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2ND YEAR PITCHER SLUMPS

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2ND YEAR PITCHER SLUMPS

Postby NZF » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:06 am

This has to be considered when drafting SP's in their second season in the majors. I have had several "discussions" here on the subject this week so decided to do some investigating myself after Hootie posted that overall only 35% of first year players drop in numbers in their second year.

To keep things relatively simple I have based my study since 2000. I have excluded any pitcher that has had serious injury problems (Gil Meche, Kris Benson, Adam Eaton etc), or those that had very low ERA / WHIP 's that did result in decline but were still overall very good fantasy numbers (Roy Oswalt, Joel Pineiro, Barry Zito etc) in an attempt to make this study as fair all around as possible.

Qualifications are for pitchers to have started at least 10 games and to have pitched at least 60 innings for the first time in the majors and then to have pitched again the next season although not necessarily as a SP.

As I said the study only dates back to 2000 and a great deal is based from my memory so please feel free to delve back further or look deeper into the years 2000-2003 for other examples ( I'm pretty sure I have covered most and have a reasonably accurate overall percentage).

I have based this solely on ERA and WHIP. BAA has also been factored in but to al esser extent since it is rarely a FBL stat category.

Results: based on 53 Starting Pitchers other than the ones excluded for above stated reasons.

Only eleven pitchers from 2000-02 improved on their first year numbers.

Mark Prior
Mark Mulder
Carlos Zambrano
Josh Beckett
Eric Gagne
Brad Penny (rather elite company) and then

Jon Garland
Kip Wells
Jake Peavy
Chris Reitsma
Ted Lilly

(PEAVY, GARLAND, REITSMA, LILLY AND KIP WELLS LOOK GREAT SLEEPERS BASED ON THIS!)

Five equalled their rookie numbers:

Brett Myers
CC Sabathia
Ben Sheets
Joaquin Benoit
Kaz Ishii

37 or over 70% of all pitchers declined in their overall stats.

Mike Maroth
Mark Beuhrle
Oliver Perez
Jason Jennings
John Patterson
John Lackey
Jason Marquis
Jason Simontacchi
Aaron Cook
Damian Moss
Casey Fossum
Dan Wright
Chris George
Victor Zambrano
Brandon Duckworth
Josh Fogg
Rodrigo Lopez
Rob Bell
Rick Ankiel
Aaron Harang
Nelson Figueroa
Jorge Sosa
Bud Smith
Chad Durbin
Tomo Ohka
Dave Coggin
Bruce Chen
Dave Williams
Gary Glover
Travis Driskill
Ryan Rupe
Shawn Chacon
Josh Towers
Juan Cruz
Joe Roa
Ryan Drese
Aaron Myette

The incredible thing is most of these guys have had their best year as their first year and that reiterates to me that familiarity more than fatigue is the reason.

My argument among other things is that fatigue plays far less of a part than familiarity when assessing why a greater % of pitchers slump at the end of their first seasons and in their second seasons. It is very easy to blame fatigue but it is a way over used excuse IMO. With modern medicine, nutritional enhancements, use of weight and strengthening programms etc the modern day pitcher is so much better prepared to pitch 180-200 innings in a rookie season than ever before.

It may make very little impact to most of you on your thought process come draft day but I think this all certainly does bear thinking about.

Especially with the second year pitchers like Brandon Webb, Dontrelle Willis, Rich Harden, Jerome Robertson, Jerome Williams and to a lesser extent Jeremy Bonderman, Wayne Franklin and Jesse Foppert in mind.

Also the fact that if Hootie is right with his 35% total players, then there must be an incredible amount of hitters that improve in their second season in the majors and again using the pitcher familiarity as a guide this would also substantiate further my thoughts.
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Postby Bukoski77 » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:19 am

You sound like a guy in one of my leagues, who has won that league before. Makia wouldnt be part of your team name would it?

Great post ;-D ;-D ;-D ;-D ;-D
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Postby Fumbler » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:50 am

And i would argue that, with the exception of Buehrle, the vast majority of these guys don't get drafted anyways.

Mike Maroth
Mark Beuhrle
Oliver Perez
Jason Jennings
John Patterson
John Lackey
Jason Marquis
Jason Simontacchi
Aaron Cook
Damian Moss
Casey Fossum
Dan Wright
Chris George
Victor Zambrano
Brandon Duckworth
Josh Fogg
Rodrigo Lopez
Rob Bell
Rick Ankiel
Aaron Harang
Nelson Figueroa
Jorge Sosa
Bud Smith
Chad Durbin
Tomo Ohka
Dave Coggin
Bruce Chen
Dave Williams
Gary Glover
Travis Driskill
Ryan Rupe
Shawn Chacon
Josh Towers
Juan Cruz
Joe Roa
Ryan Drese
Aaron Myette


Their stats may have gone down, but the fact remains they're not good pitchers in the first place. I don't remember thinking highly of any of these guys (again, outside of Buehrle) going into last year's draft.

Guys like Webb and Harden don't scare me because it's pretty clear they're the real deal. Personally i do have concerns about the others you mentioned, but it's not from familiarity...i just think they have questionable talent to begin with.

