2012 Pitcher Fear Factors/PARC ratings and major classifications

My pitching formulas are updated within a spreadsheet than contains the PARC stats for the top 5 starts and leading relievers of 2012, in order of IP, for each team, along with team stats.

Here’s the spreadsheet in full

Generally the contact average is driving all the numbers, while the bases per hit stats helps hone in on that a bit, while the resulting number, PFF shows us the true power of the pitcher. The PARC number isn’t necessarily ranking players as much as its placing pitchers on a scale, with the most centered pitchers (closest to .500) in the center.  The pitcher you cannot figure how to beat is the pitcher you will lose to. If you know you can reliably beat a pitcher at the plate via the sacrifice or the longball, that pitcher is relatively weaker because of that known tendency. Looking at the spreadsheet, we can see obvious extreme examples in starting pitchers like Kris Medlen, Derek Lowe, Rick Porcello, Bartolo Colon, Jaime Garcia, Jamie Westbrook, et al. Their PARC numbers are above 60%, showing that their game is most geared toward allowing singles and walks, with fewer extra base hits allowed, and therefore much fewer runs created against them. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are much fewer ‘power’ pitchers, but there are some examples: Brandon Beachy, Travis Wood, Ervin Santana. Their own mechanics via these stats suggest they will give up the homer much more often. That’s their game, that won’t change.

What can you do with these numbers? For fantasy purposes, I want to put together a rotation and bullpen with as low a PFF as possible (and highest for batters). Alongside this, for lineups, the PARC number will come into function.  I’d put the central batters at the top of the lineup with the dead-red power hitters (under 45% PARC) in the middle, and sacrificial lambs (over 55%) at the bottom.

I’m about ready to classify the 2012 pitchers based on their level of PFF and centricity (my word) based on their PARC numbers. I’ll do this sorting out the same way I describe it in the historical comparison, Keeping in mind the central figure for the PFF, across MLB, is 340. I have the breakdown this way:

Lower PFF with low (under 45%) PARC: 19 pitchers in all. Top 3 are Aroldis Chapman, Ernesto Frieri and Kenley Janssen

Lower PFF with central (45-55%) PARC (Ideal). 50 pitchers in my sample. Top 3:
Wade Davis, Tom Wilhelmson, and Gio Gonzalez (starter)

Lower PFF with high (55%+) PARC: 31 in this sample. Top 3: Brandon League, Randy Choate, and Fernando Rodney

Higher PFF with low PARC: 20 in this group. Top 3: Alex Hinshaw, Steve Delabar, and Josh Lindblom.

Higher PFF with central PARC. 96 players in total! Top 3: Garrett Richards, Jonathan Niese, and Wandy Rodriguez

Higher PFF with high PARC: 21 players in all. Top 3: Wade LeBlanc, Alfredo Aceves, and Tim Hudson.

With these 18 players come one-half of the next installment of this essay. I’ll be using these 18 players to watch batter-pitcher trends from 2012 to see what type of hitters they do best and worst in.   Afterward I’ll do likewise for 18 hitters.

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