Kevin Slowey Projections

Today's the day that Kevin Slowey gets his first start in a major league ballgame.  What do the numbers suggest Slowey might do?  Three projection systems (that I know of) have projections for Slowey: CHONE, ZiPS, and PECOTA.

6.6 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.3 HR/9, 4.02 ERA -- CHONE
6.1 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, 1.4 HR/9, 4.31 ERA -- ZiPS
5.9 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9, 4.16 ERA -- PECOTA

PECOTA also has comparable pitchers for Slowey, and it does its player comparisons by player seasons, rather than by player careers.  Recognizable names show up on Slowey's comparisons, which tends to be a good sign: John Maine '04, Verlander '06, Milton '98, Blanton '04, and Mussina '92, amongst others.

It's interesting to me that the three systems, with different methodologies, basically come to the same conclusion w/r/t Slowey.  Solid, if unspectacular strikeout rate, with low walk rate, and an unattractive propensity for the long ball.

That's the sort of profile that has illicited a lot of Brad Radke comparisons.  How justified are these comparisons?

3.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 5.32 ERA -- Radke 1995 (age 22)
5.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 4.46 ERA -- Radke 1996 (age 23)
5.4 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9, 4.22 ERA -- Radke, career

[Note: in 1996, the league average ERA was 5.15, so a 4.46 ERA was really pretty good.]

I'm amazed that Radke was able to have an ERA of 5.32 in '96, given that abysmal strikeout rate combined with a pretty horrific HR rate.  By his next season (181 innings and 28 starts later, I might add), he started to put things together.

Later in his career, Radke improved his already good control to a level that made him one of the best pitchers in baseball at preventing walks.  It's much too early to tell whether or not Slowey can pitch like late career Brad Radke, but I'd say that early career Brad Radke really isn't a crazy comparison, at least if you're trying to describe Slowey's style and not how his entire career will turn out.

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