Shane Bieber tops our list after topping all A.L. pitchers in 2020

Indians ace is the best current Cleveland athlete at his position
Tony's Top 5
Tony's Top 5(woio)
Published: May. 14, 2021 at 11:15 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - #1 ... Shane Bieber.

“Bursting onto the scene” is an understatement when it comes to Bieber. By his second season, he had Major League Baseball’s full attention, mowing down three straight in the All-Star Game, on his home turf, to earn MVP honors.

By his third season, just a year ago, he was cruising, The pandemic may have shredded the schedule, but it didn’t rattle Bieber, who pulled away from the pack with an incredible month of August and went on to win the pitching Triple Crown, tops in wins, ERA and strikeouts ... only the third pitcher in history to do that ... and of course, the American League Cy Young Award.

So ... how is he doing it? With spectacular consistency. Bieber opened this, his fourth season, with four straight starts of at least 10 strikeouts. That hadn’t happened since ... wait for it ... 1893.

By the end of April, he had broken Randy Johnson’s record of 17 straight starts with at least eight strikeouts. And just as impressive, he simply will not walk you. You’re gonna have to swing to have a shot against Bieber.

He just keeps coming at ya, with a killer rising fastball and a slider-curve combo that would make Trevor Bauer proud. Which of course has everything to do with this, because as we know, the Indians develop top-of-the-rotation aces better than anyone, and one ace keeps feeding another. That’s how a team can lose a Corey Kluber and still keep winning. Lose a Trevor Bauer and still keep winning.

They’re not about to lose Bieber, but ... they’re gonna have to pay him. He’s making less than $700 grand this year. Next year, he’s eligible for arbitration, at which point, if they haven’t signed him to a long-term deal, his number will skyrocket, significantly.

The only numbers that will stay down are the numbers that he allows, and as we’ve seen, they won’t add up to much.

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