Jim Hunter, dominance and WHIP

dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭
edited December 31, 2018 3:54PM in Sports Talk

I don't know if this is my longest list, but it's close. I did something similar awhile back with hitters when the topic was Vlad Guerrero''s HOF bona fides. There, I calculated a "sustained dominance" statistic by looking only at those seasons where a hitter was in the top 10 in the OPS+ standings, and awarded 10 points for first, 9 for second, etc., and completely ignored all of their other seasons. That statistic, or my new one for pitchers, isn't a great way to capture a player's overall value, but it gives a pretty good look, I think, at how dominant a player really was, and for how long.

For hitters I used the very simple formula above, and it works because all great hitters come to bat more or less the same number of times in a season, and a player needs 502 appearances in any event to qualify for the top 10. But with pitchers, where only 162 innings are needed to qualify for a top 10, there may be other pitchers who are pitching twice as many innings as others. So the formula for pitchers is the same 10, 9, 8, ..., using ERA+ instead of OPS+, but then multiplying that by the number of innings pitched. Logically, I think this works. Coming in first in ERA+ with 175 innings is roughly half as dominant as coming in first with 350 innings. Since this created absurdly large numbers I normalized all the results so that the top score was about 100.

For my universe of pitchers I started with Hunter and then (from memory, so I may very well have left some people out - tell me if someone with a meaningful score is missing) added every starting pitcher whose career meaningfully overlapped with Hunter's. So there are pitchers whose careers ended in the late 60's and others whose careers started in the mid-70's, as well as several who started before Hunter and were still going when he retired and various other overlaps.

Herewith the list:

Seaver 99.87
Palmer 91.95
Blyleven 82.11
Gibson 75.78
Carlton 61.85
Bunning 60.11
Marichal 57.14
G. Perry 51.06
P. Niekro 44.22
McDowell 43.98
Ryan 43.86
Tiant 42.56
Rogers 39.36
Sutton 38.29
Peters 36.50
Blue 36.13
Messersmith 34.59
Guidry 33.32
Jenkins 32.54
Tanana 32.26
Reuschel 31.83
John 31.11
Chance 30.26
Horlen 29.50
Hunter 29.44
Siebert 28.68
Matlack 27.82
Eckersley 27.21
Koosman 27.01
Kaat 26.98
J. Perry 26.41
Candelaria 26.06
Pascual 24.92
McLain 24.53
Hooton 24.20
Reuss 23.58
Pappas 19.48
L. Jackson 19.27
Maloney 18.96
Denny 18.91
Nolan 18.44
Cuellar 18.42
Pizarro 17.47
Wood 17.30
Caldwell 17.13
Morris 16.77
Short 16.35
Barr 16.34
Montefusco 14.37
R. Jones 14.07
Veale 13.67
Lee 13.08
Bolin 12.96
Ellsworth 12.92
Richard 12.88
Peterson 11.88
Lolich 11.05
Hargan 10.79
May 10.62
Capra 9.64
J. Niekro 9.60
Blass 9.33
Hands 8.84
Bosman 8.58
Stange 8.43
D. Wilson 8.34
Torrez 8.28
Goltz 8.20
Barber 8.13
Merritt 8.10
McNally 7.28
Wright 6.95
Renko 6.66
Leonard 6.50
Bahnsen 5.94
K. Forsch 5.70
Dierker 5.43
McGlothen 5.27
Queen 5.22
Richert 5.17
A. Jackson 5.17
B. Forsch 5.11
Stottlemyre 5.01
Downing 3.90
Cleveland 3.02
Sadecki 2.97
E. Wilson 2.35
Osteen 2.24
Figueroa 2.18
Gullett 1.94
Singer 1.40
Wise 1.21
Stone 1.11
Coleman -
Billingham -
Stoneman -
Reed -
Dobson -
Pattin -
Fryman -
Lonborg -
Grant -
Odom -
Moose -
Briles -
Ellis -
Cloninger -

