I don’t have a vote for the Cy Young award, but if I did I would vote for one of these three pitchers.
In today’s baseball world, strikeouts are key. They are the lifeblood to any good pitcher.
Ground balls are awesome too by the way.
Also important in today’s modern baseball world are rate stats. Counting stats are frowned upon by many, especially those who cannot count.
Therefore the only way to get good stats are to combine these concepts. When we mix rate stats and strikeouts, we get a fantastic stat called K/9. K/9 measures how many strikeouts a pitcher averages every nine innings. Combining ground balls and rate stats creates GB%. These advanced metrics are the basis for my plea to the Cy Young voters: Vote McDonald, vote Raburn, and vote Carpenter. Scratch those names and I’ll scratch you. Nope, that was a bad sentence. Let’s just get on with it.
Angels RHP David Carpenter:
- Carpenter might have a particularly high ERA for a Cy Young candidate as his ERA currently sits at 108.00. At first glance that appears a bit too high to be considered the best pitcher in the league but hold your horses bucko. We all know that ERA is a flawed stat so this number cannot be trusted. His xFIP is almost A HUNDRED points lower. That’s nuts. He just got unlucky this year.
- Carpenter has also been extremely unlucky this year as evidenced by his insane 100% HR/FB rate.
- If you Google Image search David Carpenter, the 10th picture or so is this:
- No wonder Carpenter was so dominant this year. Facing him would feel like the opening scene of an episode of Law & Order SVU.
- What really solidifies Carpenter’s Cy Young case is his K/9. Tied for the league lead with 27.00 strikeouts every nine innings, Carpenter has shown the ability to miss bats. His strikeout rate is tops in the league above guys like Kershaw, Felix, and Mariano Rivera thus making him worth considering for the AL Cy Young.
Phillies RHP John McDonald
- John McDonald has been a major leaguer for years, but this year he finally switched from the field to the bump and the move has paid dividends as he sits also atop the league with a K rate of 27 per 9 innings. He was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise terrible Phillies bullpen this year.
- McDonald also finished the year with 0 runs allowed which is absolutely unheard of for a guy in his first year after transitioning to the rubber. His ERA is low, but his xFIP is even lower as he finished the year with a -2.95 xFIP which is absolutely remarkable.
- Take a closer look at the photo below to gain a sense of McDonald’s fantastic follow through:
- But not only is McDonald a fantastic rock chucker, he is also a plus-plus makeup guy. His unbelievable ability to be a fantastic relief pitcher in addition to being a fantastic leader in the clubhouse is why McDonald needs to be in the conversation for this year’s NL Cy Young award.
Indians RHP Ryan Raburn:
- Like John McDonald, Ryan Raburn also had a fantastic transition to the mound. He pitched a bit more than McDonald and has a lower K/9, but he finished the year with an unbelievable ground ball rate of 100%. Raburn’s ability to get hitters to put the ball on the ground cannot be overstated enough. With a dirty sinker that sits around 86 MPH, Raburn dominated American League hitters this year.
- Look at this graph of Ryan Raburn and try to figure out what it means because I don’t know:
- He also finished with an ERA of 0.00 which is a very hard thing to do. Sandy Koufax never did that. Cy Young himself never even did that and he’s the namesake of the award! That’s bonkers!
- Raburn has played both ways for the Indians this year and currently has an offensive WAR of 3.0. As a player who shut down opposing batters and put up some offensive numbers of his own, Raburn deserves to be in both the Cy Young voting conversation and the MVP conversation as well.
So remember all you BWAA people that when you get your ballots in the mail, you should consider the importance of advanced metrics before you vote for a nobody like Kershaw, Felix, or Pelfrey.