Ranking Pitchers Based on Specific Criteria (K%, GB%, HH%, O-Swing%, BB%)

I’m just starting some prep for the 2021 fantasy baseball season. In doing so, I began looking around the Web to see what others have written about prepping. I came across this article by Paul Ghiglieri over at FantasyPros on when to target pitchers.

For those that don’t know me, I enjoy the 50-round draft-and-hold leagues. I don’t swim with the sharks over at NFBC, but instead, I can be found drafting on Fantrax either in my home leagues ($25 entry) or the $50 leagues Fantrax runs. So, my definition of pitcher targets expands up to 750 players deep.

I appreciated the concept of the Five Points Pitcher. Nothing too earth shattering, but it attempts to identify pitcher targets based on underlying metrics that the average fantasy baseball fan may not be keying on. In other words, maybe helpful in identifying undervalued pitchers.

I encourage you to go read Paul’s work, but the five points are:

  • High K/9 rates (though I tend to like K% more)
  • Above Average GB%
  • Low Hard-Hit %
  • High O-Swing %
  • Low Walk Rate (again, I prefer looking at BB%)

So, let’s look at those stats. I don’t fully know know what to do with the 2020 season. One podcast I listened this morning suggested looking at previous 162 games (or for pitchers, 32 starts). That seems wise, but to be honest, it was much easier to just pull 2019-2020. So, that is what we have here: Download Workbook (sorry for non Excel users).

