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Teach me about K/BB ratio

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Postby BritSox » Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:50 am

reynolds80 wrote:
BritSox wrote:
Ground ball rate doesn't matter much at all(in so far as it does, everything else being equal a low GB% is a good thing)


Simply not true. Flyball pitchers are prone to gopheritis, it has been proven time and again. It is optimal for a pitcher to induce groundballs, except in the rare case of having a horrendous infield defense and huge outfield dimensions.


You're just wrong here. Since we're already taking into account HR/9, flyball pitchers' 'gopheritis' is factored in. BABIP on flyballs is lower than on groundballs. Therefore, given two pitchers with a similar track record in terms of K/BB and HR/9, the flyball pitcher is the better bet.

Though, in the real world, a flyballer with a similar HR/9 is likely to have a much better K/BB, so it doesn't actually seem likely such a pair could exist.
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Postby RAmst23 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:23 am

BritSox wrote:K/BB and HR/9. The only tools you'll ever need in evaluating pitchers.


What happens when you have pitchers who rank near top of K/BB (Good) and near bottom of HR/9 (Bad)?? Schilling, Haren, Mussina, Brett Myers, Arroyo, David Bush, Aaron Harang, Jake Peavy...

You would need to use additional stats to prove guys worth then, wouldn't you? So, I don't see how your statement is accurate.
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Postby BritSox » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:53 pm

RAmst23 wrote:
BritSox wrote:K/BB and HR/9. The only tools you'll ever need in evaluating pitchers.


What happens when you have pitchers who rank near top of K/BB (Good) and near bottom of HR/9 (Bad)?? Schilling, Haren, Mussina, Brett Myers, Arroyo, David Bush, Aaron Harang, Jake Peavy...

You would need to use additional stats to prove guys worth then, wouldn't you? So, I don't see how your statement is accurate.


That's a ridiculous statement. If two stats measured the exact same thing, showed the exact same guys to be valuable, one of them would be unnecessary. Both preventing homeruns and striking out more than you walk are important, so you need to use both. That they show different things does not in any way suggest that you need more stats- it merely shows that you cannot get by with fewer.

What do you do with guys who rank near the top in power numbers, but low in BA or Speed? Answer: you rank them below the people who are good in both, above those who are bad in both, and around the people who are average in both. Same here.

It has been shown that pitchers have very little control over what happens once a ball is put in play, over the long term. What they can control is how often they get the batter out without giving him the chance to put the ball in play (K's), how often he allows the hitter to take first without the defense having a chance to make a play (walks) and how often the batter is able to jack it out of the yard (HR).

Then, you can use K/BB in place of the individual K and BB rates to save time. It's nice to use both, to get that bit more detail- but in a basic analysis, you don't need them, K/BB gets the job done.
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Postby PlayingWithFire » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:58 pm

still haven't answered my Saarloos example...
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Postby BritSox » Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:33 pm

PlayingWithFire wrote:still haven't answered my Saarloos example...


Because it's worthless. When has Saarloos ever had good K/BB and HR/9 in the majors? Prospects bust sometimes, big wow.

Let me guess, Greg Maddux' entire career was a fluke.
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Postby PlayingWithFire » Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:47 pm

BritSox wrote:
PlayingWithFire wrote:still haven't answered my Saarloos example...


Because it's worthless. When has Saarloos ever had good K/BB and HR/9 in the majors? Prospects bust sometimes, big wow.

Let me guess, Greg Maddux' entire career was a fluke.


No, Maddux does everything other than k extremely well and his k-rate was acceptable.

My point is that when scouting prospects, stuff absolutely matter. And the definite statement that k/bb and hr/9 is all you need is just plain not accurate, sure those 2 stats helps. But so does a lot of other factors.
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Postby BritSox » Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:35 pm

PlayingWithFire wrote:
BritSox wrote:
PlayingWithFire wrote:still haven't answered my Saarloos example...


Because it's worthless. When has Saarloos ever had good K/BB and HR/9 in the majors? Prospects bust sometimes, big wow.

Let me guess, Greg Maddux' entire career was a fluke.


No, Maddux does everything other than k extremely well and his k-rate was acceptable.

My point is that when scouting prospects, stuff absolutely matter. And the definite statement that k/bb and hr/9 is all you need is just plain not accurate, sure those 2 stats helps. But so does a lot of other factors.


Firstly, let me begin by saying we're talking MLB pitchers, not prospects here.

Obviously, I'm not arguing that MLB teams should never use traditional scouting methods in evaluating prospects.

Maddux during his peak had a decent K-rate, almost never walked anyone, and gave up very few HR. THat's why he was successful. It's as simple as that. Every elite pitcher in the last twenty years has been good at at least two of those things- whether it be getting lots of K's and rarely walking anyone (Schilling type) limiting the walks and HR (Maddux) or getting the K's and being hard to take deep (Nolan Ryan style).

With Saarloos, I'd point out that his rep in the minors was based on one good year, in AA, in a pitcher's park whilst (as a college player) comparatively old for the level. His numbers that year were impressive, but they (and the 30 ins of excellent relief the year before) nevertheless constituted a very small sample size, barely more than half an MLB season, and there were the cautionary factors mentioned above.

Besides, I don't think anyone's surprised that a pitcher put up worse numbers in the majors than the minors. Plenty of guys who look great in AA make mediocre or worse MLBers. Oliver Perez had great stuff and minor league numbers, and look what happened to him. All your Saarloos example has proven is that pitching prospects sometimes flame out (and, frankly, Saarloos is still an acceptable back of rotation starter in MLB).

Still, if you want to tell me the number of MPH on a guy's fastball is a better statistic to use when putting together my rankings than those two things, be my guest.
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Postby Ender » Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:56 pm

A line drive is worth 0.391 runs over average, an outfield fly 0.192, a ground ball 0.045 and an infield fly is -0.088 from last year.

Pitchers want to induce infield flies, ground balls and outfield flies in that order. Every study I've ever seen has shown that ground balls are a better result than fly balls for a pitcher. The higher a pitchers GB% the better.
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Postby Yoda » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:35 pm

Ender wrote:A line drive is worth 0.391 runs over average, an outfield fly 0.192, a ground ball 0.045 and an infield fly is -0.088 from last year.

Pitchers want to induce infield flies, ground balls and outfield flies in that order. Every study I've ever seen has shown that ground balls are a better result than fly balls for a pitcher. The higher a pitchers GB% the better.


Agreed. High K rate on top of good GB% is just gravy.
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Postby BritSox » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:44 pm

Ender wrote:A line drive is worth 0.391 runs over average, an outfield fly 0.192, a ground ball 0.045 and an infield fly is -0.088 from last year.

Pitchers want to induce infield flies, ground balls and outfield flies in that order. Every study I've ever seen has shown that ground balls are a better result than fly balls for a pitcher. The higher a pitchers GB% the better.


*Sighs*

I can't believe you're not getting this.

A big part of the advantage of a ground ball is that it is almost never a home run, yes?
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