Braves 2021 Player Review: Jacob Webb

Rather than building upon his success from 2019 and 2020, Webb took a big step back. Webb had flashed potential and had very successful results in the past, but he has struggled with injuries in his career and has had multiple moments that have derailed his progress. He didn’t give up any runs in his 10 IP in 2020 and only allowed 5 in his 32.1 IP in 2019; that’s the pitcher everyone is hoping Webb is and can be moving forwards.

2021 Review

His season started off rocky, allowing 11 runs in his first 13 appearances; then the Mets game. On May 17th, a 94-mph fastball slipped away and hit Kevin Pillar in the face. Webb ended up getting tagged for the loss in that game. He made 2 more appearances against the Pirates in the coming days, but he looked noticeably shaken. He wasn’t the same pitcher, giving up 3 runs in just 1.1 innings. He gave up 2 runs and received the loss in extra innings of the first game then gave up a run in the 9th inning of a game in which the Braves held a 20-0 lead in the second. He was sent to AAA and besides making a few appearances in between he didn’t really return until September, where he was a completely different pitcher. He pitched in 14 games, 12 of which he didn’t give up a run. This was very encouraging to see, as he was clearly putting in the work while in AAA to earn his way back to the big leagues.

Pitch Arsenal

Mainly a fastball/slider pitcher, Webb’s highest ranking on a Braves prospect list was at #17 in 2019. He was never seen as a top prospect, but he impressed the Braves enough to be added to their 40-man roster after the 2018 season to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Like many other Braves pitchers, his biggest concern is his command, with 36 walks in his 76.2 career IP. Something notable about his 2021 pitch profile, his average FB velocity sat around 94 which was down from the 95-96 he was throwing in 2019 and his slider was up from 81-82 to around 84. While this may not seem like a big deal, pitching is about deception and change. If his two main pitches used to be 15-mph apart and are now around 12-mph apart, it makes it a lot easier for batters to catch up if they guess wrong. This is something to keep an eye on for 2022, hopefully at least his fastball will be back at full throttle.

2022 Preview

The Braves brought a few new faces into their bullpen before the lockout began, but with Chris Martin, Jesse Chavez and Richard Rodriguez as free agents it would be pretty shocking if Webb were left off the Opening Day roster. The Braves will need Webb to continue with his late season success. With luck, he’ll be a very valuable middle reliever. As the roster currently stands, he’s likely the best right-handed option behind Luke Jackson. It would be surprising to see the Braves stand pat rather than add another reliver or two, but Webb should still be on the roster regardless. I’m excited to see how Webb performs in 2022, but like many other Braves players this year could be his last chance if he’s unable to perform to his potential.

Author: Matt P

Hello, I’m Matt Pocza! I am a 4th year finance and economics student at the University of Florida and I love the Atlanta Braves. I’ve played baseball my entire life, and I am a sidearm pitcher for the club team at Florida. I also enjoy scuba diving, football and business. Follow me on twitter @braves_rumors!

60 thoughts on “Braves 2021 Player Review: Jacob Webb”

  1. I guess I’ll be glad if they reach agreement, but I really don’t like expanding the playoffs (hello NBA, where I don’t pay attention until the postseason), and I’m not thrilled about the universal DH. I don’t care as much about the strictly-money issues that don’t affect how the game is played, but of course the players & owners do.

  2. Setup for Round Robin would be a 5-day Frenzy!

    Day 1
    Afternoon Games AL:
    1 vs 2 and 3 vs.4
    2 vs. 3 and 1 vs. 4

    Night Games NL:
    1 vs 2 and 3 vs.4
    2 vs. 3 and 1 vs. 4

    Day 2:
    Afternoon/Night Games AL and NL:
    1 vs.3, 2 vs. 4
    1 vs. 3, 2 vs. 4

    Off Day

    Day 3 and 4: Repeat Day 1 and 2

    If playoff is needed it happens an hour after the conclusion of Day 2.

  3. @4
    With 14 teams making the playoffs, it would already be gimmicky. Eliminating 3/4 of the gimmick in a feeding frenzy would make for can’t miss baseball.

