Sunday, January 14, 2007

Predicting success

It is well known that pitchers who have a high strikeout rate in relation to total batters faced give up less runs. Not complicated. The less balls but in play by the batter, the lower chance of scoring.

The second strong indicator is groundball %. The more groundball's incurred, the higher the likelyhood of double plays, coupled with less of a chance of home runs, doubles, etc.

Success = high GB % + high K%/AB

Here are the leaders from 2006.

Name GB% K/BF
Francisco Liriano 55.33% 30.44%
Carlos Zambrano 46.88% 22.90%
Brett Myers 45.55% 22.69%
Roger Clemens 49.02% 22.62%
Jeremy Bonderman 48.17% 22.37%
John Smoltz 46.29% 21.98%
Scott Olsen 44.80% 21.81%
Felix Hernandez 57.72% 21.57%
C.C. Sabathia 45.05% 21.45%
Chris Carpenter 53.34% 20.54%
A.J. Burnett 50.49% 20.45%
Erik Bedard 48.81% 20.26%
Josh Johnson 45.77% 20.18%
Adam Loewen 48.48% 19.44%
Andy Pettitte 49.77% 19.16%

That's an elite group of pitchers. The best of the bunch are those with strikeout rates above 20% and/or groundball rates over 50%. I had already signaled out Hernandez, Carpenter, and Liriano, but check out A.J. Burnett. The latter is one of the premier pitchers in baseball when healthy.

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