Since most folks here are mainly here because of pitching, I’m curious about something. To be honest, I’m a numbers kinda guy, so when I hear people talk about anything that measures pitchers, of course I look for numbers.
When I think about pitchers, I think about them in terms of other pitchers mostly, rather than just themselves. IOW, if we have a pitcher on our team that for various reasons I think is either pretty good or pretty bad, I’m making that judgment based on how his numbers stack up against other pitchers.
If I think he’s a good strikeout pitcher, I can look at the number of K’s he’s gotten, but I know that number can be misleading, so I try to look for a way to compare him fairly equally with pitchers who may have been in the program 2 more years than him. Usually that comes down to computing K’s in relation to something else, like batters per K, K’s per inning, K’s per BB, pitches per K, etc… That way I can look at Joe and compare him to Tom as far as K’s go.
Looking at one particular factor about pitching is fairly simple, but trying to go a bit further is much more difficult. FI, when one looks a pitcher and tries to determine if he’s the “best”, things get much tougher. So, how do you make the determination in your mind about how the pitchers on your team get ranked? What makes the #1 guy, the #1?
Of course there’s always something in his character that can’t be measured, but I’m not really interested in things that can’t be measured. I’m interested in things like WHIP or ERA that are finite and can be used to set up the queue so that those things like character can be applied to reach a final decision.
An example would be to rank the pitchers by say Batters pitched to, then consider things more deeply. That way a kid who’s only thrown to 6 batters all season wouldn’t even be considered as having been the ace, even if he struck them all out. So, what is the measuring stick you use, and is it the same if you’re a coach, a player, or a fan?