Because I just can’t stay away, let’s talk about pitcher win values again. This time, let’s look at how pitchers have performed in rolling three year totals dating back to 2002, which is the first year we calculate win values for here on FanGraphs.
Curt Schilling leads the way with +23 wins from ’02 to ’04, propelled to the top by his ridiculous 2002 season where he was a +9.7 win pitcher. I think people forget how good Schilling was that year – 9.58 K/BB rate in 259 innings. That’s just remarkably awesome. Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roy Halladay, and Jason Schmidt round out the top five.
Nobody cracks the +20 win plateau over these three years, with Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana leading the way at +19.5 wins apiece. Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, and Jason Schmidt round out the top five.
Johan emerges as the dominant pitcher of this era, racking up +22.6 wins and throwing 693 innings during that time frame. Nobody else is close, with Roy Oswalt checking in second at +18.1 wins. This was the age of Johan.
Santana loses his great ’04 and replaces it with a less great ’07, but still manages to cling to the lead. Again, though, no one cracks the +20 win mark, as Johan’s +19.5 is best in baseball. Brandon Webb emerges, though, to take the second spot at +19.1 wins. Meanwhile, John Smoltz tries to remind everyone that he’s still pitching, and checks in with a +16.5 total that’s fifth best in baseball over those three years. Those were his age 38 to 40 seasons.
Finally, the last three years. CC Sabathia takes the top spot at +20.3 wins, just edging out Brandon Webb (+19.7) and Roy Halladay (+19.2). Santana plummets all the way to fourth, with Dan Haren rounding out the top five.
So, who has been the best pitcher of the Win Value era? Santana seems like the best guess, since he led (or was tied for the lead) in three of the five windows we looked at, but he actually finishes second to the amazing Roy Halladay. Since 2002, Halladay has racked up +42.7 wins, three more than Santana’s +39.8. +42 wins in seven years – not only has Halladay been an excellent pitcher, he’s been consistently excellent. He’s never got the same level of acclaim as Johan, but a seven year stretch of +6 wins from a starting pitcher is amazingly impressive. Hats off to Halladay.
Print This Post