Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Top 60 Starters, 11-20

20. Don Sutton (.543 NW%, 111 ARA, +29 WAA, +102 WAR)
19. Nolan Ryan (.530, 110, +27, +102)
18. Carl Hubbell (.600, 141, +47, +97)
17. Randy Johnson (.661, 130, +46, +99)
16. Jim Palmer (.559, 127, +46, +101)
15. Bob Gibson (.583, 127, +47, +101)
14. Phil Niekro (.552, 111, +32, +107)
13. Steve Carlton (.568, 113, +35, +107)
12. Bert Blyleven (.537, 118, +42, +111)
11. Gaylord Perry (.542, 114, +38, +112)

SUTTON & RYAN: They are very close, almost identical, in terms of value. I went with Ryan because his style certainly relied less on his defense. But it is amazing how big the disconnect in public opinion is, when in fact there is a good case to be made that they are equals. I’m not saying it’s puzzling that Ryan gets more ink, but it’s my impression that 90% of fans would be incredulous if you claimed these two belonged in the same league.

JOHNSON: Johnson could easily be ahead of Palmer, given the Ryan-type style issues, and the quality of Palmer’s teams. Perhaps with a career rejuvenation back in Arizona, he could move up…he only averaged about three WAR in two years in New York.

BLYLEVEN: I think enough has probably been written about him in the blogosphere, don’t you?

Seeing Niekro, Blyleven, and Perry ahead of Hubbell, Gibson, and Palmer may seem strange to a lot of people, but it again is a consequence of looking at career value above replacement. I’m running out of comments to make, because everybody already knows about these guys, and rating them highly doesn’t need any justification. We are also starting to get into the area where there are big gaps in WAR that make it tougher for me to just stick one pitcher in front of another because I feel like it.

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