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  1. It’s no real surprise to see 2 Twins on this list. They really covet this type of pitcher, Nick Blackburn is perfect example of one of them in the Majors today.

    It would be interesting to analyze his numbers in the minors to see if his BABIP came down as your article suggest it should have as he progressed through the minors and eventually into a MLB rotation.

    Comment by Troy — January 22, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  2. No coincidence that the best strikeout pitcher on the list is your favorite, combining the three ways to keep runs off the board. Ks, low BBs, GB%.

    Comment by drchstrpunk — January 22, 2010 @ 11:26 am

  3. This is just an annecdotal observation as a Twins fan but Blackburn became a more promising prospect as he rose in the minor league rates. He shot up the Twins prospect rankings as he climbed the ladder.

    Comment by MPauer — January 22, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  4. This sort of reminds me of a “Best stocks under $5″ piece on finance pages!

    Comment by Matt B. — January 22, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  5. Thinking out loud…

    GB rates are all the fashion these days, and for good reason. As more pitchers learn to throw sinkers and avoid the classic rising fastball, might it be that hitters better adjust to those approaches, and a pitchers who can actually survive as fly ball pitchers will gain an advantage? Could use the same game theory argument for pitches that pitchers are giving up in favor of throwing more cutters.

    Comment by Sky Kalkman — January 22, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  6. Interesting thought.

    Comment by Matt B. — January 22, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

  7. Definitely interesting. Although I wonder what hitters “better adjusting” to a sinker really means. No matter what, it will forever be easier for a hitter to get under a four seamer than a two seamer, just by the notion of how they are thrown. Now, I think there’s real value of a guy like Porcello sometimes throwing his 96 mph four seamer to catch a hitter off balance, but looking for a market inefficiency in a flyball type of pitcher doesn’t seem right to me.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — January 22, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  8. Unless one looks at IFFB

    Comment by neuter_your_dogma — January 22, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

  9. The pitching pool available for this type of pitcher is greater as well…and far less expensive, at least early on. You can get what you pay for no doubt, but some of these types of pitchers really are underrated if the defense behind them is solid or better.

    Someone earlier mentioned Bill James talking about the Tommy John family of pitchers. I remember reading that all those years ago as well. It basically said that a pitcher of this type would pitch .600 baseball on a .550 team, but pitch .400 baseball on a .450 team…Something like that, and a good chunk of it revolved around the defense being played behind this type of pitcher, relative to the league.

    Props to the author of this article series. Good stuff…

    Comment by razor — January 22, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

  10. I loved this whole series. One of the most interesting I’ve read so far in my 6 months of FanGraphs.

    It’ll be interesting to see how all of these guys are doing a few years down the road.

    Comment by Ericpalmer — January 22, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

  11. I was _sure_ Evan Anundsen would make this list. Looks like his ground ball rate was “only” 51.9% in 2009, though he has a career rate of 58.2%.

    Comment by JordanB — January 22, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

  12. It’s great to see Kyle Allen earn some well-deserved prospect press, but I think this may be the wrong forum for him. He actually threw the entire 2009 season at 19, can get the FB up to 93 with room for growth, has an average slider and potential plus change. This list seems more for “fringy” guys with high GB% and little else and this is definitely not Allen. In addition, his defense in Savannah was HORRID. From watching 40-50 of their games, Jefry Marte made 50 or so errors, Wilmer Flores, Josh Satin, and Sean Ratliff offered little in terms of range up the middle, and the first base position was filled by a number of organizational guys. The corner outfielders were also brutal and the catching corps was wet behind the ears.

    With Allen, the high GB% says a lot about his floor, but he could very well be a top 4 prospect in the Mets organization next season and top 100 overall. To say he’s just a sinkerballer really shortchanges his ability.

    Comment by Mike Newman — January 23, 2010 @ 8:51 am

  13. No Evan Anundsen or DJ Mitchell?

    Comment by gnomez — January 23, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  14. I find it interesting that looking at pitchers in this way, (K%, BB%, GB%) is basically what Ron Shandler’s crew is using these days to evaluate pitchers for fantasy. The formula that they use to rate pitchers is:


    I’d like to see outside research on whether this is a correct way to evaluate the skills that lead to good ERA, WHIP, and Ks.

    Comment by Josh — January 23, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

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