You'll note that the first nine are HOFers, and I think in a slightly revised order these are the nine best pitchers from this era. I don't know how meaningful that is, but it serves as a sort of reality check in any event. I think that a solid HOF case can be made for every pitcher with a score north of 40 - the top 9 plus Ryan, McDowell and Tiant. Below that the only other HOFers are Sutton and Jenkins (not terribly dominant, but very, very good for a very, very long time), Eckersley (this stat captures only his years as a starter), and Hunter (you'll find him right below Joe Horlen and right above Sonny Siebert) and Morris (below a few names I'm willing to bet some of you have never heard before). Of the non-HOFers below 40, I don't think a good HOF case could be made for any of them.

And note that Hunter does beat Koosman and Pappas and a few others who I think were better pitchers than Hunter. The reason this happens, and if this comports with your view of what the HOF should be then this is a feature not a bug, is that this method ignores bad seasons. When Hunter was at his best he was better than Pappas and Koosman at their best and he gets points for that. When Hunter was at his worst he was worse than Pappas and Koosman at their worst, but there's no offset for that here. He still loses to Blue - there's no reasonable way to get Hunter past Blue on any list.

And a thought occurred to me in creating this list that I haven't mentioned or seen mentioned. One of the less bad arguments for Hunter's greatness is that his WHIP was very low. Leaving aside that this is mostly due to pitching in Oakland, a low WHIP is generally a good thing and generally an indicator of a great pitcher. But, and it was the relatively low ranking of Fergie Jenkins - another low WHIP pitcher - that brought it into focus, when an inordinate percentage of the hits a pitcher allows are home runs, WHIP does a really poor job of capturing the pitcher's value. I won't go back and check this for every pitcher on the list (hold your applause), but a sample:

Hunter: WHIP of 1.13; HR=12.6% of hits allowed
Koosman: 1.26, 8.0%
Tiant: 1.20, 11.3%
McDowell: 1.31, 8.4%
Blue: 1.23, 8.9%

Hunter's WHIP is 6% better than Tiant's and up to 15% better than McDowell's. But if we adjust their WHIP's for their HR allowed - (walks + hits + 3*HR)/Innings - we get this:

Hunter: 1.46
Koosman: 1.49
Tiant: 1.50
McDowell: 1.51
Blue: 1.47

Hunter is still the lowest in the group but his 6%-15% margin is now 1%-3%. If you compare him to the great pitchers his lead disappears entirely (just a small sample):

Palmer: WHIP 1.18 - adjusted WHIP 1.41 (down 4% to Hunter - then up 4% on Hunter)
Perry: WHIP 1.18 - adjusted WHIP 1.40 (same thing)
Gibson: 1.19 - 1.39 (down 5%, then up 5%)

Constructive criticism of the list and the methodology are, as always, welcome. Telling me that the results are screwy without explaining why and how you know that will be met with the derision it deserves.

dallasactuary

Official defender of Ron Santo
Official defender of Bert Blyleven
Official defender of Bill Mazeroski
Jim Rice sucks
Jack Morris sucks and blows simultaneously.

Comments

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 1,772 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It’s an excellent read.

    I do agree that WHIP is one of the best (simple) indicators of a pitchers ability. A pitcher with high inning pitched totals and a low WHIP typically holds tremendous value.

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  • DarinDarin Posts: 3,320 ✭✭✭✭

    Dennis Leonard is not on the list.

    Collecting: Patrick Mahomes rookie cards, the next great NFL quarterback.
  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭

    @Darin said:
    Dennis Leonard is not on the list.

    He is now.

    dallasactuary

    Official defender of Ron Santo
    Official defender of Bert Blyleven
    Official defender of Bill Mazeroski
    Jim Rice sucks
    Jack Morris sucks and blows simultaneously.
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,191 ✭✭✭✭

    I did notice Hunter gave up quite a few home runs.

    Good list. Pleasantly surprised to see Blyleven so high. Did I miss Koufax?

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,191 ✭✭✭✭

    If you are going to track HR given up, how about average men on base per home run?