Oh, and just an FYI. Foppert is out for the year. ;-)
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Postby reelbiggecko » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:58 am

Bonderman will improve. Mark my words.

Interesting to note that Ted Lilly improved, I'm taking a flyer on him.
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Postby HOOTIE » Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:59 am

It wasn't my study. It was a study done by Bill James. It covered every player that had at least a 2nd year. The results were a 35% increase, 35% decrease, and 30% no change. It's possible the hitter pitcher numbers vary from those given above. However, the flaws in your study, is your own arbritrary limits given, like games, innings, position, small sample size (53). I'm not going to go through each guy you listed and check it. I did look up Buehrle. You have him declining, because he doesn't meet your qualifications, yet here is his years

1st 4.21 era
2nd 3.29 era

If you want to challenge the study, you are going to have to account for every player that has 2 years in in history. Otherwise, i see no merit in posting a 4 year, one position, limitations study.

As far as fatigue, it's not used in every case. But it's not hard to figure a guy throwing more innings last year, then he did in 00/01/02 together, as a fatigue candidate (Meche). What you need to do, is look at the pitchers age, his last years innings totals, and look at his innings track record. Minors play less games. A young guy tossed out there for 180 innings right out of the gate, is a high candidate for fatigue.
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Postby NZF » Fri Feb 20, 2004 2:57 am

HOOTIE wrote:It wasn't my study. It was a study done by Bill James. It covered every player that had at least a 2nd year. The results were a 35% increase, 35% decrease, and 30% no change. It's possible the hitter pitcher numbers vary from those given above. However, the flaws in your study, is your own arbritrary limits given, like games, innings, position, small sample size (53). I'm not going to go through each guy you listed and check it. I did look up Buehrle. You have him declining, because he doesn't meet your qualifications, yet here is his years

1st 4.21 era
2nd 3.29 era

If you want to challenge the study, you are going to have to account for every player that has 2 years in in history. Otherwise, i see no merit in posting a 4 year, one position, limitations study.

As far as fatigue, it's not used in every case. But it's not hard to figure a guy throwing more innings last year, then he did in 00/01/02 together, as a fatigue candidate (Meche). What you need to do, is look at the pitchers age, his last years innings totals, and look at his innings track record. Minors play less games. A young guy tossed out there for 180 innings right out of the gate, is a high candidate for fatigue.


I never said it was your study, all I said was you quoted the % on a post. I certainly am not challenging the study, although I am sceptical about it's accuracy. I'm more than happy to accept the findings and it only reiterates my thoughts that of the supposed 65 % that don't have a decrease a very high % of those are hitters. As I said in my original post I realise my study has only been taken over 4 years and I would encourage and support a study done over a longer time, but at least it's a start, and as I intended hope that it has at least enough merit to help stimulate some discussion around this topic. There appears to be a number of people in this forum unwilling to show any form of flexibility or open mindedness on a number of subjects. Just because something has always been done or said a particular way, does not necessarily mean it is correct.

I explained the reasons for my parameters used in this study. Again I am more than happy to use other ones but my intention was to settle on one that appeared fair. Also as I stated it was important that the first year was predominantly one where the player was a starter. Thus the need for 10 starts.

I'm glad you brought up the example of Buehrle. In fact his first time in the majors in 2000 he was used almost entirely out of the bullpen and pitched only 51 innings in 28 games, which certainly does not give a good indication for this study. His first full year in the majors was in 2001.

2001 ERA 3.29 WHIP 1.07 BAA .230

2002 ERA 3.58 WHIP 1.24 BAA .260

2003 ERA 4.14 WHIP 1.35 BAA .278

the guy is in serious decline.

A great example of what I am saying. A high % of pitchers have their best year in the majors as their first year.

Fatigue NO

Familiarity YES

You use Meche as an example with obvious fatigue. You say he hadn't pitched for 2 years and was made to throw 186 innings in 2003 yet somehow you forget he did throw a number of innings in Double A in 2002. You also keep bringing up number of innings pitched when talking fatigue. I would challenge you on this and say the number of pitches thrown is far more important when assessing fatigue in a pitcher than IP. IP only tells part of the story.
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Postby NZF » Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:19 am

Bukoski77 wrote:You sound like a guy in one of my leagues, who has won that league before. Makia wouldnt be part of your team name would it?

Great post ;-D ;-D ;-D ;-D ;-D


Thanks. Happy you got something out of it. :-)
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Postby NZF » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:44 am

[quote="Fumbler"]And i would argue that, with the exception of Buehrle, the vast majority of these guys don't get drafted anyways.

[quote]

Exactly and going by his steady decline he shouldn't be either.
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Postby Guest » Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:24 am

Very interesting reading. Makes ya think.

Good post B-) B-) ;-D ;-D
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Re: 2ND YEAR PITCHER SLUMPS

Postby LBJackal » Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:42 am

New Zealand Fan wrote:This has to be considered when drafting SP's in their second season in the majors. I have had several "discussions" here on the subject this week so decided to do some investigating myself after Hootie posted that overall only 35% of first year players drop in numbers in their second year.


You had a ton to write in that post, so I'll just post a little something about one point:

If 35% drop in numbers, then unless over 30% stay exactly the same, more pitchers improve after their first season. And 65% of pitchers don't decline in their sophomore year.
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