Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Top 60 Starters, 21-30

30. Mike Mussina (.622 NW%, 126 ARA, +37 WAA, +82 WAR)
29. Curt Schilling (.606, 130, +40, +83)
28. Ed Walsh (.602, 137, +44, +86)
27. Miner Brown (.605, 131, +44, +88)
26. Tom Glavine (.583, 119, +35, +93)
25. Whitey Ford (.646, 131, +42, +86)
24. Bob Feller (.601, 122, +38, +91)
23. Pedro Martinez (.680, 157, +53, +89)
22. Robin Roberts (.551, 114, +32, +97)
21. Fergie Jenkins (.557, 117, +36, +98)

MUSSINA: As we start hitting active pitchers, we have to be careful about jumping the gun, although as I’ve mentioned previously, the low baseline used here makes it hard for pitchers to lose too much ground.

SCHILLING: I’ve never been a particular fan of Schilling, but he’s got the credentials to be here. He’s always struck me as a self promoter (bloody sock), crybaby (Ben Davis’ bunt to breakup the perfect game), or a combination thereof (taking a bat to the Questec camera). But the man can pitch, and as MHS would want me to point out, his playoff performances have been unreal.

FORD & BROWN: These two are a pretty good match, stats-wise. They each pitched for dominant teams, and then all of their major measures match up pretty well, except the Chairman’s W-L record is more impressive. I give Ford a boost for pitching 146 World Series innings with a 2.71 ERA (although he was “only” 10-8), but Brown himself did some solid work in October (5-4).

FELLER: He is low here compared to other lists, because he is the great pitcher most hurt by my refusal to give WWII credit. If you conservatively give him sixteen more WAR, he’s in the top fifteen, at least.

MARTINEZ: There is no pitcher in history with a better ARA or NW%, although if he does pitch some more, he’ll likely decline in those categories (whether his standing on the all-time lists will decline is another matter). Some will claim that he is not durable enough, but his +89 WAR puts him in this class. I put him ahead of Glavine and Feller because of the (very slight) peak/WAA consideration (he is eighth all time in WAA, with only the top eight pitchers on my list ranking ahead of him), but it’s possible that he’ll work his way over them (and others) in WAR on his own. Or he could be almost done. Either way, he’s one of the greats.

ROBERTS & JENKINS: Bill James has written a few times about how they are a pretty good match for each other stylistically, and in the end, they had nearly equivalent value. They tower above the other pitcher that James put in that group (Catfish Hunter).

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