    Blyleven had a few years where he gave up a lot of HR, but if I remember correctly, almost all of them were bases empty shots. At least when he was with the Twins.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • DarinDarin Posts: 3,320 ✭✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary said:

    @Darin said:
    Dennis Leonard is not on the list.

    He is now.

    Ole Dennis didn't fare to well, but at least he is above several pitchers.

    I've always had Seaver rated very high for all time great pitchers, so not surprised he is
    No. 1 on a list of his contemporaries.

    Collecting: Patrick Mahomes rookie cards, the next great NFL quarterback.
  • DarinDarin Posts: 3,320 ✭✭✭✭

    I had never heard of a player named Queen, had to look it up on baseball reference.
    Mel Queen, only pitched for a few years. Learn something new every day!

    Collecting: Patrick Mahomes rookie cards, the next great NFL quarterback.
  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:
    If you are going to track HR given up, how about average men on base per home run?

    Blyleven had a few years where he gave up a lot of HR, but if I remember correctly, almost all of them were bases empty shots. At least when he was with the Twins.

    I'd have to get back to you in five years with that list; I'd have to look up each game log to get that data. I'd be really surprised, though, if it changed anything. We're talking about pitchers who were in the top 10 of ERA+; there isn't much room for any of them to have given up very many grand slams.

    Did I miss Koufax?

    I decided that they didn't overlap enough to include Koufax, but if I had his score was 61.20.

    dallasactuary

    Official defender of Ron Santo
    Official defender of Bert Blyleven
    Official defender of Bill Mazeroski
    Jim Rice sucks
    Jack Morris sucks and blows simultaneously.
  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭

    Looking at whip in this way, it seems somewhat like BA except it values walks. In whip, a single is valued the same as a double,triple, home run. If those extra bases could be calculated in, it could be a metric like ops. A pitcher who scattered singles is more valuable than one from which whom batters drove the ball consistently, even if his whip is higher.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,191 ✭✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    Looking at whip in this way, it seems somewhat like BA except it values walks. In whip, a single is valued the same as a double,triple, home run. If those extra bases could be calculated in, it could be a metric like ops. A pitcher who scattered singles is more valuable than one from which whom batters drove the ball consistently, even if his whip is higher.

    That's why I look at WHIP and ERA together. To me this shows if the pitcher was good at keeping men off base and also if the hits he gave up were home runs (or at least run producing hits).

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,191 ✭✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary said:

    @JoeBanzai said:
    If you are going to track HR given up, how about average men on base per home run?

    Blyleven had a few years where he gave up a lot of HR, but if I remember correctly, almost all of them were bases empty shots. At least when he was with the Twins.

    I'd have to get back to you in five years with that list; I'd have to look up each game log to get that data. I'd be really surprised, though, if it changed anything. We're talking about pitchers who were in the top 10 of ERA+; there isn't much room for any of them to have given up very many grand slams.

    Did I miss Koufax?

    I decided that they didn't overlap enough to include Koufax, but if I had his score was 61.20.

    Five years! Can't wait that long, so I'll agree and assume it wouldn't change much. In Hunter's case you can assume that because of his low WHIP, high Home Runs given up and low ERA, he couldn't have been giving up too many Grand Slams.

    I suppose you aren't interested in showing Blue's numbers without 1970 and the first half of 1971. ;-)

    Thanks for giving Koufax's number. I like to see how he compares to Marichal, who I liked better when he wasn't hitting people over the head with a bat.

    It was also nice to see a formula that (mostly) agrees with my thought process. McDowell jumped out at me as a pitcher who was clearly the best of the ones you mentioned that were as good as Hunter.

    Wow, we kind of agree, isn't that refreshing!

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:
    I suppose you aren't interested in showing Blue's numbers without 1970 and the first half of 1971. ;-)

    It was also nice to see a formula that (mostly) agrees with my thought process. McDowell jumped out at me as a pitcher who was clearly the best of the ones you mentioned that were as good as Hunter.

    Wow, we kind of agree, isn't that refreshing!