NameK%+BB%+Hard%+O-Swing%GB%+Aggregate Rank
Stephen Strasburg12677790.37116104
Hyun-Jin Ryu10147850.359117110
Jacob deGrom14466830.384101123
Noah Syndergaard10671760.335111174
Chris Sale15771950.351101178
Charlie Morton12982900.336111187
Kenta Maeda12381790.366100192
Zack Wheeler9568790.346108195
Yu Darvish13478880.338103199
Brandon Woodruff12869930.329107209
Ryan Yarbrough8846800.368102211
Gerrit Cole16668960.35193213
Joe Musgrove10371940.351104216
Craig Stammen9049860.323122219
Shane Bieber144611060.356106220
Max Scherzer14664950.34789228
Zack Greinke10142960.336103233
Patrick Corbin11389970.363110234
Eduardo Rodriguez109103760.339115240
Seth Lugo13762910.301104243
Clayton Kershaw116611070.343114245
Kyle Hendricks8844860.35100246
Max Fried10381930.32123249
Liam Hendriks16666930.35174249
Masahiro Tanaka88591010.367110263
Pablo Lopez9372930.328113263
Luis Castillo126110960.336129270
Mike Soroka8573920.334120274
Dylan Bundy10690850.34898282
Blake Snell142104960.365100285
Jose Berrios10380970.35999290
Michael Pineda10257990.36286296
Carlos Carrasco125781030.349100297
Luis Cessa92102890.35110301
German Marquez100641040.321114305
Justin Verlander156581110.37186309
Tyler Glasnow15587950.299106315
Dallas Keuchel7786890.33134317
Michael Lorenzen105104840.331105317
Walker Buehler125621040.33396319
Frankie Montas113831030.335106320
Scott Barlow132123920.35100320
Zach Eflin9076930.331104321
Aaron Nola1221041040.347115326
Ivan Nova6073910.333111327
Corbin Burnes1421041010.336106328
Adrian Houser9893890.297128330
Yonny Chirinos9464910.307100330
Marcus Stroman9088900.311126334
Yusmeiro Petit9744900.33272335
Miles Mikolas81491080.354109340
Gabriel Ynoa6164950.324110340
Matthew Boyd123791010.34885347
Mike Clevinger13889890.30692351
Kyle Gibson95991030.341121353
Chris Paddack111601110.33798354
Tyler Mahle10782930.30899354
Daniel Norris9272990.315105359
Ross Stripling9773980.301107360
Lucas Giolito14399890.31789363
Zac Gallen122110960.34197363
Kevin Gausman119781090.35790374
Tommy Milone92531040.36384376
Mike Leake67381080.34110379
Domingo German113771090.35290379
Jack Flaherty12886990.31892380
John Means8865770.32879382
Marco Gonzales8165970.33595383
David Price12382980.397389
Rick Porcello8367900.3289395
Sonny Gray126114980.296117399
Jalen Beeks9295990.324107399
Joey Lucchesi9894950.296107405
Josh Tomlin7735990.34681410
Cole Hamels99105950.305108411
Matt Andriese1111001020.301113411
Wade LeBlanc7372910.32193413
Aaron Civale93681050.316101413
Gio Gonzalez93124840.32102417
Cal Quantrill89721070.334101420
Anibal Sanchez7991850.33689421
Sandy Alcantara81110900.333104422
Martin Perez79110920.331108422
Trevor Williams7883880.3390425
James Paxton1291001050.34189425
Jose Urena70941050.351114426
Lance Lynn120801020.30392429
Dinelson Lamet146981000.31984432
CC Sabathia101981000.33194432
Julio Urias101931030.3584434
Mike Minor10493990.31593435
Nathan Eovaldi106981070.307109447
Kyle Freeland69911030.331112451
Chris Bassitt9885990.292100453
Madison Bumgarner97621180.34481454
Steven Matz98861000.291103454
Jordan Zimmermann73601130.338100455
Trevor Bauer129971020.31386459
Jose Quintana90721020.293102461
Wade Miley85104950.294117462
Felix Pena109941070.303104462
J.A. Happ91851020.31896465
Adam Plutko7166970.33670465
Matt Strahm100531170.31887465
Homer Bailey94901100.32104466
Zach Plesac9379990.29993466
Andrew Heaney119821190.33385468
Brett Anderson56731080.304130475
Aaron Brooks7583970.3103482
Alex Young85841150.338101485
Jon Lester86771030.297102491
Wilmer Font1091001040.32685497
Drew Pomeranz135118960.28392498
Anthony DeSclafani97871070.30797501
Yusei Kikuchi7889980.28108503
Elieser Hernandez111781080.31278504
Brad Keller74110980.3120505
Chase Anderson94931000.31982507
Jake Arrieta7898990.277119510
Framber Valdez1011131070.278144511
Spencer Turnbull961131070.298115516
Jake Odorizzi116921100.3283516
Dylan Cease94136930.284102517
Caleb Smith112118990.32361522
Freddy Peralta1371111030.31675522
Jorge Lopez83871040.279111525
Zach Davies7584960.29793527
Michael Wacha841001040.312104527
Steven Brault87125960.298105531
Jakob Junis91851120.304101534
Trent Thornton96106960.31476534
Jon Gray91951100.298108536
Adam Wainwright88901050.277109537
Andrew Cashner75108990.289115537
Chris Stratton981111030.30597537
Merrill Kelly89801140.30898540
Luke Weaver107721170.29285540
Erick Fedde53112940.273121544
Jordan Lyles911041020.30893545
Asher Wojciechowski9294990.31171546
Danny Duffy9499960.29582551
Chris Archer1171221050.31884551
Griffin Canning107981090.30788553
Antonio Senzatela57971030.266122562
Adrian Sampson79751270.31495564
Junior Guerra941301020.282104565
Dakota Hudson791281030.282131571
Trevor Richards911061080.34580575
Ariel Jurado65761220.291107580
Mike Fiers71791010.28691581
Vince Velasquez1131021160.31282582
Reynaldo Lopez91100980.28483596
Tanner Roark91901020.27984597
Jeff Samardzija77751050.30280599
Taylor Clarke841041080.31594603
Nick Pivetta931061080.29995604
Tyler Beede931031220.291101615
Shaun Anderson771161020.30794616
Aaron Sanchez841331050.276111620
Jason Vargas821131030.30889623
Zack Godley771171070.31499625
Mike Foltynewicz92941060.28385625
Robbie Ray1311471160.30578630
Jaime Barria90841050.27781631
Eric Lauer91971090.28488645
Julio Teheran871271010.29389650
Trevor Cahill871091140.272104655
Derek Holland981241250.29691667
Glenn Sparkman58781110.2888670
Drew Smyly1121191200.28280689
Dereck Rodriguez68981140.26896707
Jhoulys Chacin911151200.25584746

Aggregate Rank takes the pitchers ranking for each individual category, and then adds it together. For example, Strasburg ranks 25th in K%+, 53rd in BB%+, 4th in Hard-Hit%+, 3rd in O-Swing% and 19th in GB%+. Adding up the ranks (25+53+4+3+19) equals 104.

