Effective Wildness : Part 2

Effective Wildness : Part 2

 

 

Right off the bat, let’s take care of a couple of “choirs”. The effective wildness stat has been said to be driven by —correctly might I add– low walks totals. One user comment on a different site recommended the following:

 

“If anything, the linear relationship should be HBP/balls or HBP/WP since every out-of-the-strike-zone pitch could hit the guy.”

 

Can every outside the strike zone pitch hit a batter? I really don’t think so. By using this example, 0 – 2 waste pitches would effect the outcome. And using an equation that includes wild pitches is counterintuitive to the purpose of effective wildness, as wild pitches aren’t effective at all!

 

So we’re going to stick with our current formula and see where it takes us! With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the best all-time EF ratios, who the pitchers were, and the success of the group as a whole.
 

 

Let’s deal with the elite, shall we? Only 52 times in the history of major league baseball has a pitcher thrown over 100 innings and maintained an effective wildness ratio of 3 or less in a season.

 

Five players have hit this target ratio twice: David Bush, Pedro Martinez, Josh Towers, David Wells, and Brad Radke. Note that this list consists of pitchers that have pitched post 2000.

 

Jesse Tannehill is the only pitcher to hit the ratio three times, doing so in 1900, 1902 & 1904.

 

Therefore, our list consists of 45 different pitchers reaching the mark a total of 52 times. Here’s the list, in ascending order of EW.
 

First Name“ Last Name“  Year““` Wins““ Loss““ IP“““““““““ BB““ HBP“““““““` EW Ratio
Barney Wolfe 1904 6 9 126.67 22 11 2
Red Donahue 1903 7 9 136.67 12 6 2
Kevin Brown 1996 17 11 233.00 33 16 2.0625
David Bush 2006 12 11 210.00 38 18 2.111111
Jesse Tannehill 1904 21 11 281.67 33 15 2.2
David Bush 2005 5 11 136.33 29 13 2.230769
Carl Pavano 2005 4 6 100.00 18 8 2.25
Pedro Martinez 2000 18 6 217.00 32 14 2.285714
Bob Locker 1967 7 5 124.67 23 10 2.3
David Wells 2005 15 7 184.00 21 9 2.333333
Bill Reidy 1903 6 7 104.00 14 6 2.333333
Bronson Arroyo 2004 10 9 178.67 47 20 2.35
Jeff Weaver 2005 14 11 224.00 43 18 2.388889
Jesse Tannehill 1902 20 6 231.00 25 10 2.5
David Wells 2003 15 7 213.00 20 8 2.5
Jesse Tannehill 1900 20 6 234.00 43 17 2.529412
Roy Halladay 2005 12 4 141.67 18 7 2.571429
Jerome Williams 2004 10 7 129.33 44 17 2.588235
Brad Radke 2001 15 11 226.00 26 10 2.6
Nick Maddox 1909 13 8 203.33 39 15 2.6
Chief Bender 1903 17 14 270.00 65 25 2.6
Don Drysdale 1966 13 16 273.67 45 17 2.647059
Pedro Martinez 2002 20 4 199.33 40 15 2.666667
Bill Grahame 1908 6 7 117.33 32 12 2.666667
Danny Darwin 1996 7 9 122.33 16 6 2.666667
Josh Towers 2001 8 10 140.33 16 6 2.666667
John Halama 2004 7 6 118.67 27 10 2.7
Jake Weimer 1907 11 14 209.00 63 23 2.73913
Ed Summers 1908 24 12 301.00 55 20 2.75
Joe McGinnity 1900 28 8 343.00 113 41 2.756098
Ken Johnson 1968 5 8 135.00 25 9 2.777778
Jesse Stovall 1904 3 13 146.67 45 16 2.8125
Eddie Plank 1903 23 16 336.00 65 23 2.826087
Brad Radke 2002 9 5 118.33 20 7 2.857143
Ole Olsen 1922 7 6 137.00 40 14 2.857143
Eric Gagne 2001 6 7 151.67 46 16 2.875
Josh Towers 2004 9 9 116.33 26 9 2.888889
Jim Bunning 1966 19 14 314.00 55 19 2.894737
Oscar Graham 1907 4 9 104.00 29 10 2.9
Win Mercer 1900 13 17 242.67 58 20 2.9
Rolando Arrojo 2001 5 4 103.33 35 12 2.916667
Jack Warhop 1911 12 13 209.67 44 15 2.933333
Clark Griffith 1902 15 9 213.00 47 16 2.9375
Tom Walker 1904 15 8 217.00 53 18 2.944444
Walter Johnson 1915 27 13 336.67 56 19 2.947368
Jack Chesbro 1902 28 6 286.33 62 21 2.952381
Hank Robinson 1912 12 7 175.00 30 10 3
Deacon Phillippe 1910 14 2 121.67 9 3 3
Cy Young 1905 18 19 320.67 30 10 3
Clyde Barfoot 1922 4 5 117.67 30 10 3
Carlos Silva 2005 9 8 188.33 9 3 3
Bill Swift 1990 6 4 128.00 21 7 3

 

Chief Bender, Jack Chesbro, Jim Bunning, Don Drysdale, Walter Johnson, Joe McGinnity, Eddie Plank, & Cy Young are all in the baseball Hall of Fame. Pedro Martinez is also a sure fire hall of famer, so we will include him in the HOF group as well. That gives us a total of 9 HOF pitchers to reach the target. Hall of fame pitchers total 20% (9 of 45) of the pitchers that have made the ratio.

 

 

To be honest, I didn’t see anything like that coming at all. And I’m not 100% sure what to take from the outcome. Obviously, there have been a few of major league washouts to hit the ratio. But a 20% HOF ratio is hard to ignore.

 

 

Outside of the Hall of Famers, there are two players that have received HOF votes, Deacon Phillipe & Jesse Tannehill. We could also assume that pitchers such as Kevin Brown, Roy Halladay, and David Wells will be remembered as stars of their eras.

 

 

What’s the success rate of all 45 pitchers and 52 season? I’ve left out ERA, WHIP, etc, as they would all have to be adjusted to each seasons league averages, park factors etc. Instead, we’ve gone with “old reliable”, wins and losses. Wins should be squewed by deadball pitchers, but so should their losses.

 

 

The overall record of the above group is 641 – 464. Not too shabby. This equates to a winning percentage 58.4%. If a MLB team had the same winning percentage, they would have a record of roughly 95 wins & 67 losses, good enough for at least a wildcard, if not an outright division title.
 

 

So what do we take from this? Conclusions will certainly differ, but to me it boils down to yet another equation;

 

 

Good Control + Bad Intentions = Success

 

 

Readers, share your thoughts! (Early, don’t give away too much). Part three was originally going to be on feared pitchers of the past, but that will now get moved to part four. Why? Because after doing a bit of tinkering I found a way to use the existing EF equation in another equation that produced a group of pitchers that combined for, get this, a 928 – 575 record! All that plus more in part three!
 

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5 replies on “Effective Wildness : Part 2”
  1. says: Callum

    It is interesting to look at your list of David Bush, Pedro Martinez, Josh Towers, David Wells and Brad Radke. With the exception of Pedro, who is just a mean SOB, the rest of the players are soft tossing finesse pitchers. To survive in the MLB they need to have that inside corner or hitters will destro them. From that standpoint the EF stat seems to support that modus operandi.

  2. says: Callum

    Just my intuition, but I think it has to do more with low BB totals than high HBP totals. The less guys they put on base the more they are going to be successful, and HOF don’t usually walk guys. I also wonder how many of those HBP are ordered by the manager, maybe it happened moreso in the old school days than today?

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