    There are a whole lot of pitchers, including Blue and Hunter, that would look a whole lot worse if you ignored their best season, but that's hardly fair to them, is it?

    McDowell was sort of the poor man's Sandy Koufax. He didn't last that long, he was on a dreadful team so his W/L is pedestrian, but for six years he was without a doubt a HOF-level pitcher. He deserved the Cy Young Award in 1970, and had they given an AL award in 1965 he would have deserved that one, too. Had we won 2 CYAs, I think it's fair to say that he would have gotten a lot more attention by the HOF than he did. In any event, he was a whole lot better pitcher than Hunter, and in a different talent universe than Morris.

    We probably agree on most things; but what fun is it to argue points where we all agree? I'll stick to the shock value arguments, thank you very much.

    dallasactuary

    Official defender of Ron Santo
    Official defender of Bert Blyleven
    Official defender of Bill Mazeroski
    Jim Rice sucks
    Jack Morris sucks and blows simultaneously.
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,191 ✭✭✭✭

    Life is not always fair.

    Seems to me that WAY BACK in math class one way to compare things was to throw out the best and worst and look at the rest.

    Blue had a tremendous 4 months in 1971, definitely better than Hunters first half. I was just curious to see if that was the reason he comes out better. That 1970 season bugs me too.

    Both guys were very good. Not much difference in their averages.

    Yes, I think we do agree more often than not, the other times are the rare occasions when you make an error. ;-)

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • Skin2Skin2 Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2019 2:12PM

    @JoeBanzai said:

    @craig44 said:
    Looking at whip in this way, it seems somewhat like BA except it values walks. In whip, a single is valued the same as a double,triple, home run. If those extra bases could be calculated in, it could be a metric like ops. A pitcher who scattered singles is more valuable than one from which whom batters drove the ball consistently, even if his whip is higher.

    That's why I look at WHIP and ERA together. To me this shows if the pitcher was good at keeping men off base and also if the hits he gave up were home runs (or at least run producing hits).

    For their careers:
    Hunter gave up two grand slams in 171 opporutunities to give up a grand slam.
    Vida Blue gave up three grand slams in 205 grand slam opportunities.

    As Dallas pointed out...its like adding one pebble of sand into the Sarah desert and thinking it would make any difference.

  • Skin2Skin2 Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2019 3:07PM

    @JoeBanzai said:
    Life is not always fair.

    Seems to me that WAY BACK in math class one way to compare things was to throw out the best and worst and look at the rest.

    Blue had a tremendous 4 months in 1971, definitely better than Hunters first half. I was just curious to see if that was the reason he comes out better. That 1970 season bugs me too.

    Both guys were very good. Not much difference in their averages.

    Yes, I think we do agree more often than not, the other times are the rare occasions when you make an error. ;-)

    Here are their top full ERA+ seasons, with their IP:
    Blue.....................Hunter
    183/312 IP........144/328 IP.............Huge advantage Blue
    142/298............140/295..................Blue by small margin. Beat him in both ERA+ and IP
    123/258............134/318.................Hunter
    121/278...........114/259..................Blue
    119/224...........113/273..................Hunter by virtue of IP, despite lower ERA+
    109/263...........107/256.................Blue by small margin. Beat him in both.
    104/279...........102/247..................Blue. Better ERA+ and big innings advantage.
    103/282............98/298...................Tie.

    For their top seasons, Blue wins five, Hunter two, and they tie once.

    For their career:
    Blue had a 108 ERA+ in 3,343 innings.
    Hunter had 104 ERA+ in 3,449 innings.

    Blue has slight edge based on a higher ERA+ by five, and only 100 less innings pitched. The 100 less innings is not enough to make up that difference in ERA+. It is quite easy to see that. If you want to see that expressed in Runs allowed above average, of which ERA+ and IP are accounted for, then Blue saved 114 runs over average for his career, and Hunter 38.

    For their career, the Win Probability takes into account how they pitched with men on base and such. Hunter was at 14 and Blue was at 23.

