4. Miles Mikolas, 2018 – 200.2 IP, 2.83 ERA, 137 ERA+, 1.071 WHIP, 1.3 BB/9, 5.03 K/BB, 4.1 bWAR
Mikolas entered Spring Training fighting for a spot in the rotation after spending the previous three years in Japan following an unsuccessful tenure in the majors with the Rangers. He finished the 2018 season as the team’s ace.
In what was one of the more interesting storylines of the 2018 season, Mikolas became the Redbirds most trusted arm down the stretch. Despite missing the playoffs, The Lizard King was a revelation throughout the season and looked like a mainstay in the Redbird’s rotation for years to come.
His patented “pitch-to-contact” approach served him well, leading all of baseball in BB/9, en route to an All-Star appearance and a sixth-place Cy Young finish. This earned him a four year, $68 million extension in February 2019.