  4. I think there should be a 64 team, single elimination tournament. Take the best 30 or so teams and then fill out the field with some teams from lower leagues. Take the minor league teams with the best records in some cases, and in other cases, just take the teams that won the most games the last week. Real acts of whimsy. Rome knocks out Pittsburgh in the first round. People go crazy.

  5. @1 Barring an unforeseen collapse, man, you called it. I remember reading that WANTING it to be true.

    Why was the 2020 labor unrest saga so much different than how this seems to be playing out? They could have played a 100+ game season in 2020 if they wanted to, and they fought and fought and deadlines came and went and that games played number kept getting smaller. I know the Covid component played a role, obviously, but the mechanics of a labor dispute were largely similar, no?

  6. The difference, I think, was that covid really was unknown territory. This is all just fighting over a fairly well defined pot o’ gold.

  7. @6 I don’t know, man, I feel like you’re leaving too many teams out that deserve to be there.

  8. @6: Yeah, but when Atlanta faces Rome in the World Series people are going to think it’s fixed…especially when Rome’s best players are called up just before the start of the series, and they have to start Jay Flaa in Game 1.

  9. I think this proves that we need expansion.

    Bring the Nippon Ham Fighters into MLB!

  10. #5
    Can’t wait to see what they’d do with a 3-way tie for 7th place among 82-80 clubs.

    #6
    Your 2022 World Series Champion: the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

  11. We should just let every team into the playoffs.

    Ryan, I love your work here and you too, but I find that I am WILDLY divergent as a fan as you. Watching subpar teams that have no business in the playoffs is about as far from can’t miss baseball as I can ponder.

    I’m so old school, I’d rather just have the World Series and the two top teams in each league play instead of turning baseball into the NHL.

    I’ve long ago given up on the universal DH and it had to be one or the other and I knew that the AL wasn’t going the other way.

  12. Ryan, I love your work here and you too, but I find that I am WILDLY divergent as a fan as you. Watching subpar teams that have no business in the playoffs is about as far from can’t miss baseball as I can ponder.

    I think I agree with you in theory, but two of the teams that have won the World Series in the last 3 years won 88 and 93 regular season games. So, yes, I do agree that a 82-win team ought not be in the playoffs, but it’s not like every team that wins the World Series is a regular season juggernaut, and Braves fans know that better than most. I was Team Sell at the deadline last year when we 52-54, and look how wrong I was. If Atlanta played in a tougher division, their significant improvements at the deadline that later produced our best postseason run in the last 25 years would have been all for nothing.

    Some teams are objectively trying to build their roster to consolidate talent in the final few months of the season, so if you bottom out a little too hard in April and May and then end the season with 85 wins, I don’t know if the playoff structure should exclude a team that was built to peak when it mattered most.

    I guess I’m of two minds about this.

  13. Welp, things seem to have gone south again in the CBA negotiations, so I’m guessing we’re doomed to have a shortened season. Unless the players decide to take the owners’ deal which is less than halfway to where the players are…which they’re not going to.

  14. Alex Wood, please kindly f*ck off.

    I’m a greedy person. Unless it is an act of generosity (giving to a school/church/non-profit/whatever), I’m greedy. If I’m due something, I want it. Along the same mindset, I’d love for the players to be successful in getting every last dollar of these owners, another group of greedy people.

    But don’t make moral arguments, Alex. A “fair deal”? What’s a “fair” deal? You know who’s NOT getting a fair deal in all of this? The stadium employees, the organization employees, the people who are 1099’ed working the parking lots during games. The players — in search of a “fair” deal for themselves — have spent zero negotiating capital on the people most in need of a “fair” deal. My bleeding heart, you victims, just in search of your “fair” deal.

    Darren O’Day, who has pitched 32 IP in the last 3 years, will be paid $20K a month by Atlanta to pitch in the minor leagues. He’ll basically throw bullpen sessions until we need him. Love that for Darren O’Day. Make that money, homie. But don’t f*cking talk to me, Alex, about “fair” deals when I actually work for a living (most of the time). $20K a month could increase 20+ stadium employees’ income by 33% per month. That’s “fair”, if Alex Wood would like to introduce a moral argument. You’re not Robin Hood, Mr. Wood.

  15. I’m going to make this comment separate in case Ryan wants to delete this because it can certainly be considered political.

