Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.
How 2012’s Spring Pitching Leaders Fared
Already atop last Friday’s edition of the SCOUT pitching leaderboards, Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran produced Saturday what is likely his best line of the spring: 6.0 IP, 21 TBF, 10 K, 3 BB, 0 HR, 0 H. He continues to possess the spring’s highest regressed strikeout rate — and, with ca. 100 batters faced, is about two-thirds of the way to the point at which strikeout rates have typically become reliable at the major-league level*.
*Which is a different thing, of course, than when they become reliable at spring training, a consideration whose depths remain (understandably) unplumbed.
“What does that mean for Julio Teheran, 2013 Braves Starter?” is a question a reader might ask. Allow the author to answer that question only in part — in this case, by considering how the top-10 pitchers from last spring’s final SCOUT leaderboard (about which you can read more below) fared in the 2012 regular season.
Here they are, in order of finish. SCOUT- represents each pitcher’s spring performance from 2012. Everything to the right of that is from the 2012 regular season.
This is hardly conclusive, of course. Perhaps later in the week, if he possesses sufficient internal resources, the author will consider not only the spring pitching laggards from last season, but also pitchers from both categories (leaders and laggards) from other spring-training seasons.
In any case, here are three observations relevant to the table above:
• The spring pitching leaderboards (moreso than the hitting ones, it would seem) are populated by a number of conspicuously talented players. Last year, it was Zack Greinke and Roy Halladay and Yu Darvish and Justin Verlander. This spring so far (which one can see below), it’s Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw.
• That is likely the case for two reasons — both of which involve striking batters out. First of all, strikeouts are a vital ingredient in run prevention. Second of all, strikeout rates tend to become reliable in relatively small sample sizes — somewhere between 125 or 150 batters faced, about. Again, spring numbers might have different reliability thresholds. Still, the point remains: good pitchers are generally recording strikeouts.
• All of this is likely good news for Julio Teheran’s prospects this season. He’s missing lots of bats, which is something he hasn’t done a lot of before — not against major-league competition, at least. He’s struck out over a third of the nearly 100 batters he’s faced. Precedent (from last year’s leaderboards, at least) suggests that some of that skill carries over the regular season.
SCOUT Leaderboards: Spring Training (Overall)
SCOUT Leaderboard: Spring Hitters
Below is the current SCOUT batting leaderboard for spring training. SCOUT+ combines regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates in a FIP-like equation to produce a result not unlike wRC+, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all spring hitters) and above 100 is above average. xHR%, xBB%, and xK% stand for expected home run, walk, and strikeout rate, respectively.
SCOUT Leaderboard: Spring Pitchers
Below is the current SCOUT leaderboard for spring training. SCOUT- combines regressed strikeout and walk rates in a kwERA-like equation to produce a number not unlike ERA-, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all spring pitchers) and below 100 is better than average. xK% and xBB% stand for expected strikeout and walk rate, respectively.
SCOUT Leaderboards: Spring Training (Rookies)
SCOUT Leaderboard: Spring Rookie Hitters
Below is a table of the the top-five spring hitters per SCOUT who are also rookie eligible. “Rank” stands for each player’s rank among Marc Hulet’s organizational top-15 list for the relevant organization.
SCOUT Leaderboard: Spring Rookie Pitchers
Below is a table of the the top-five spring pitchers per SCOUT who are also rookie eligible. “Rank” stands for each player’s rank among Marc Hulet’s organizational top-15 list for the relevant organization.