CLEVELAND, OH – The Cleveland Guardians earlier in April announced the signing of RHP EMMANUEL CLASE to a five-year contract with club options for the 2027 and 2028 seasons.
Clase, 24, compiled one of the finest seasons out of the bullpen in club history, posting the second-lowest relief ERA (1.29) in club history (min. 50 games/50IP) and Major League relievers while setting club rookie records for appearances (71) and saves (24). The hard-throwing right-hander ranked among rookie relievers in ERA (1st, 1.29), saves (1st, 24), innings pitched (3rd, 69.2), average against (4th, .195), wins (T5th, 4) and strikeouts (6th, 74), leading all rookie relievers in fWAR (**2.2). After the season, he garnered a first place vote in the 2021 A.L. Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year voting, good for a fifth place finish (11 points).
In addition to the sterling ERA, he led all Major League pitchers in 100+ MPH pitches thrown (Baseball Savant). Clase finished the season with the fastest avg. 4-seam fastball speed (100.7 MPH) and the fastest average cutter speed (100.2 MPH) in 2021 (min. 100 pitches), marking the highest average cutter velocity in a season for a pitcher since pitch tracking began in 2008. Emmanuel got better as the season went along, recording a 0.28 ERA over his final 32 games of the season after July 16 (32.2IP, 16H, 2R/1ER, 2BB, 33K).
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