by John Dewan
Last week in the Stat of the Week we shared a few of the Hitter Leaderboards from The Bill James Handbook 2013. This week, let’s take a look at a few leaderboards for pitchers.
% Pitches In Strike Zone |
||
(minimum 162 IP) |
||
Cliff Lee |
Phi |
51.9 |
R.A. Dickey |
NYM |
49.3 |
Matt Moore |
TB |
47.1 |
Matt Harrison |
Tex |
46.9 |
Wandy Rodriguez |
Hou-Pit |
46.6 |
Phil Hughes |
NYY |
46.5 |
Henderson Alvarez |
Tor |
46.2 |
Wei-Yin Chen |
Bal |
46.1 |
A.J. Burnett |
Pit |
46.0 |
Chris Sale |
CWS |
45.9 |
- Cliff Lee is the only qualifying pitcher in baseball with over half his pitches thrown in the strike zone.
- It is remarkable to see a knuckleballer second on this list. Given how the break of a knuckleball is so unpredictable, knuckleball pitchers have historically had control problems. But not R.A. Dickey. This is a very good indication of why he is so successful.
- In three seasons with the Mets, Dickey has not exceeded 2.33 walks per nine innings in a season. In contrast, fellow knuckleballer Tim Wakefield only once walked fewer than 2.72 batters per nine innings in his 19-year career.
- Seven of the 10 pitchers had an ERA below 4.00.
- Five of the 10 pitchers were also on the Highest Fastball Percentage Leaderboard.
OBP vs. Leadoff Hitter |
||
(minimum 150 BF) |
||
Johnny Cueto |
Cin |
0.234 |
Bartolo Colon |
Oak |
0.236 |
Homer Bailey |
Cin |
0.236 |
Bronson Arroyo |
Cin |
0.244 |
Jered Weaver |
LAA |
0.255 |
Stephen Strasburg |
Was |
0.256 |
Wade Miley |
Ari |
0.265 |
Matt Harrison |
Tex |
0.266 |
Jake Westbrook |
StL |
0.267 |
Kyle Lohse |
StL |
0.267 |
- Three of the top four pitchers are from the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds clearly make it a priority to keep that first batter of the inning off base. Their staff allowed the third fewest total of walks per nine innings in 2012, and they were tied with the Dodgers for the third-lowest ERA in baseball behind the Rays and the Nationals.
- Isn’t it amazing to see Bartolo Colon second on this list?
Pitches 100+ Velocity |
||
Aroldis Chapman |
Cin |
242 |
Kelvin Herrera |
KC |
162 |
Andrew Cashner |
SD |
104 |
Henry Rodriguez |
Was |
58 |
Justin Verlander |
Det |
44 |
Carter Capps |
Sea |
43 |
Nate Jones |
CWS |
33 |
Bobby Parnell |
NYM |
28 |
Trevor Rosenthal |
StL |
12 |
Fernando Rodney |
TB |
10 |
- Aroldis Chapman comfortably led all pitchers in baseball throwing 242 pitches with a velocity of 100 mph or greater, though Kelvin Herrera’s total of 162 blazers was not too shabby. It will be interesting to see how Chapman’s velocity changes as he transitions from reliever to starter.
- Justin Verlander is the only full-time starter from 2012 to make the list.
- Everyone on the list had at least 8.00 strikeouts per nine innings.
- Seven of the 10 pitchers had an ERA below 3.00.
Win Shares |
||
Justin Verlander |
Det |
23 |
Aroldis Chapman |
Cin |
21 |
Johnny Cueto |
Cin |
20 |
David Price |
TB |
19 |
Fernando Rodney |
TB |
19 |
Chris Sale |
CWS |
19 |
R.A. Dickey |
NYM |
19 |
Clayton Kershaw |
LAD |
19 |
Matt Harrison |
Tex |
18 |
Cole Hamels |
Phi |
18 |
Craig Kimbrel |
Atl |
18 |
Kris Medlen |
Atl |
18 |
Win Shares is a calculation of the number of wins a player contributed to his team and is adjusted for park, league, and era.
- Aroldis Chapman led all National League pitchers with 21 Win Shares. It’s impressive to see a reliever as the top pitcher in the NL in this category.
- Fernando Rodney and Craig Kimbrel are also full-time relievers on this list of pitchers who produced 18 or more Win Shares. Mariano Rivera in 2008 was the only other reliever to exceed 17 Win Shares in the last five seasons.
- Justin Verlander led all pitchers in 2012 with 23 Win Shares. He topped the 2011 list has well.
Cheap Wins |
||
Clay Buchholz |
Bos |
5 |
Nick Blackburn |
Min |
4 |
Kevin Correia |
Pit |
4 |
Wade Miley |
Ari |
4 |
Ricky Nolasco |
Mia |
4 |
Barry Zito |
SF |
4 |
A Cheap Win happens when a starter wins a game where his Game Score was under 50. Game Score measures the quality of a pitcher performance by adding points for outs, strikeouts, and pitching deep into games and by subtracting points for hits, walks, and runs allowed. Basically, a Cheap Win is a win that is not the result of a strong outing.
- Nick Blackburn finished 4-9 on the season. He did not record a win that wasn’t a Cheap Win.
- Collectively, these pitchers finished 70-60. If you take away all of their Cheap Wins (and to be fair, their Tough Losses), their records would be a combined 45-54.
- Wade Miley was the only pitcher on the list with an ERA under 4.00.
Tough Losses |
||
Josh Johnson |
Mia |
7 |
Jeff Samardzija |
ChC |
7 |
Travis Wood |
ChC |
7 |
Jake Peavy |
CWS |
6 |
Gio Gonzalez |
Was |
6 |
Clayton Kershaw |
LAD |
6 |
A Tough Loss happens when a starter loses a game where his Game Score was over 50. Game Score measures the quality of a pitcher performance by adding points for outs, strikeouts, and pitching deep into games and by subtracting points for hits, walks, and runs allowed. Basically, a Tough Loss is a loss that is not the result of a poor outing.
- Six of Gio Gonzalez’s eight total losses were Tough Losses. Six of Clayton Kershaw’s nine total losses were Tough Losses.
- Collectively, these pitchers finished 69-69. If you take away all of their Tough Losses (and Cheap Wins), their records would be a combined 61-30.
The Marlins and the Cubs scored the second and third-fewest runs in baseball and were responsible for the top three names on the list. The Astros scored the fewest runs, but none of their pitchers were singled out for run support punishment.
Used with permission from John Dewan’s Stat of the Week®, www.statoftheweek.com.