ocmusicjunkie wrote:I agree that there aren't many numbers you can toss around against Peavy, except that he only has 1 season (really more like 3/4) of a season of this level under his belt. Before that, he was pitching in the 4.xx ERA range. Given, he's young. Same reason I don't think you can truly use stats to measure Harden yet... the kids came in the same time they could drink. Let me throw out a few things that don't come up in last years stats that bump Peavy out of my top five (just to make it clear, he's still in my top 10).
He was 20 and 21 when those 4.xx ERA seasons occured. He then won the NL Cy Young at 22.
First, he pitches in the NL West. I know, I know... Bonds. But that's one guy. Harden and Hudson were facing the Texas and Anaheim buzzsaws. Oswalt had St. Louis hitting and Wrigley Field. I don't put THAT much weight into division matchups, but this has to be accounted for to some level.
You forgot that two of the top hitters parks, Coors and the BOB, are in the NL West.
Finally, and I stress this is totally subjective... but I look at what they are throwing too. If we're talking about guys who are all on this level and are still rising, I think it's fair to look at their pitches. I personally think Harden, Oswalt, and Sheets have better pure 'stuff' than Peavy. Of course that doesn't always translate to better numbers. Hudson doesn't throw anything eye-popping, but he can dominate like few others, simply because of pitch selection and good execution.
The thing that sets Peavy apart from the crowd is the fact that his best pitch is his changeup. This will put a lot less stress on his arm that it would if his main pitch was a curveball, ala Sheets. And I wouldn't call a 96 MPH fastball anything to ignore and his slider is certainly one of the best in the NL as well. Oh yeah, he also throws a curveball. Besides, his delivery gives all his pitches late movement. This will all help out his arm in the long-run since his 'stuff' doesn't rely on how much spin he puts on the ball, unlike the other 'top-tier' pitchers.
Peavy could certainly end up being a top-five guy soon... but to me 3/4 of last year and 4 weeks of this season doesn't have him there yet.
And 0/0's of a season makes Harden so good? Sure, he's had some dazzling starts, but once he gets half as consistent as Peavy, then start talking about Harden in the top ten. Until then, he's just a top-ten pitching prospect.
EDIT: By NL Cy Young I meant ERA crown. Talk about fantasy