    Where is the debate? In Hunter's case, best he can hope for is a tie in this comparison. Blue has at least a tie, and in reality has a slight edge.

    Ironically, for the archaic measurementers, is that Blue actually had a better winning percentage in Oakland than Hunter did...590 to .588....and that includes Blue playing one season with the A's when they were dismantled and were terrible...Blue went 14-19 that season(using Banzi's philosphy, that outlier should be thrown out, then there is a big advantage to Blue).

    For their careers, Blue received 4.2 run support to league average of 4.2, and Hunter 4.4 run support to league average of 4.1.

    Hunter received 27 cheap wins (wins with <6IP and more than 3 earned runs allowed).
    Blue received 31 cheap wins

    For context, Nolan Ryan only had 35 cheap wins in his career....and that was with 773 games started and 5,300 IP.

    Jack Morris received 53 cheap wins.

    I put Morris in this post because his induction is ridiculous. In fact, Alan Trammel is one of the few players to get elected to the Hall of Fame TWICE. Once when he got elected, and the other time when Morris got elected(because Trammell was actually the player on that team responsible for more wins than anyone else, not Morris).

    Boggs is another rarity who got elected to the Hall of Fame twice...once when he got elected, and the second time when Rice got elected(because Boggs was the guy most responsible for the creation of runs in that lineup, not Rice.

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,487 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2019 3:39PM

    Catfish was 7-2 in the postseason with the A's with a very low ERA. Somewhere in the 2's.
    He was the guy Finley would go to in a must win.

  • Skin2Skin2 Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2019 4:08PM

    @1970s said:
    Catfish was 7-2 in the postseason with the A's with a very low ERA. Somewhere in the 2's.
    He was the guy Finley would go to in a must win.

    Curious...did he forget how to pitch in the post season when he went with the Yankees? He went 2-4 with a 4.70 ERA for them.

    Or, if small sample sizes are your thing:

    Ken Holtzman was 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA in World Series play. So is he then the guy Finley went to for World Series games??

  • LarkinCollectorLarkinCollector Posts: 6,305 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Skin2 said:

    @1970s said:
    Catfish was 7-2 in the postseason with the A's with a very low ERA. Somewhere in the 2's.
    He was the guy Finley would go to in a must win.

    Curious...did he forget how to pitch in the post season when he went with the Yankees? He went 2-4 with a 4.70 ERA for them.

    The more postseason appearances a player has, the more they return to their regular season averages.

  • Skin2Skin2 Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭

    @LarkinCollector said:

    @Skin2 said:

    @1970s said:
    Catfish was 7-2 in the postseason with the A's with a very low ERA. Somewhere in the 2's.
    He was the guy Finley would go to in a must win.

    Curious...did he forget how to pitch in the post season when he went with the Yankees? He went 2-4 with a 4.70 ERA for them.

    The more postseason appearances a player has, the more they return to their regular season averages.

    I agree. That is lost on most though.

    But I was editing my comment to the poster above who likes small sample sizes.

    Holtzman was 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA in World Series play. So does that make HIM the guy Finley went to for the biggest of games?? ;)

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,487 ✭✭✭✭

    @Skin2 said:

    @1970s said:
    Catfish was 7-2 in the postseason with the A's with a very low ERA. Somewhere in the 2's.
    He was the guy Finley would go to in a must win.

    Curious...did he forget how to pitch in the post season when he went with the Yankees? He went 2-4 with a 4.70 ERA for them.

    Or, if small sample sizes are your thing:

    Ken Holtzman was 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA in World Series play. So is he then the guy Finley went to for World Series games??

    Holtzman was just as reliable. Catfish started pitching in the mid-1960s with the A's.
    When he went to the Yankees his arm was not what it was like when he was with the A's.
    I watched him pitch for both the A's and Yankees, and he was a shell of his former self
    when he pitched in NY. Sample size has nothing to do with it. Age and # of major league
    pitches thrown has everything to do with it.