    Alex Wood is a 6 foot, 4 inch white male who was born in the southeastern United States to a nuclear family of financial privilege.

    He’s in search of a fair deal. Please help.

  16. I will just say that this “best and final offer” is deeply lame. If it’s really the best and final, you’d expect it to be something you think the other side might have a snowball’s chance in hell of taking, not just another incremental bump. If you try to get to the middle, or at least just your side of the middle, then you actually give the players a choice to make. This “best and final” is an easy no, and there is no one on MLB’s side that actually thinks the players will take it. The owners were maybe negotiating in good faith for about 12 hours yesterday (and it seems that it’s equally likely they were continuing to negotiate in bad faith while trying to make it look like they were negotiating in good faith). Twelve hours out of three months. As of right now, it’s very clear the owners would rather this continue than have Opening Day happen.

  17. Oh, please, Rob. If the players came back to the table and agreed to work for $15/hr, that money saved wouldn’t go into the pockets of beer vendors and parking attendants any more than it would go towards more reasonable stadium pricing or cheaper streaming packages. It would go into the pockets of the owners, and there it would stay. It’s not the players’ responsibility to fall on their swords in order to make professional spectator baseball possible. It’s absolutely absurd to suggest that the players have no business advocating for better conditions for themselves. (I strongly suspect that the players have no legal standing to advocate for other team employees anyway.)

    If you want to argue that the labor of professional athletes is overvalued in a “what is wrong with our society” sense, I might be on your side. But the fact of the matter is that baseball brings in X dollars every year, and we need to figure out what percentage of X should go to the workers and what percentage should go to management. The whole “You’re playing a kids’ game, you’re lucky to make anything!” argument is garbage.

    Wood is absolutely right, and it’s heartening that the players saw through the owners’ attempt to pressure them into taking a bad deal through media hype and false deadlines.

  18. Isn’t it kind of odd that we’re following this so closely, and yet none of the stuff that’s actually good for the fans and general public is being discussed?

    -A solution to the RSN madness that means that local fans can actually watch their team.
    -A reduction in cost to MLB.tv.
    -A reduction in ticket prices so a family of four can actually afford to go to a baseball game.
    -An increase in pay to stadium workers, the people who give up their nights, weekends, and holidays but make 1/100th of what the players make.

    I guess it’s only natural to interpret things in a “good guy vs. bad guy” paradigm, but there are no good guys here. They can all go to hell.

  19. I don’t believe the CBA can address any of those things. Pricing is entirely in the hands of ownership. Treatment of non-unionized employees is entirely in the hands of ownership. (Welcome to capitalism!)

    The CBA can address the work done by baseball players (IE, the rules of the game), the conditions under which it is done (travel, creature comforts, and player mobility), and the compensation for it (money). That’s it.

  20. First two series of the season officially canceled. And now you can probably add the intractable COVID year issue of percentage of full-season compensation to the list of things that need to be worked out by the two parties. Obviously that’ll be much easier the sooner they get something done.

  21. @23 The players have been successful so far at extracting hundreds of millions in additional dollars from the owners, which I wholeheartedly support. I think they could at least use some of their negotiating capital to pursue some of these initiatives. Instead, you have a bunch of dudes who hit the genetic lottery acting like victims when they’ve done nothing to help the people in the periphery who deserve a voice much more than they do. That’s my overall point with that list.

  22. If you’re looking for me to criticize the players, Rob (not that you are, it’s just you that I occasionally have back-and-forths with), here you go. The statement the MLBPA just put out was highly pointless and unhelpful, especially considering that I thought Manfred did a fairly good job of not trying to demonize the players in the part of his press conference I saw (I stopped watching a couple question into the Q&A, so maybe I missed something). Don’t bluster about the owners trying to “break” the union over the last few decades. Say you’re still committed to negotiating and send a counteroffer back to the owners as soon as possible.

  23. They couldn’t do any of those things. That’s the point. It’s outside the scope of what these negotiations can achieve. You might as well demand they figure out a way to solve the Ukraine crisis or cure cancer. Even if it would be an unambiguous good, and even if it were their top priority, it’s not something they could do, at least by these means.

