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.):