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Monday, April 25, 2005

TTO Pitchers Prelude

I've been playing with some stats from David Pinto's Pitcher Comparison Database (that's a link to the raw data).

First thing I did was call up the pitchers with the most strikeouts from 1974 on. I set the minimum innings pitched at 300 because I figured that would capture a lot of relievers, as well as maybe some pitchers who struck out a lot of hitters but didn't stick in the majors because they walked too many guys.

I loaded the data from the above link into a spreadsheet and
  1. removed all pitchers who struck out less than 6 batters per 9 innings pitched (working from the premise that pitchers with a K9 rate under 6 are not strikeout pitchers — and, really, I think a K9 rate of at least 7 is needed before a pitcher is truly a strikeout pitcher)
  2. found each pitcher's ratio of strikeouts per 9 innings to walks per 9 innings [K9/BB9]
  3. found each pitcher's rate of home runs given up per 9 innings [HR9]
  4. looked at the preceding ratios for a while and decided that what I was looking for could probably be best expressed as the following ratio: [(K9/BB9)/HR9]
I'm nowhere near finished with this. As you'll see in the preliminary list below, which is the top 20 pitchers since 1974 by the ratio in #4 above, a lot of relievers rank high in this stat — a result of being able to come in and throw hard, hard, and harder to every batter because they only work an inning or two per appearance. What I want to do next is separate the relief guys from the starters (Eckersly will give me fits) in order to look at each type of pitcher in their own contexts. Anyway, here are the top 20 mixed pitchers:

Rank Player ERA K9 BB9 K9/BB9 HR9 (K9/BB9)/HR9
1 Mariano Rivera 2.44 8.01 2.46 3.26 .50 6.48
2 Pedro Martinez 2.70 10.42 2.40 4.34 .68 6.37
3 Greg Maddux 2.96 6.27 1.87 3.35 .58 5.74
4 Duane Ward 3.28 9.17 3.86 2.38 .43 5.50
5 Doug Jones 3.30 7.25 1.97 3.68 .69 5.36
6 Rob Dibble 2.98 12.17 4.49 2.71 .51 5.32
7 Dave Smith 2.67 6.09 3.15 1.93 .38 5.11
8 Roy Oswalt 3.12 8.05 2.16 3.73 .76 4.89
9 Rollie Fingers 2.84 7.08 2.54 2.79 .58 4.78
10 Bret Saberhagen 3.34 6.02 1.65 3.65 .77 4.77
11 Mark Eichhorn 3.00 6.50 2.74 2.37 .50 4.76
12 Robb Nen 2.98 9.98 3.27 3.05 .64 4.75
13 Curt Schilling 3.35 8.79 2.04 4.31 .92 4.69
14 J.R. Richard 3.06 8.25 4.23 1.95 .42 4.67
15 Larry Andersen 3.15 6.85 2.81 2.44 .52 4.65
16 Mark Prior 3.00 10.63 2.72 3.91 .84 4.64
17 Tom Henke 2.67 9.81 2.91 3.37 .73 4.62
18 Kevin Brown 3.22 6.63 2.49 2.66 .58 4.61
19 Trevor Hoffman 2.77 10.08 2.63 3.83 .84 4.55
20 Billy Wagner 2.49 12.24 3.18 3.85 .85 4.52


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