Crude? Yes. But hopefully good enough to compare pitchers across all areas.

Interesting Player Groupings

I am calling these “interesting” because I’m not saying anything definitive with this information. I’m at the nascent stages of collecting information, which I will eventually use to develop my own player rankings. In fact, I have only just started even looking at ADP (i.e., what the collective currently thinks). On that note, all ADP listed here are from NFBC for December 1st – January 8th, 9th, or 10th.

Player Draft ADP Position Rank Five Point Aggregate Rank
Trevor Bauer 14th 4th 98th
Yu Darvish 17th 5th 9th
Lucas Giolito 19th 6th 60th
Walker Buehler 20th 7th 40th
Aaron Nola/td>

21st 8th 44th

Bauer pops out as someone to look into more before pulling the trigger on a late 1st / early 2nd round pitcher.

Player Draft ADP Position Rank Five Point Aggregate Rank
Kenta Maeda 45th 15th 7th
Tyler Glasnow 49th 16th 37th
Blake Snell 50th 17th 30th
Zach Plesac 51st 18th 105th
Corbin Burnes 56th 19th 46th

Maeda pops out as someone to strongly consider at his current ADP. Plesac…not so much.

Player Draft ADP Position Rank Five Point Aggregate Rank
Dinelson Lamet 66th 26th 88th
Stephen Strasburg 71stth 27th 1st
Hyun-Jin Ryu 77th 28th 2nd
Framber Valdez 78tu 29th 120th
Kyle Hendricks 84th 30th 22nd
Jose Berrios 85th 31st 31st
Zack Wheeler 90th 32nd 8th
Dylan Bundy 91st 33rd 29th

Strasburg and Ryu came out on top in this aggregate ranking approach. Think I have made this clear: by no means is this to say they should selected in the 1st round, or even much higher than their current slot. I’ve not done enough to make any such statements.

However, if I were just going based purely off ADP to make my selections, this would give me reasons to lean towards those two instead of Lamet or Valdez who now have some questions marks for me to address when I do my future research. Valdez, especially, is someone to ponder over given his excellent performance in the shortened 2020 season. Justin Mason’s November ADP report highlighted Valdez as someone who was moving up rankings. Since then, Valdez has even gained more ground: he has moved up from 83rd ADP (33rd pitcher overall) to 78th ADP (30th pitcher overall).

Player Draft ADP Position Rank Five Point Aggregate Rank
Julio Urias 113th 43rd 90th
Charlie Morton 117th 45th 6th
Zack Greinke 119th 46th 17th
Sandy Alcantara 126th 50th 82nd
Joe Musgrove 128th 51st 13th

Urias and Greinke pop out here as being dissimilar compared to the other three.

Player Draft ADP Position Rank Five Point Aggregate Rank
Nathan Eovaldi 231st 87th 92nd
Zach Davies 232nd 88th 127th
Eduardo Rodriguez 236th 90th 19th
Marcus Stroman 238th 91st 49th

Davies is someone I already had on my list to research (seemed to overachieve last year, going to a worse team). Eovaldi is someone I personally like more than I should, so this is just extra honey for the flytrap. But at his ADP, I won’t get burned this year if it goes sideways.

Player Draft ADP Position Rank Five Point Aggregate Rank
James Paxton 252nd 97th 84th
Drew Pomeranz 353rd 98th 113th
Masahiro Tanaka 272nd 107th 25th
Elieser Hernandez 275th 108th 116th
Jake Odorizzi 291st 112th 121st
Domingo German 299th 116th 64th

I’m just here to renew my Tanaka fan club membership. And I’ll take whatever risks are involved with selecting him in round 18.

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