  24. @27 Thank you. This is an obvious point, especially as it pertains to the CBA negotiations. The people who can do something about those employees / issues are the owners, who I doubt will lift a finger to help them. I doubt they would even care.

  25. Bunch of greedy asses on both sides. Im over it .. people needing to enjoy a pastime but you got a bunch of asses …. they don’t care … they can all kiss off .

  26. Teams have been jerking players around with service time manipulation, colluding to boot older (read: expensive) players from the game and implement a salary cap that does not increase at the same rate as inflation. Players’ share of league revenue percentage-wise has gone down drastically over the years. And the owners want to add stupid rules so they can cash in even more.

  27. Derek Jeter
    has fallen foul to a maneater
    Madame Ng
    has ordered the church bells to ring.

  28. @Chief

    I am not advocating for a 14-team playoff scenario. I’m describing what I’d like to see should it get approved. I want a bloodbath that eliminates 3/4 of the worst quickly.

  29. @31

    You’re absolutely right and AA has been one of the main GMs that’s exploited this loophole. My question is this: Will GMs be more leery to bring up prospects on the 40-man roster should they put an option limit? If so, that will hurt, not help, their income. In the end, I think it basically evens out.

  30. @30: Thanks for the NYT piece, ububba.

    “With Ukraine what it is, it may be a good time for baseball to be in the shadows,” [Fay Vincent] said. “The rest of the country should be focusing on real things. And baseball is entertainment. It’s a game. I mean, it really is not life-shattering.”

    As the Fonz used to say, even before he jumped the shark (I think): “Exactamundo.”

    Especially since my favorite team just won the World Series for the first time in 2 1/2 decades, I will not lose one moment of sleep over this owner-driven fiasco. There’s plenty of other stuff to keep me up at night.

  31. @27, 28

    The players have a tremendous voice and have successfully brought the sport to a halt for good reasons like the fact that the owners make too much money and are not sharing it proportionately and “fairly”, to use Alex Wood’s term. So, if you don’t think they could exert a bit of negotiating capital to compel the owners to share the excess with anyone other than the players, then I think that’s a little naive. They think they have the time and the voice right now to make mention of that.

    Problem: The owners make too much money. The players and everyone in the periphery of the sport get the shaft.
    Player’s Solution: Give the excess only to the players. No mention of other mistreated parties like the fans and employees.

    Once again, this isn’t “good guys vs. bad guys”. This is “bad guys vs. worse guys”.

  32. Sorry to say, but nobody pays money to watch the groundskeepers (OK, maybe during “YMCA” @ Yankee Stadium)… just like in the film industry, nobody pays money to see the makeup artist work.

    It’s the specific, public-facing talents that have the value.

    Apples & oranges (or carburetors).

  33. The players do not have enough “negotiating capital” to get what they want. Which is why they’re locked out, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. What makes you think they have enough to lean on the owners to do, well, anything that they are not legally obligated to do?

    And, again, the CBA negotiations cannot do what you want them to do. They are not a general referendum on the state of Major League Baseball. They can address very specific things regarding the nature of the players’ continued employment, and that’s the limit of them. The players don’t even have the legal right to advocate for minor leaguers, the guys who are in the same trade as them, much less the concession sellers and ushers and broadcasters. Sure, the players could go to the media and advocate for better treatment for team employees, but even if they did, unless they convinced the owners, it would accomplish nothing! The owners have made it clear they will burn the sport down rather than give a dime to the players! Do you think they’d be all for it if, instead, it was a nickel to the players and a nickel to the groundskeepers?

    Besides, I have a sneaking suspicion that if they did do this, suddenly there would be a lot of whining about why they’re talking about these unrelated topics instead of getting into the nitty-gritty of trying to work out a deal…

    As far as your concerns go, Rob, they are more likely to be addressed by the Ghost of Christmas Future than by the CBA negotiations. That’s just the way it is under the system as it exists.

  34. I’ve hit a huge writing block. Lucky for me, we’ve got a great team and they’ll be filling this board up with goodies. Thanks crew!

  35. The players do not have enough “negotiating capital” to get what they want.

    They right now have the entire sport on hold as they get almost everything they want, which I support. So I think you’re vastly under-selling their negotiating position.

