Nationals Baseball: Bryce and Strasburg Trackers

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Bryce and Strasburg Trackers

Do we talk about the Davey thing? Or do we kind of just let that slide? It was kind of snuck in there right before Opening Day.  I don't know.  I say let it slide. Despite the fact that I think he blew the use of the bullpen in the NLDS and he's a bit heavy on the "look at what a curmudgeon I am!" shtick, I like Davey alot. He's a good manager who's been down this winning road before. The Nats don't need to replace him. At the same time, this team is super awesome and nearly anyone could win with it. You,me, them, everybody. So let's just take it off the back burner and let it cool over here.  Maybe we can store it in the fridge in a bit.

The Nats have two young superstars that are generational talents. I don't think we can stress this enough.  Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg aren't merely great prospects, they are the best young players at their respective positions we've seen in a long while. Are they going to end up being the best players of their generation? Not necessarily, there are thousands of players out there and they all don't follow the paths they are supposed to. Bryce and/or Stephen could disappoint. Someone else could surprise. But nothing we've seen so far hints at disappointment, so right now they have as good a chance as anyone to be remembered as the defnining players of the 10s and early 20s.

For fun I'm going to track their progress hitting a couple of "milestones".  For Strasburg we are going to look at SO/BB rate and ERA+.  Looking at pitchers who in their first 4 seasons pitched 400+ innings (which Strasburg should easily hit this year) where does Strasburg stack up?

SO/BB - 4.57, Kevin Slowey (yes Kevin Slowey - but the other pitchers up there are good, trust me) .
  • Strasburg - 4.7.  He'd be #1 right now so as long as he stays the course he'll be fine. Tough course to stay though. 
ERA+ - 161, Howie Pollet (again other pitchers up there you'll know as good - though damn if Pollet wasn't dominant when young)
  • Strasburg - 139.  It'll be a tough one for Strasburg to break but an ERA in the low 2.00s would do it.
For Bryce we can include a counting stat, since his early career wasn't messed up by injury like Strasburg's was.  We're going to look at home runs and OPS+ for guys who played at least 200 games before their "age 21" season.

HRs - 61, Mel Ott. 
  • Bryce - 24.  He needed 39 to tie to start the year.  I probably would have bet against that on March 31st.  Now? He could hit 37 more by the All-Star break and I wouldn't.... ok that'd still surprise me, but 37 more by year's end? Nope. I think he can do it.
OPS+ - 145,  Ty Cobb
  • Bryce - 123. It would take a best in the year, MVP type season to make it but does anyone think he can't do it?

We'll check in on this every month or so. Let's see if the Nats' guys can leave their mark on history.


Anonymous said...

You, me, them, everybody...
Everybody needs somebody to love!

Great Blues Brothers reference.

Harper said...

I am on a mission from God.

BlueLoneWolf said...

Aaaaaaand speaking of Kevin Slowey!

Nats 6, Marlins 3

Swoods said...

It's probably not readily available but really should use (K-BB)/PA instead of K/BB.

Wally said...

This don't look like no expressway to me!

The Davey thing is a little bit puzzling. I mean, why announce that it is the last year, especially if he isn't 100% on board? Just say that we'll take it one year at a time ... kinda like the last two years.

I am not betting against Bryce on anything right now. The dude looks like the real deal. How crazy that these two not only fell to us, but have turned out as good as their hype. I'll take the under on Stras though, especially because he wants to change his approach to more contact and lower pitch counts. Maybe a different measurement, like WAR through 400 IPs? Seems like Doc Gooden wins that one, though, no matter what Stras does.

Harper said...

BLW - Shouldn't even be that close. Slowey is a hittable, strike-zone loving pitcher against a free-swinging team. I expect a blow out.

Swoods - or K%-BB%, I suppose. I don't know. I mean you're right if I want to see who are the most effective pitchers. You look at that and you don't see Slowey. BUT that's not really what I was looking for. I really wanted to see is who has skill at both striking out and not walking, so K/BB is fine for that, giving equal weight to the things I'm looking for.

Then again if I'm really trying to put Strasburg up against history shouldn't I try to put him up against the best pitchers ever, than against a group that's more "the best control pitchers, who can also strike out a guy or two"

I'll think about it.

Wally - I can't easily (at least through get counting stats by a # of IP. Has to be through seasons. Since Strasburg's seasons have been shortened he's going to end up on the short end on anything that's based on playing time, like WAR. (he needs a 20+ WAR season to pass Gooden - Gooden has the best WAR season ever on BR at 12.1)

Sec314 said...

I was expecting the obligatory dissection of Gio before tonight's game. I just hope its a small crowd and the beer lines are short.

Anonymous said...

It's a cool weeknight, against a bad team with no local following, early in the season. Over/under on how long until someone says the 'low attendance' is proof something's wrong with DC baseball fandom? (Extra credit for naming the first person to say it. My bet's on Wilbon, although I nearly went with Mike Greenberg.)

BlueLoneWolf said...

Guys....please stop swinging for the fences and start slapping some singles, please? You've had so many drives killed in the cold weather, take some walks and get some singles and see what pitching=bad Nats batting. That's the ONE identifiable problem with the team, they do a crap job hitting for pure average and small-hitting.

BlueLoneWolf said...

...See I go opening my fat mouth and Gio gets his one HR for the year...

Anonymous said...

FP calls the "keep the glove warm" seconds before Des and Espi sitting in front of the heater in the dugout camera cuts away and back and there's the vet, AdamBomb, holding his glove in front of the heat. That's a broadcast pair as loose as the team. Lots of games to play and we know we're winning most of them. Cool.