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MLB Pitchers - World Rankings - April 2012

Starting Pitcher's World Rankings The first edition of the 2012 Starting Pitcher's World Rankings is ready to be released as April rolls to an end. As documented early this spring, the ranking is a simple statistical model of effectiveness using 9 categories, 2 groups of samples based on years & weighted levels on of each of these. 18 independent influences of data reduced to a baseline number added together with its corresponding weight.
Value Formula Years Weight
A Walks Per 9 Innings 2009-12 11.4
B Walks Per 9 Innings 2011-12 7.3
C Batters Faced 2009-12 2.9
D Batters Faced 2011-12 1.5
E Complete Games 2009-12 2.2
F Complete Games 2011-12 1.1
G Defense Ind ERA 2009-12 7.1
H Defense Ind ERA 2011-12 4.1
I ERA + (Ballpark eff) 2009-12 6.2
J ERA + (Ballpark eff) 2011-12 3.1
K Hits Per 9 Innings 2009-12 13.9
L Hits Per 9 Innings 2011-12 7.6
M IP/GS 2009-12 6.1
N IP/GS 2011-12 3.6
O K's Per 9 Innings 2009-12 12.5
P K's Per 9 Innings 2011-12 6.2
Q Wins 2009-12 2.1
R Wins 2011-12 1.6
W Weight Factor lower case (a,b,c,etc.)
X Total Value (Score) TV leading #
Y X/ Highest Total Value (Rating)
X=(A/a*w)+(B/b*w)+(C/c*w)+(D/d*w)+(E/e*w)+(F/f*w)+(G/g*w)+(H/h*w)+(I/i*w)+(J/j*w)+(K/k*w)+(L/l*w)+(M/m*w)+(N/n*w)+(O/o*w)+(P/p*w)+(Q/q*w)+(R/r*w)
The values of A, C, E, etc. are data samples from 2009-2012. This allows the formula to have a solid size of relevant data to analyze. This data makes up a little over 60% of the weight on the data itself. The remaining weight comes from last year's stats and the early stats from 2012. This set of data (B, D, F, etc.) has a lower weight but also influences the 2009-12 data sets and its weight is emphasizing smaller sample sizes of 2011-12. The purpose of the data is to get a live look at the top Starting Pitchers is MLB & compare the results among the other starters to get a representation of each other. Emphasis on the data is put on an ability to show dominance with the strikeout, get hitters out in a ballpark neutral and defensive independent fashion & keep runners off base via both the walk and the hit. A lot of stats have influence on each other but none like the strikeout. This dominance can have influence on BB/9, DICE, ERA+ & H/9... But it isn't everything. There are plenty of pitchers out there who can strike hitters out but still end up in trouble game after game. This lack of command shoots these same indicators up so the idea with this is to get a variety of stats to create a base and then emphasize the stats the pitcher has the most control over. The biggest change from the end of the 2011 list to the live rankings during the 2012 season is that the 2008 data falls off. The influence that year had is gone, whether good or bad. The Results Once a value is created it can be categorized. Below is the chart to indicate the current results. This chart has the ability to slot a pitcher into various roles on a starting staff at any given time. It can fluctuate however. A major influence is the Youth Dominating Effect a young pitcher can have on the data. Smaller sample sizes and high dominance can make the baseline data so extreme it lowers everyone in the data sample. As soon as dominance levels and sample size increases we should see a return to normality in the chart. (Foreshadowing) Current Chart Indicators
HOF LEVEL 135 +
ACE LEVEL 125 +
