CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
The BP Wayback Machine... (06/07)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Contact... (04/18)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Post-Hy... (08/19)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (06/07)

June 7, 2013

Five to Watch

Checking in on the Holy Trinity

by Bret Sayre


About a month ago, Russell Carleton talked about pitcher stats and when they stabilize. And now that we’re two months into the season, the time has come where we can look at some of the high-ticket items my eyes drift toward on the stat page without worrying about being distracted by small sample sizes. These performances are real and whether or not they continue, we will always be able to look back upon them through sepia tones and Instagram filters.

If you’ve read my stuff from a previous life, you’ve undoubtedly heard me talk about the Holy Trinity as it comes to starting pitchers. It encompasses the three skills that are most important to the art of pitching: getting strikeouts, reducing walks, and keeping the ball on the ground. Any pitcher who does at least one of these things well can be a major leaguer. Just two of these qualities are enough to be a star, but the pitchers who can do all three are the ones who are special, because they have the largest amount of control over their downside risk.

Over the past two seasons, there have been nine pitchers who have completed the trifecta of having a strikeout rate of 7.0 per nine innings or higher, a walk rate of 2.5 per nine innings or lower, and a ground-ball rate of at least 50 percent—all while throwing more than 100 innings. This group includes Jaime Garcia (who has done it in both seasons), Kris Medlen, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, James Shields, Adam Wainwright, and Dillon Gee (the underdog).

This season, there are five players on track for Holy Trinity status. These are their stories, and the nicknames I’ve appropriately given them. Four of them you could probably guess if given a reasonable number of guesses—but the last guy, that would take a while.

Felix Hernandez, “The Stud”

You guys remember when everyone was freaking out over Felix and his elbow during draft season? Funny, me neither. It turns out that even though his fastball velocity has continued to decline in 2013, diminishing velocity alone cannot stop King Felix. He’s not only a top-10 starting pitcher, but he’s posting both the highest strikeout rate and lowest walk rate of his illustrious career.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

10 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
The BP Wayback Machine... (06/07)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Contact... (04/18)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Post-Hy... (08/19)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (06/07)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Painting the Black: Super Twoing
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Meltdown in Minnesota
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, April 18
Premium Article Notes from the Field: A-Ball Notes
Premium Article Raising Aces: Masahiro Tanaka, the Debut Ant...
Baseball Prospectus News: New Stat Reports a...
Premium Article Skewed Left: How Service Time Dictates Top P...

MORE FROM JUNE 7, 2013
Pebble Hunting: Baseball's Best Comp
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, June 7
Premium Article In A Pickle: The Best Way to Watch the Cal L...
Fantasy Mailbag: Hard Knocks
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 11
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: June 7, 20...
The BP Wayback Machine: The Source of the AL...

MORE BY BRET SAYRE
2013-06-13 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week 11
2013-06-12 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Mike Zunino
2013-06-11 - Fantasy Article The Stash List: Wilpocalypse Now?
2013-06-07 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Checking in on the Holy Trini...
2013-06-07 - Fantasy Beat: Weekly #streameroftheday Updat...
2013-06-04 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Scooter Gennett
2013-06-04 - Fantasy Article The Stash List: The Mystery of Super Two Sta...
More...

MORE FIVE TO WATCH
2013-08-27 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Positive Regression Candidate...
2013-08-21 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Good Prospects on Bad Teams
2013-08-19 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2014
2013-06-07 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Checking in on the Holy Trini...
2013-04-18 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Contact Watch!
2013-03-18 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: The Top Prospect Edition
2013-03-13 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Drawing Blanks
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2013-09-10 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Injured NL Starting Pitchers
2013-06-10 - Premium Article What You Need to Know: Not on the Shin-Soo C...