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Tower of Power-Control
2005-03-12 21:08
by Mike Carminati
An endless imbroglio
Is law and the world,—
Then first shalt thou know,
That in the wild turmoil,
Horsed on the Proteus,
Thou ridest to power,
And to endurance.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The other day while reviewing Rick Ankiel's stunted pitching career, I investigated all-time pitching wildness. One thing that I noticed was the fact that what was considered "wild" varied greatly depending on era. Given that, I broke out the best and worst dependent on approximately 25-year periods. But this led me down a different path entirely.

I continued evaluating wildness adjusted for league and year average and deciding to throw strikeouts into the mix. What I ended up with is, I believe, an index for pitching power and control, which I thought was pretty cool.

I used the league average to estimate the expected incidents of wildness (non-intentional walks, wild pitches, balks, and hit batsmen) for each pitcher in every year. I, then, used this to calculate the career Wildness per nine innings pitched above expectation for every pitcher (min.200 innings) along with his strikeouts per nine innings above expectation.

It then occurred to me that I could combine the two to derive a pitching power-control index (by subtracting a relative minimum from each and multiplying them). Without further ado here are the top fifty (note that Career Wild per 9 IP Above Exp is expressed as a negative. That is, negative values are good; positives, bad. The reverse is true of Career K per 9IP Above Exp.):

NameIPCareer Wild per 9 IP Above ExpCareer K per 9IP Above ExpPower/Control
Billy Wagner552.70.2735.48654.809
Tom Henke789.7-0.3324.11950.762
Pedro Martinez2296.0-0.3903.97950.221
Bryan Harvey387.00.3544.75449.584
Trevor Hoffman764.7-0.7283.48549.097
Mark Prior446.7-0.1633.99848.695
Randy Johnson3368.00.6424.83947.772
Rob Dibble477.01.7866.33145.530
John Wetteland765.0-0.1373.35644.233
Robb Nen715.0-0.1123.30143.700
Eric Gagne530.00.0873.45643.389
Armando Benitez654.01.1394.77043.362
Sandy Koufax2324.30.3933.71242.888
Kazuhiro Sasaki223.30.1723.45742.821
Octavio Dotel585.00.7824.16242.746
Dazzy Vance2966.70.0423.29442.642
Troy Percival586.70.8064.14842.493
Lee Smith1289.3-0.1583.01742.110
Curt Schilling2812.7-1.0952.23742.080
Dick Radatz693.70.7213.85341.412
Ugueth Urbina617.70.6983.80041.265
Keith Foulke660.3-0.9272.17240.671
Bruce Sutter1042.3-0.7482.13539.425
Paul Assenmacher855.7-0.2392.51339.215
Rube Waddell2961.30.6503.39039.207
Roger Clemens4493.0-0.0462.67839.180
Bill Caudill667.00.6613.28638.518
Victor Cruz271.00.9473.60838.428
Duane Ward666.70.9413.56838.251
Dan Plesac1072.00.1032.65738.156
Johan Santana624.30.6913.25338.125
Mariano Rivera728.3-0.9871.71537.567
Lefty Grove3940.7-0.6651.92737.481
B.J. Ryan311.01.5604.24037.339
Damaso Marte258.70.5842.99037.268
Toad Ramsey2100.70.3322.69737.037
Dizzy Dean1967.3-0.4712.00236.990
Billy Taylor324.7-0.2192.19136.927
Todd Worrell693.7-0.4502.00736.911
Tom Hall852.70.6182.95436.841
Rollie Fingers1701.3-0.8251.70036.650
David Riske244.71.2453.63936.538
Jeff Zimmerman228.7-0.2322.07136.197
Dennis Eckersley3285.7-1.2031.39036.140
Ron Guidry2392.0-0.6841.71536.047
Randy Myers884.70.7772.95335.843
Antonio Osuna486.30.4832.64735.836
Luis DeLeon334.3-1.4411.20835.803
Buddy Schultz240.0-0.2022.03235.765
Walter Johnson5914.7-0.4641.81335.633

And here are the worst power-control pitchers:

NameIPCareer Wild per 9 IP Above ExpCareer K per 9IP Above ExpPower/Control
Aaron Cook256.31.184-3.2910.000
Dick Weik213.76.5181.4630.000
Nate Cornejo313.00.161-3.2470.284
Jimmy Anderson574.70.627-3.0541.399
Roger Bailey356.01.300-2.6973.102
Jeff Ballard773.3-0.479-2.8173.315
Jimmy Gobble200.7-0.156-2.7713.469
Kirk Rueter1810.7-0.767-2.7773.742
Randy Martz290.70.053-2.6953.854
John Doherty521.3-1.116-2.7614.046
Chris George237.30.942-2.5384.198
Dennis Stark254.01.088-2.4434.606
Marty Clary225.00.013-2.5804.625
Bob Wiesler241.34.939-0.3484.647
Carlos Silva374.3-0.508-2.5994.866
Larry Bearnarth322.71.159-2.3804.881
Doug Sisk523.31.393-2.3314.918
Dennis Springer655.30.714-2.4404.938
Jaime Cocanower365.72.923-1.8125.316
Reid Cornelius211.00.558-2.3995.316
Jerry Bell283.00.637-2.3745.393
Brian Meadows816.3-0.973-2.5435.607
Jamey Wright1134.31.936-2.0315.773
Steve Kline750.3-1.005-2.4995.961
Dan Serafini263.30.725-2.2426.079
2005-03-14 09:38:10
1.   PhillyJ
Good Stuff...interesting lists...not sure if Rob Dibble on best list or Carlos Silva on worst list is more surprising...very interesting...hard to hate Pedro but I do anyway.
2005-03-14 11:41:36
2.   Mike Carminati
Dibble is somehwat wild but his power overpowered that. Silva is the reverse, decent control but no Ks. It aint that hard to hate Pedro, believe me.

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