Amnorix, thanks for the informative post below. OK, what is a good
ratio ? I picked up Casey Fossum off waivers yesterday, his ratio for
this year is 3:1 and last year was 3.7:1 , does that mean I may
have made a good pickup(dropped H Ramirez]
For starters, anything above a 4.00 is pretty damn good, and anything above a 3.00 is fairly solid. Closers tend to have a somewhat better K/BB ratio.
Think of a pitcher's K/BB ratio as the inverse of a hitter's walk and strikeout numbers. In both cases, it reveals an ability to see (or find) the strike zone and work it to your advantage.
Of course, K/BB isn't the be-all and end-all of analyzing a pitcher. While all of us Red Sox fans hope Fossum comes around, there's just ignoring his 7+ ERA so far this year.
I think Fossum does have more upside than H Ramirez, but he isn't anyone I would throw out there right now. If you have the room and can leave Fossum on your bench to see if he comes around, that's not unreasonable. There might be someone else who's actually doing reasonably well that you might want instead of Fossum, however.
"You can observe a lot just by watching."
for his young career, mark prior is a 4.095:1 K/BB ratio.
for his old career, randy johnson is a 3.046:1 K/BB ratio.
for his getting old career, pedro martinez is a 4.369:1 K/BB ratio.
and yeah, i still must vindicate myself, i got laughed at twice for drafting prior in the third round. shrug. i keep telling people that this kid is a top tier pitcher. even before researching this, i had prior up there with pedro as one of the best pitchers in baseball, bar none.
well, i have faith in both the cubs organization and mark himself to make sure that doesnt happen. mark's pitching for that first big contract in a few years, and the cubs should realize there's no way that they're letting this kid go... basically, he's the anti-maddux as they'll want to keep him during his prime and for 10-15 years.
maddux wasn't even this good at the start of his career, pretty scary, eh?
While K:BB is a good measurement, you have to combine it with WHIP. There are those pitchers who will strike out 2 for every walk, but still give up 2 hits per inning.
This is how I do it:
1) Look for pitchers with a low WHIP. If it's a starter and they have a low WHIP and a high ERA, don't worry about it.. they're the victim of bad luck (unless they have a very high HR : IP ratio).
2) Of those with a good WHIP (Starters <1.20 and Relievers <1.10), check out their K:BB to figure out which ones are the better ones.
3) After that, check out their K/9 and Innings per Start. Make sure they're not throwing too many innings (or pitches) in concecutive starts (like Matt Morris last year). For relievers, check out their appearences/ week... look for guys that see the field a lot.
Basically it's WHIP, then K:BB then K:9, and I look at ERA last. If you see a guy (e.g. a starter) with a very high ERA after 5 starts (say 7.00+) but a WHIP in the 1.05 range and a K:BB of 3:1, he'd be a great guy to target for a trade, since this is a guy who will probably get better.
Just my oppinion, and remember I'm the guy who drafted Freddy Garcia...