    Accordingly, I disagree with the rest of your post.

    I don’t want to get too political here, but athletes all across sports have been able to effect social change via their platform, and right now, they have the mic and the platform is as big as it ever gets. And before all of these negotiations, 99% of fans decided they were on the player’s side before the players even made their demands known.

    Let’s just act out what you’re suggesting:

    Tony Clark: “Oh, and another thing: some of these costs you’re passing off to our fans is getting excessive. We want the cost of mlb.TV lowered for the hard-working fans. Worst case, if we have to go to $690K on the league minimum or work on different figures for the CBT threshold, this needs to get fixed.
    Owners: You stick to the CBA or you get the hell out of here!

    Yeah, I don’t think so.

    Then Tony Clark to the media: Top to bottom, we feel like there are systemic issues with the finances of the sport. The players deserve a greater share of the revenue, but these are the same owners who are gouging our fans at the turnstiles, concession stands, and on the television. It would be peanuts for them to fix this, and they won’t do it. We don’t play until the fans get taken care of too.

    You’re telling me this can’t happen? I’m supposed to be 100% on Tony’s side, but he can’t be 1% on mine? I can’t be included in the “fair” deal, according to Alex “Genetic Lottery Winner” Wood?

    Dude.

  36. “Our fans”.

    I don’t get this. What does Mike Trout making more money have to do with his commitment to “(their) fans”? I don’t know, as a fan, how that enriches my experience.

    Just say you want more money! Dadgum, just be honest. We’re supposed to vilify the owners whenever they make a dishonest negotiating posture, but the players get a pass when they say these dishonest and ludicrous things.

    These are the same players that:
    -Often times will not sign autographs because their “too busy”
    -They won’t stay in the box or on the rubber to make the game go by faster (hey man, I’m busy too)
    -Don’t always play hard because “162 is a grind”

    Does more money to them solve any of that?

    I love this sport so incredibly much, but the more I have this narrative that the players are victims shoved down my throat, the more I’m forced to assess whether that’s really true.

  37. MLB topped 45 million in attendance in 2021. Owners raise ticket prices by $2, blame inflation. Raise $90,000,000 to put in the pre-arb pot. Boom. Problem solved. I take cash, check, or Bitcoin.

  38. The players do not have the sport on hold. The owners do. The owners locked the players out. This was the owners’ idea, not the players’. Its continuation is a result of the owners’ behavior. The players are not sitting pretty here — every game that gets cancelled, they’re losing money. They’re not being allowed to work. This is their livelihood. They’re not being allowed to train at team facilities or better their games with their coaches. Fringe players are not being allowed to prove they belong on a roster. Free agents are in limbo. You think this is them going “Yes, exactly according to plan”? “We couldn’t get anything we asked for; time to demand more”?

    I mean, I don’t see how we’re supposed to find common ground if we can’t agree on the basic facts of the matter.

    (Speaking of facts, a collective bargaining agreement is governed by laws. It’s not just a free-for-all where you can say whatever you want and let the court of public opinion settle the issue. We saw this just a few weeks ago when the owners had to clarify that they didn’t really mean what Dick Monfort had said about the profitability of baseball, because if they did, that opens them up to legal repercussions that they weren’t interested in. The players would get their asses sued off if they refused to play if some unrelated matter wasn’t dealt with. So no, what you’re suggesting can’t happen. At least, not and work.)

    And, once again, “Players make too much money! I can’t sympathize with them!” is such a garbage non-argument.

  39. The players do not have the sport on hold. The owners do. The owners locked the players out. This was the owners’ idea, not the players’. Its continuation is a result of the owners’ behavior. The players are not sitting pretty here — every game that gets cancelled, they’re losing money. They’re not being allowed to work. This is their livelihood. They’re not being allowed to train at team facilities or better their games with their coaches. Fringe players are not being allowed to prove they belong on a roster. Free agents are in limbo. You think this is them going “Yes, exactly according to plan”? “We couldn’t get anything we asked for; time to demand more”?