Solid #1 Starter 115 +
Solid #2 Starter 105 +
Solid #3 Starter 100 +
#Solid #4 Starter 95 +
Borderline MLB/AAA 90 +
Replacement Level Under 90
Minimums do apply to the data. A pitcher must have 25 starts in his career and 10 of them must have occurred over the 2011 & 12 seasons. This is keeping Stephen Strasburg off this list until his next start. The influence Strasburg is going to have on May's SP World Rankings could be mind-boggling. With his stats influencing everyone else's numbers we may see a huge shift in the scale of scores in regard to the corresponding team role. An argument can be made that he is the best pitchers in baseball, right now! The level of dominance that he possesses is unprecedented. With his career K/BB over 5.6 (!), a 2012 ERA+ of 336 (!), and his complete unwillingness to give up the long ball, we are witnessing something very special in D.C. This rule has now allowed Josh Johnson to join this group at this point however, debuting as the #8 pitcher in MLB. A dominating pitcher in his own right, health has really been the only thing keeping him from knocking on the door of the pitching elite. Without further adieu, here is the first list in 2012 of World Rankings for Starting Pitchers. These Guy's Better Be Pitching On Opening Day
World Rankings - SP Through 4-24-12 Last Poll
# Name Rating Score Rank (+/-) Score +/-
1 Roy Halladay 1.000 150.794 1 (--) 3.0
2 Justin Verlander 0.943 142.209 3 (1) 5.7
3 Cliff Lee 0.920 138.796 2 (-1) -0.5
4 Clayton Kershaw 0.884 133.324 6 (2) 4.1
5 Dan Haren 0.878 132.325 5 (--) 1.2
6 Jered Weaver 0.873 131.592 8 (2) 4.3
7 CC Sabathia 0.859 129.602 4 (-3) -1.6
8 Josh Johnson 0.853 128.617 #N/A #N/A
9 James Shields 0.829 124.970 10 (1) 1.4
10 C.J. Wilson 0.820 123.641 15 (5) 5.3
11 Tim Lincecum 0.816 123.050 9 (-2) -3.4
12 Zack Greinke 0.815 122.877 12 (--) 2.9
13 Matt Cain 0.813 122.581 11 (-2) 2.4
14 Cole Hamels 0.799 120.505 13 (-1) 0.6
15 Jon Lester 0.794 119.758 14 (-1) 0.5
16 David Price 0.789 118.971 19 (3) 3.8
17 Josh Beckett 0.775 116.820 17 (--) -0.6
18 Chris Carpenter 0.774 116.686 18 (--) 0.8
19 Ricky Romero 0.771 116.269 23 (4) 4.8
20 Brandon McCarthy 0.766 115.487 28 (8) 6.9
21 Doug Fister 0.764 115.200 16 (-5) -2.5
Justin Verlander takes over the #2 spot from Cliff Lee. This is due in large part to his 2008 statistics coming off the current data matrix. His abysmal 1.87 K/BB ratio in 2008 lead to the worst year of his career. 2008 was also a terrible year for C.J. Wilson. Part of this was the year he had; terrible across the board. The other part was he wasn't a full time starter yet and didn't benefit from any IP/GS or BF indicators. Brandon McCarthy moved up from #28 up to #20 after eliminating limited 2008 data. On the flip side of these guys is Tim Lincecum. 2008 was an incredible year for him as he won his first Cy Young award. Those numbers come off the board and while still maintaining solid numbers since then he certainly has not performed as well. On to the #2's
World Rankings - SP Through 4-24-12 Last Poll
# Name Rating Score Rank (+/-) Score +/-
22 Matt Garza 0.746 112.447 22 (--) 0.9
23 Carl Pavano 0.744 112.180 45 (22) 6.9
24 Yovani Gallardo 0.743 112.043 34 (10) 4.7
25 Gavin Floyd 0.740 111.551 25 (--) 1.4
26 Ian Kennedy 0.739 111.497 35 (9) 4.7
27 Madison Bumgarner 0.736 111.006 30 (3) 3.0
28 Ervin Santana 0.731 110.186 20 (-8) -2.3
29 Justin Masterson 0.729 109.983 26 (-3) 0.0
