Results tagged ‘ Pitcher of the Year ’
It’s been far too long and frankly, I’ve run out of excuses. So I’ll just finally pick up the thread of adding candidates for Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors. In case you forgot — and I wouldn’t blame you — the first post about MiLB PiTY mentioned Joe Gardner, John Lamb and Michael Pineda. Here, at long last, are a few more potential candidates.
Christopher Archer, RHP, Cubs: Originally drafted by the Indians in 2006, Archer has kind of flown under the radar, but it’s time to get to know him after the year he’s had in 2010. He’s fifth in the minors with a 1.97 ERA and first overall with a .190 batting average against. He’s pitched at two levels and compiled 126 K’s in 118 2/3 IP for a 9.56 K/9 ratio. At 14-2, he’s tied for the Minor League lead in wins. Still just 21, he’s been better since he moved up to Double-A, always a good sign: 7-1, 0.58 ERA in 8 starts, .169 BAA.
Kenneth McNutt, RHP, Cubs: The Cubs seem to be doing quite well in the “pitchers dominating that no one knows about” category. He actually goes by “Trey,” and the 2009 draftee is having one heckuva first full year. He just turned 21 and has split the year between the Class A Midwest League and Class A Advanced Florida State League. Combined, he’s fourth overall with a 1.87 ERA and third with a .195 BAA. He’s gone a perfect 9-0 and has 107 K’s in 91 2/3 IP. for a 10.5 K/9 ratio.
Matt Packer, LHP, Indians: Can’t ignore the MiLB ERA leader, can we? The 2009 draftee has spent nearly all of the year in Class A Lake County, where as a 22-year-old he’s a touch old to be considered a “prospect.” That being said, he’s done nothing but pitch well while starting and relieving. He got double-jumped to Double-A and gave up one earned run over seven innings, so maybe there’s something more here. Let’s see how he finishes up, but his 1.58 ERA and his 0.94 WHIP (good for third) make him belong on this list.
Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves: He’s not here only because someone recommended him in comments. The 19-year-old has been promoted not once, but twice, and continued to excel. Now in Double-A, the right-hander has a combined 2.34 ERA and .204 batting average against. he’s 11th overall in strikeouts with 138 K’s. His 1.02 WHIP is 10th and is seventh with that BAA. He’s averaging 10.44 K/9 for the year and his 4.18 K/BB ratio is nothing to sneeze at, either.
As always, feel free to make more recommendations in comments. It’s coming up on draft signing deadline time, so I’ll probably be focused on that until the deadline passes on Monday night.
We’re on a roll here now and I wanted to keep the momentum going. Over the last two days, I provided 10 potential candidates for Player of the Year in the Minor Leagues. Now it’s time to move on to pitchers.
Once again, here’s the disclaimer: Pitcher of the Year does not necessarily mean prospect of the year. I’m looking at performance, not status. With that in mind, here are three nominees for your consideration. As always, please interact and give suggestions in comments.
Joe Gardner, RHP, Indians: Not a bad first season for the 2009
third-round selection. The right-hander has held hitters at two levels
to a .188 BAA, fourth lowest in MiLB. At the same time, he’s been a
groundball machine, topping MiLB with a 3.50 GO/AO ratio. He’s struck
out 113 in 104 innings and has a 1.07 WHIP to go along with a 2.77 ERA.
John Lamb, LHP, Royals: Other arms in this system may get the attention (Crow, Montgomery), but that should change now. The 2008 fifth-round pick just turned 20 this month and has already jumped a level, from Class A to Class A Advanced ball. And he’s pitched better up a level. Overall, he leads Minor League Baseball with a 1.38 ERA and hitters have hit just .197 against him (good for seventh lowest in MiLB). His 0.98 WHIP is eighth lowest. He’s seventh overall with 128 K’s, doing that while walking just 32 in 110 2/3 IP.