  • Skin2Skin2 Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭
    edited January 5, 2019 7:50AM

    @1970s said:

    @Skin2 said:

    @1970s said:
    Catfish was 7-2 in the postseason with the A's with a very low ERA. Somewhere in the 2's.
    He was the guy Finley would go to in a must win.

    Curious...did he forget how to pitch in the post season when he went with the Yankees? He went 2-4 with a 4.70 ERA for them.

    Or, if small sample sizes are your thing:

    Ken Holtzman was 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA in World Series play. So is he then the guy Finley went to for World Series games??

    Holtzman was just as reliable. Catfish started pitching in the mid-1960s with the A's.
    When he went to the Yankees his arm was not what it was like when he was with the A's.
    I watched him pitch for both the A's and Yankees, and he was a shell of his former self
    when he pitched in NY. Sample size has nothing to do with it. Age and # of major league
    pitches thrown has everything to do with it.

    When a baseball players post season stats are used, sample size has everything to do with it.

    It also always begs the question, if Hunter with a 7-2 and 2.something ERA post season with the A's is an indicator on how good he was....then why not pitch that good in the regular season too? Would that not get his team to MORE post season games where he can work MORE post season magic?

    Sample size.

    In the end, none of that changes that he was just a tad above league average for 3,400 MLB innings, and a tick below Blue. Go ahead and add all of Hunter's post season stats to that and it doesn't even move the needle.

    Or that there are several better pitchers from his era who are not in the Hall of Fame.

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,487 ✭✭✭✭

    @Skin2 said:

    When a baseball players post season stats are used, sample size has everything to do with it.

    Not when comparing a pitcher in the prime of his career against the end of his career.

    Catfish wasn't nearly as effective a pitcher during the regular season and postseason with the Yankees at the age of 31,32, and 33. His arm was wearing out. He also wasn't as effective
    in his first two years when he was learning how to pitch in the bigs.

    He had some great years with the A's and up to age 30.

  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭

    I thought more about how to adjust WHIP for allowing HR, and the answer suddenly hit me; adjusting just for HR helps, but it would be even better to adjust for 3B and 2B, too. And adjusting for all of those things is a lot easier than adjusting just for HR, since TB allowed is already there. That still leaves the problem that WHIP favors pitchers in pitchers parks, but park adjustments are there already, too. So instead of WHIP - (H + BB) / IP - I calculated TBIP+ - (TB + BB) / IP / Padj.

    Now, park adjustments for an entire career are still a bitch to figure out, but for any given season you can just look it up. So I looked at 1974, the season where Hunter had his career-low WHIP, and refigured the top 10 WHIP for that year:

    WHIP
    Hunter 0.986
    Jenkins 1.008
    G. Perry 1.021
    Blyleven 1.142
    Grimsley 1.160
    Tiant 1.166
    Kaat 1.176
    Wood 1.202
    J. Perry 1.214
    Blue 1.219

    There's Hunter at the top with a WHIP below 1. Wow. But when Hunter did give up hits, they were for extra bases a lot more often than most pitchers.

    TBIP+
    G. Perry 1.402
    Blyleven 1.406
    Jenkins 1.467
    Tiant 1.471
    Kaat 1.481
    J. Perry 1.504
    Hunter 1.523
    Wood 1.591
    Grimsley 1.662
    Blue 1.675

    And there's Hunter in 7th, where he belongs since he was about the 7th best pitcher in the AL that year*. There's a variety of ways to try to measure "best", but if you measure it in any reasonable way then Perry, Blyleven and Tiant were the best pitchers in the AL in 1974. Hunter got the Cy Young that year because pitching in Oakland made him look much better than he was, and his team won a lot of games.

    WHIP isn't a "baseball card stat", or at least it wasn't when I collected baseball cards, and it is a better stat than the baseball card stats, but it isn't park-adjusted so it is still a worse stat than any park-adjusted stat.