30 Mat Latos 0.719 108.466 41 (11) 2.7
31 Tommy Hanson 0.718 108.236 63 (32) 9.2
32 Hiroki Kuroda 0.718 108.202 31 (-1) 0.4
33 Johnny Cueto 0.715 107.842 40 (7) 2.0
34 Mark Buehrle 0.714 107.742 32 (-2) 0.2
35 Daniel Hudson 0.714 107.714 42 (7) 2.1
36 Brandon Morrow 0.714 107.659 39 (3) 1.7
37 John Danks 0.713 107.575 33 (-4) 0.2
38 Colby Lewis 0.712 107.315 53 (15) 4.7
39 Max Scherzer 0.711 107.209 48 (9) 3.0
40 Ted Lilly 0.711 107.201 38 (-2) 1.1
41 Jake Peavy 0.710 107.102 50 (9) 3.1
42 Scott Baker 0.707 106.635 24 (-18) -3.7
43 Edwin Jackson 0.699 105.389 52 (9) 1.9
44 Shaun Marcum 0.698 105.325 61 (17) 5.7
45 Tim Hudson 0.698 105.272 47 (2) 0.9
Look who has shot up the list: Carl Pavano. Getting rid of 2008 was huge for him as he jumps 22 spots up to #23. Erving Santana was not as lucky as his rock solid 2008 is now gone. With the way he has been throwing so far in 2012 his stock is definitely falling Middle of the Road
World Rankings - SP Through 4-24-12 Last Poll
# Name Rating Score Rank (+/-) Score +/-
46 Chad Billingsley 0.696 104.931 37 (-9) -1.4
47 Ricky Nolasco 0.694 104.724 46 (-1) -0.3
48 Josh Tomlin 0.693 104.560 54 (6) 2.5
49 Alexi Ogando 0.691 104.265 43 (-6) -1.1
50 Vance Worley 0.688 103.815 #N/A #N/A
51 Erik Bedard 0.687 103.615 56 (5) 2.5
52 Jeremy Hellickson 0.687 103.538 60 (8) 3.2
53 Michael Pineda 0.685 103.279 36 (-17) -3.5
54 Jason Vargas 0.684 103.079 72 (18) 5.8
55 Jordan Zimmermann 0.683 103.026 64 (9) 4.1
56 Brandon Beachy 0.681 102.616 66 (10) 4.0
57 Trevor Cahill 0.680 102.531 67 (10) 3.9
58 Jeff Niemann 0.678 102.197 65 (7) 3.5
59 Ryan Dempster 0.677 102.082 51 (-8) -1.8
60 Derek Holland 0.674 101.597 75 (15) 4.7
61 R.A. Dickey 0.673 101.457 71 (10) 4.0
62 Jeremy Guthrie 0.671 101.148 57 (-5) 0.4
63 Randy Wolf 0.668 100.732 58 (-5) 0.2
64 Clay Buchholz 0.667 100.520 84 (20) 6.1
65 Josh Collmenter 0.665 100.316 #N/A #N/A
66 Jair Jurrjens 0.664 100.158 55 (-11) -1.8
67 A.J. Burnett 0.662 99.777 68 (1) 1.3
68 Francisco Liriano 0.656 98.949 70 (2) 0.6
69 Philip Humber 0.653 98.435 79 (10) 2.3
70 Jhoulys Chacin 0.651 98.102 78 (8) 1.8
71 Matt Harrison 0.648 97.645 80 (9) 1.7
72 Ryan Vogelsong 0.647 97.568 96 (24) 5.0
73 Bronson Arroyo 0.646 97.443 82 (9) 2.6
74 Rick Porcello 0.646 97.374 85 (11) 3.0
75 Derek Lowe 0.646 97.374 62 (-13) -2.2
76 Kyle Lohse 0.645 97.308 69 (-7) -1.1
77 Luke Hochevar 0.640 96.509 81 (4) 1.2
78 Brett Anderson 0.637 96.108 132 (54) 13.6
79 Bud Norris 0.637 96.022 95 (16) 3.4
80 Joe Saunders 0.634 95.572 74 (-6) -1.4
81 Kevin Millwood 0.632 95.310 #N/A #N/A
82 Tommy Hunter 0.631 95.132 131 (49) 12.6
Here we see the debut of a couple of young pitchers in Josh Collmenter & Vance Worley. The opposite of young, Kevin Millwood, qualifies now as has reached the 10 start minimum with his 3 early starts this season. He's so bad. Tommy Hunter's 2008 season cleared from his data. This helped shoot him up from his replacement level score of 82.5 up to a more appropriate #4 level of 95.1. A Pitch Away from AAA
World Rankings - SP Through 4-24-12 Last Poll
# Name Rating Score Rank (+/-) Score +/-
83 Jonathon Niese 0.629 94.887 102 (19) 3.5
84 Joel Piñeiro 0.629 94.860 86 (2) 0.7
85 Paul Maholm 0.628 94.625 73 (-12) -2.4
86 Bruce Chen 0.627 94.497 103 (17) 3.6
87 John Lackey 0.623 93.979 77 (-10) -2.5
88 Aaron Harang 0.620 93.537 93 (5) 0.8
89 Chris Capuano 0.618 93.253 108 (19) 4.0
90 Jorge De La Rosa 0.616 92.964 76 (-14) -3.6