Michael Pineda, RHP, Mariners: Just 21 years old, he’s already in Triple-A. Combined, he’s gone 11-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 18 starts. Over 106 IP, he’s struck out 109 while walking just 26. The right-hander has held opposing hitters to a .219 batting average against (just .196 in his five Triple-A starts thus far).
More to come…
When I was in middle school, I had a math teacher who would end each class by saying, “See you tomorrow.” When it got to Friday, we pointed out that tomorrow would actually be the weekend and then would say, “No, I mean mathematical tomorrow.” He meant, of course, the next time we’d have math with him, which was Monday.
I point this out to you not to show you how fun a teacher Mr. Morris was, but as a means to explain what I’ve meant when I’ve said, “I’ll discuss Pitcher of the Year candidates tomorrow.” Clearly, I meant mathematical tomorrow.
So, here we are and I’m finally ready. And, ironically, I’ve used some math (sort of) to try and come up with the best candidates. Let me take a minute to explain my crude methodology: I started with a list of 30 of the best Minor Legue pitchers for the 2009 season. I then ranked them according to a number of statistical categories (my thanks to those who helped figure out the best ones to use — you know who you are). In the end, I used:
ERA, batting average against, K/BB, WHIP and HR rate (HR/9). If a pitcher finished first in a category, he got one point, second place got two points and on down to 30. Obviously, the pitchers with the lower overall ratings were “better.”
Before all you true stats hounds chime in, I understand this is less than perfect. It doesn’t take level or league into account, it doesn’t look at home park factors or anything about the defense playing behind the pitcher. It doesn’t look at age according to level, either. In the end, though, picking a pitcher (or player) of the year is a little subjective and any statistical arguments you’re going to make will be somewhat arbitrary.
I’ll also note that there are no relievers considered on this list. Maybe that’s a bias of mine, but for whatever reason we’ll keep this to starters. I’m going to list them in order of my ranking. Here goes nothing.
1. Daniel Hudson, RHP, Chicago White Sox
9th in ERA (2.32), 2nd in BAA (.200), 3rd in K/BB (4.88), 1st in WHIP (0.94), 7th in HR Rate (0.31)
He’s the only pitcher to finish in the top 10 in all five categories. The fact he did it across four levels certainly doesn’t hurt his case.
2. Bradley Meyers, RHP, Washington Nationals
1st in ERA (1.72), 19th in BAA (.223), 12th in K/BB (3.38), 6th in WHIP (1.05), 3rd in HR Rate (0.20)
3. Travis Wood, LHP, Cincinnati Reds
2nd in ERA (1.77), 3rd in BAA (.204), 23rd in K/BB (2.55), 4th in WHIP (1.04), 11th in HR rate (0.32)
4. Rudy Owens, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
4th in ERA (2.10), 16th in BAA (.219), 1st in K/BB (6.55), 2nd in WHIP (0.94), 26th in HR rate (0.80)
5. Zach McAllister, RHP, New York Yankees
7th in ERA (2.23), 17th in BAA (.220), 17th in K/BB (2.91), 9th in WHIP (1.08), 6th in HR rate (0.30)
6. Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants
3rd in ERA (1.85), 15th in BAA (.217), 21st in K/BB (2.71), 3rd in WHIP (1.02), 15th in HR rate (0.41)
The rest of the top 10:
7. Christian Friedrich, LHP, Rockies — 60
8. Evan Anundsen, RHP, Brewers — 60
9. Brett Lorin, RHP, Pirates — 60
10. Steve Hirschfeld, RHP, Twins — 61
Are these the only 10 pitchers worth talking about for this? Maybe not. This is by no means perfect — Anundsen and Hirschfeld, for instance, are largely creations of the pitching-friendly Florida State League. Do Owens and McAllister belong in the top 5? Should Bumgarner be higher? It’s all food for thought and hopefully will stir up some debate. That being said — and again, this is only my opinion — you’re going to have a hard time convincing me Daniel Hudson is not the Pitcher of the Year.