    *Interesting side note: Bruce Dal Canton on KC had a WHIP of 1.238 - just outside the top 10 - but his TBIP+ was only 1.375 - the very best in the AL that year. He barely met the minimum innings requirement, so he wasn't one the best pitchers in the league, but he was, when he was on the mound, the toughest pitcher to get an extra base hit off of.

    dallasactuary

    Official defender of Ron Santo
    Official defender of Bert Blyleven
    Official defender of Bill Mazeroski
    Jim Rice sucks
    Jack Morris sucks and blows simultaneously.
  • maxdomemaxdome Posts: 82 ✭✭

    1974 American League Cy Young Voting

    Player Points First Place Votes

    Hunter 90 12
    Jenkins 75 10
    Ryan 28 1
    Perry 8 1
    Tiant 8 0
    Cuellar 6 0
    Hiller 1 0

  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 18,858 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @maxdome said:
    1974 American League Cy Young Voting

    Player Points First Place Votes

    Hunter 90 12
    Jenkins 75 10
    Ryan 28 1
    Perry 8 1
    Tiant 8 0
    Cuellar 6 0
    Hiller 1 0

                                                          
    

    BBWA and voters in general are subject to being wrong. FWIW Jon Hillers 1973 and 1974 seasons were excellent.

    m

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    Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies. If I can count the coins in your pockets you better use them to call a tailor. Stay thirsty my friends......
  • maxdomemaxdome Posts: 82 ✭✭

    Just a reality check !

  • maxdomemaxdome Posts: 82 ✭✭

    Also for those who like to compare home and away stats most players are far better at home. Even Hall of Famers.

    Ron Santo playing at home in a hitter friendly park. .296 Batting AVG. 216 HR 743 RBI at home. Compared to away stats .257 126 588. Away.

  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 18,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 5, 2019 5:39PM

    I always like looking at similarity scores to check myself. These are the 10 pitchers that statistically compare best to Catfish Hunter.

    Midway through his career he compared most to Joe Coleman.

    mark

    Walker Proof Digital Album





    Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies. If I can count the coins in your pockets you better use them to call a tailor. Stay thirsty my friends......
  • maxdomemaxdome Posts: 82 ✭✭

    Bill James stats aren't a actual reflection of reality. The similarity scores make for strange comparison. I laugh at most of these comparison.

  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭

    @Justacommeman said:

    Midway through his career he compared most to Joe Coleman.

    Actually, Coleman started his career at age 18, so by maxdome logic, he was better than Hunter.

    dallasactuary

    Official defender of Ron Santo
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    Jim Rice sucks
    Jack Morris sucks and blows simultaneously.
  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 18,858 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @maxdome said:
    Bill James stats aren't a actual reflection of reality. The similarity scores make for strange comparison. I laugh at most of these comparison.

    Noted. Stick with what you can understand. Keeping it simple works for some people

    m

    Walker Proof Digital Album





    Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies. If I can count the coins in your pockets you better use them to call a tailor. Stay thirsty my friends......
  • maxdomemaxdome Posts: 82 ✭✭

    No, dealing with reality is what non delusional people understand !

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭

    @maxdome said:
    Bill James stats aren't a actual reflection of reality. The similarity scores make for strange comparison. I laugh at most of these comparison.

    Which exactly of Bill James stats are not a reflection of reality?

  • maxdomemaxdome Posts: 82 ✭✭

    Let me clarify. Bill James would be the first to tell you that stats can be misused by the casual fan to try to prove their viewpoint. He also has stated in the past that stats aren't the only way to measure how great a player was.

    For the record I have enjoyed reading Bill James books and have respect for his knowledge. Also I shouldn't have singled out his stats because he didn't create all of the so called advanced stats. I also still have respect for traditional stats.

    What I don't like is imposter's with little to no knowledge on the history of the game. Who try to come across as some expert and try to use some stat to argue that Catfish Hunter didn't deserve his well earned place in MLB history !

    For the record the founder of most of the modern stats which I am sure you already know classifies Hunter as a grade B Hall of Famer. Which by definition is a great player but not in the same level of a Ruth, Mays or Mantle.