    It is very difficult for me to respond to this without sounding sympathetic to the owners, but the reality is that the players have been offered multiple CBA proposals that they have rejected. I agree with it, but the reality is that there have been multiple CBAs that, if I’m not mistaken, are better than the last one, and the players have rejected it. You can call it a lockout or you can call it a strike, but it’s semantics; both parties have mutually decided they don’t want to work with each other right now. The players have successfully forced a better arrangement for themselves by continuing to reject CBA proposals. That’s the bottom line. At the end of all of this, the players will have MUCH more money than they did at the beginning of this and much more than if they hadn’t continue to reject multiple CBAs, which I applaud them for.

    You can make a procedural argument that the MLBPA does not have recourse against the owners by the fans actually being the ones being left without a “fair” deal out of all of this. I would continue to say they could fight it out in the court of public opinion, but I think we would agree that it doesn’t advance their pursuit, which is to only benefit themselves. There is no evidence that the players care one bit about the fans. Now, if you have any evidence that the MLBPA is concerned by the fact we pay more for streaming games, watching them on cable, buying tickets, and buying popcorn while getting NOTHING more in return, then I’ll start to sympathize with the players a little more. But if they don’t care about me… why would I care about them? We all agree the owners don’t care about us, therefore we shouldn’t care about them. Why is this logic not extended to the players?

  40. @48, et al.

    You might say that you aren’t on the owners’ side, but Manfred and crew would certainly love to have more fans like you around.

  41. @48

    It is possible to play under the previous CBA while negotiating the new one. The owners immediately made sure that could not possibly happen. That, at base, is what’s holding the season up right now. The players say (or at least imply) they’d have been willing to do that. Now, would they eventually turn around and strike if negotiations were dragging? Yes, I’m sure they would. That’s what happened in 1994. They waited until a maximum leverage point late-ish in a season where there was no CBA and they were playing temporarily under the old one, and then they walked off the job. I’m not saying they wouldn’t do that again. However, if we’re interested in semantics, the owners’ lockout is the only thing that’s keeping baseball from happening in the immediate sense. I know that’s overly technical, but I feel like you’re attempting to be overly technical right now so…fight fire with fire and so forth.

  42. @49 I highly doubt that. I’m less of a fan of the game because of both the owners’ and players’ behavior than I was, say, 3 months ago. I’m on point saying many times there are many things I don’t like about the game, many of which are still there because of the owners.

    So… try again? Maybe be willing to be more objective this time?

  43. @50 I think if you’ve chosen a side, which I think it’s clear you have, then you probably shouldn’t argue with someone who hasn’t chosen a side.

  44. Game’s still going, guys. Maybe the bestest of the bestest aren’t playing, but the game itself I s still beautiful. My son got this tonight because one of his travel teammates played against Wesleyan tonight. The kid pitching hits 95 – and, uh… so does Druw. (Turn the sound up for the full experience.)

  45. Rob,
    MLB is offering up absurd proposals because they are trying to break the union once and for all. They don’t care if they have to cancel games to do it.

    I think Tony Clark has been a weak union leader and Manfred thinks this is the time to break it. That is what this is about.

  46. The one area where I agree with Rob is that the players have done a terrible job in the court of public opinion. They are historically poor at messaging; traditionally they’ve focused on winning at the table rather than away from the table, which has turned into a critical weakness for their overall bargaining position.

    This is also a point in Lords of the Realm. The Players Union under Marvin Miller never allowed the owners to lose gracefully while saving face. Miller was a by-the-book labor leader, and letting management feel better wasn’t in the book he learned when he was at the United Steelworkers. So the Players Union didn’t care about public appearances. They could use a lot more public support now, but it’s never been an area of focus for them. I’ve been a consistent critic of Clark at the MLBPA, and this is a big part of why. Frankly, though, Don Fehr wasn’t any better. Michael Weiner was, on the other hand. His passing was a tragic moment.

  47. MLB minimum is more than the average fan grosses in a 10-15 years of full-time work, and that minimum is earned in about six months. Even if the average career is short, you’re looking at aggregate earnings that most people will never reach in their lifetime. Hardcore baseball fans may see the dynamics of players vs. owners more clearly, but when you spread this out to entirety of professional baseball fans, neither party seems particularly noble here, fair or not. That’s why this dragged out dispute over money is, at least in the short term, very troublesome for the popularity and growth of the sport.

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