91 Carlos Zambrano 0.615 92.788 90 (-1) -0.6
92 Tim Stauffer 0.612 92.360 88 (-4) -1.6
93 Phil Hughes 0.612 92.335 114 (21) 4.5
94 Mike Pelfrey 0.611 92.102 89 (-5) -1.7
95 Homer Bailey 0.610 92.008 118 (23) 4.7
96 Joe Blanton 0.608 91.729 #N/A #N/A
97 Jason Hammel 0.608 91.721 116 (19) 4.2
98 Brian Duensing 0.608 91.683 105 (7) 1.0
99 Mike Leake 0.607 91.494 109 (10) 2.3
100 Clayton Richard 0.606 91.409 119 (19) 4.4
101 J.A. Happ 0.606 91.361 113 (12) 3.4
102 Wade Davis 0.605 91.251 107 (5) 0.7
103 Charlie Morton 0.604 91.096 104 (1) 0.3
104 Fausto Carmona 0.603 90.859 92 (-12) -1.9
105 Kevin Correia 0.600 90.461 121 (16) 3.8
One guy on this list who really has a chance to jump up this list is Homer Bailey. He has shown a better command of his pitches, although he has seemed to have completely lost the ability to strikeout hitters so far this season. Small sample size though and if his K/9 can get back to where it was the last couple years you could see him jump up this list rather easily. There isn't much data holding down his numbers from previous years. If he pitches well and often in 2012 it will have a huge influence on data. Hide the Children
World Rankings - SP Through 4-24-12 Last Poll
# Name Rating Score Rank (+/-) Score +/-
106 Chris Volstad 0.595 89.763 115 (9) 2.0
107 Chris Narveson 0.592 89.276 128 (21) 5.6
108 Nick Blackburn 0.591 89.081 106 (-2) -1.5
109 James McDonald 0.590 88.996 120 (11) 2.3
110 Jeff Karstens 0.590 88.986 111 (1) 0.5
111 Mike Minor 0.587 88.569 #N/A #N/A
112 Barry Zito 0.587 88.566 #N/A #N/A
113 Jake Westbrook 0.587 88.495 122 (9) 1.9
114 Tom Gorzelanny 0.586 88.349 124 (10) 3.0
115 Randy Wells 0.583 87.865 123 (8) 1.7
116 John Lannan 0.583 87.853 98 (-18) -3.9
117 Brett Cecil 0.582 87.794 117 (--) 0.4
118 Jeff Francis 0.577 86.947 112 (-6) -1.2
119 Dillon Gee 0.574 86.517 125 (6) 2.1
120 Jason Marquis 0.568 85.637 138 (18) 7.2
121 Jake Arrieta 0.564 85.008 141 (20) 7.5
122 Anthony Swarzak 0.555 83.625 #N/A #N/A
123 Zach Britton 0.555 83.620 130 (7) 0.7
124 Kyle Kendrick 0.550 82.972 127 (3) -0.8
125 Ross Detwiler 0.548 82.661 137 (12) 2.9
126 Travis Wood 0.544 82.088 126 (--) -1.9
127 Brad Bergesen 0.542 81.795 134 (7) 0.3
128 Carlos Carrasco 0.541 81.575 151 (23) 11.0
129 Kyle Davies 0.529 79.743 133 (4) -2.4
130 Dustin Moseley 0.527 79.524 136 (6) -1.7
131 Wade LeBlanc 0.519 78.261 139 (8) 0.1
132 Brian Matusz 0.507 76.469 132 (18) 4.1
133 David Huff 0.503 75.880 142 (9) -1.2
134 Jo-Jo Reyes 0.496 74.779 143 (9) -1.6
135 Aaron Cook 0.493 74.387 135 (--) -7.1
136 Tyler Chatwood 0.493 74.384 147 (11) -0.8
137 Chris Tillman 0.486 73.235 149 (12) -1.4
138 Dontrelle Willis 0.480 72.449 148 (10) -2.4
139 Casey Coleman 0.477 71.859 151 (12) -1.3
140 Andrew Miller 0.471 71.095 144 (4) -5.0
141 Sean O'Sullivan 0.409 61.696 153 (12) -1.0
There are a couple of guys on this list that could be very solid starters. Mike Minor recently had a solid outing for the Braves and with the trouble that they are having health-wise he should be given a legitimate chance to keep his spot in that rotation. I am a big fan of James McDonald, Zach Britton & Jake Arrieta Unfortunately Anthony Swarzak now qualifies for this list... ugh. When the Twins are rolling out Nick Blackburn, Jason Marquis, Swarzak and - coming soon - Liam Hendriks as Replacement Level pitchers on any given night, we can almost be assured of a long, long season.

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