I've updated a study I started about this time last season and posted on the Cafe forums. In this study, I looked at the probability of a SP slumping in their second season in the majors. The qualification I used to determine a "first season" was for the pitcher, to have thrown around 50 -60 innings (10 games) as a starting pitcher. Then to have pitched again the following season as either a starter or a reliever. My findings, initially showed over 70% of these guys actually regress in their second seasons.
For those that didn't, it proved to be a fantsatic source to identify future stud pitchers or at least great sleeper picks for the next season.
This time last year, my findings identified the following pitchers who fell into the later category from 2000-2002.
It also highlighted two potential red flag pitchers, in their second seasons, not to value too highly, Brandon Webb and Dontrelle Willis.
To keep things simple, I had based this study solely on ERA, BAA and WHIP. 59 Starting Pitchers were looked at, which I know is not a large sample size but it served useful as a starting point. They also had to have started in the bigs since 2000 (I needed a cut off point).
This year, I've enlarged that sample size to almost 80, and the results are now closer to an 80% regression. Two guys it has identified this season as potential future studs are Jeremy Bonderman and Rich Harden.
Now you may very well be saying, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to identify that Bonderman and Harden were potential studs anyway.
Also true is the fact that many on the list that regressed, are no longer pitching in the majors.
All I'm trying to do here is create some discussion around my findings that a huge % of pitchers regress in their second seasons and beyond. No doubt that the reason for this is familiarity. What this also shows me, is the guys that do improve or at least show little difference in their numbers from the 1st to the 2nd years, are generally the real deal.
For those that are interested, the full list that regressed from 2000-2002 follows.
Roy Oswalt and Oliver Perez and then,
The 2003 list besides Bonderman and Harden, make interesting reading. I'll post it shortly.
When you're right no one remembers, when you're wrong no one forgets - NZF