    But more important than James take on who was great or not is the viewpoint of Catfish Hunter peers who would laugh at Dallas arguments and question his sanity !

    Dallas educate yourself and go on YouTube and watch Yankeeography Catfish Hunter and pay special attention to what his peers said about him.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,191 ✭✭✭✭

    @maxdome said:
    Let me clarify. Bill James would be the first to tell you that stats can be misused by the casual fan to try to prove their viewpoint. He also has stated in the past that stats aren't the only way to measure how great a player was.

    For the record I have enjoyed reading Bill James books and have respect for his knowledge. Also I shouldn't have singled out his stats because he didn't create all of the so called advanced stats. I also still have respect for traditional stats.

    What I don't like is imposter's with little to no knowledge on the history of the game. Who try to come across as some expert and try to use some stat to argue that Catfish Hunter didn't deserve his well earned place in MLB history !

    For the record the founder of most of the modern stats which I am sure you already know classifies Hunter as a grade B Hall of Famer. Which by definition is a great player but not in the same level of a Ruth, Mays or Mantle.

    But more important than James take on who was great or not is the viewpoint of Catfish Hunter peers who would laugh at Dallas arguments and question his sanity !

    Dallas educate yourself and go on YouTube and watch Yankeeography Catfish Hunter and pay special attention to what his peers said about him.

    I do NOT question Dallas' sanity. I do agree with the rest of the post.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,191 ✭✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary said:
    I thought more about how to adjust WHIP for allowing HR, and the answer suddenly hit me; adjusting just for HR helps, but it would be even better to adjust for 3B and 2B, too. And adjusting for all of those things is a lot easier than adjusting just for HR, since TB allowed is already there. That still leaves the problem that WHIP favors pitchers in pitchers parks, but park adjustments are there already, too. So instead of WHIP - (H + BB) / IP - I calculated TBIP+ - (TB + BB) / IP / Padj.

    Now, park adjustments for an entire career are still a bitch to figure out, but for any given season you can just look it up. So I looked at 1974, the season where Hunter had his career-low WHIP, and refigured the top 10 WHIP for that year:

    WHIP
    Hunter 0.986
    Jenkins 1.008
    G. Perry 1.021
    Blyleven 1.142
    Grimsley 1.160
    Tiant 1.166
    Kaat 1.176
    Wood 1.202
    J. Perry 1.214
    Blue 1.219

    There's Hunter at the top with a WHIP below 1. Wow. But when Hunter did give up hits, they were for extra bases a lot more often than most pitchers.

    TBIP+
    G. Perry 1.402
    Blyleven 1.406
    Jenkins 1.467
    Tiant 1.471
    Kaat 1.481
    J. Perry 1.504
    Hunter 1.523
    Wood 1.591
    Grimsley 1.662
    Blue 1.675

    And there's Hunter in 7th, where he belongs since he was about the 7th best pitcher in the AL that year*. There's a variety of ways to try to measure "best", but if you measure it in any reasonable way then Perry, Blyleven and Tiant were the best pitchers in the AL in 1974. Hunter got the Cy Young that year because pitching in Oakland made him look much better than he was, and his team won a lot of games.

    WHIP isn't a "baseball card stat", or at least it wasn't when I collected baseball cards, and it is a better stat than the baseball card stats, but it isn't park-adjusted so it is still a worse stat than any park-adjusted stat.

    *Interesting side note: Bruce Dal Canton on KC had a WHIP of 1.238 - just outside the top 10 - but his TBIP+ was only 1.375 - the very best in the AL that year. He barely met the minimum innings requirement, so he wasn't one the best pitchers in the league, but he was, when he was on the mound, the toughest pitcher to get an extra base hit off of.

    Looks like Hunter beats Blue in both areas.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,191 ✭✭✭✭

    @Justacommeman said:
    I always like looking at similarity scores to check myself. These are the 10 pitchers that statistically compare best to Catfish Hunter.

    Midway through his career he compared most to Joe Coleman.

    mark

    Hunter wins AGAIN.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
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