This is the 5th annual “By the Numbers” series I’ve done. Back in 2009, I began poring over the numbers and breaking down the season set when the disk came out. I’ve expanded the series over the years and had a lot of fun doing it.
Each time I do it, I break it down into three or four separate articles. Usually, I devote an article each to Pitching, Fielding, Hitting and one last one to Miscellaneous data which doesn’t get covered by the other categories (hint: that one tend to be the fun one).
Today, I’ll start with Pitching but before I begin, I’ll post this chart which converts Master Game grades to Basic Game grades. This seems to be popular as not everyone has played the Master Game. FYI, a while back, APBA moved the grade system one point back (i.e. a 5 used to be D, a 10 used to be a C etc).
This is now the current system.
|MG Grade||Basic Grade|
Now I’ll be getting to the fun stuff…
The Best of the Starters
|Pitcher||Highest Graded Starters|
I was going to stop at 17 but I couldn’t resist putting former University of Illinois hurler Tanner Roark up there. Go Illini!!
The Best of the Relievers
|Pitcher||Highest Graded Relievers|
Siegrist was oh so close to hitting that coveted 30 grade with his 0.45 ERA in 40 innings pitched for the Cardinals.
Not only was Kershaw the highest graded starter but he was the only starter with a unique grade. He was the only starter with a MG grade of 19 and was the only pitcher with a MG grade all to himself. Among relievers, there were three unique MG grades. Of course, Siegrist (MG 29) and Crain (MG 27) were two of them. Alex Torres and his MG grade of 21 was other.
What were the most common MG grades? Among starters, there were 48 Grade 4 pitchers followed by 32 Grade 3 pitchers. Among relievers though, the Grade 1* pitchers were the most common with 69. Second among relievers were 4* with 69.
Let’s look at the grades from a basic game perspective. As usual, D pitchers continue to prevail in frequency. Here’s the breakdown for both starters and relievers:
|Basic Game Grade for Starters||Distribution|
|Basic Game Grade for Relievers||Distribution|
Note there are 43 pitchers with split grades which are counted in both tabulations above. Among those pitchers, Tyler Thornburg fared the best with a 14 (16*) or a B (A*) grade.
Who had the highest ERA for a A or better pitcher? That award goes to Matt Moore with a 3.29 ERA. Max Scherzer comes in second with a 2.90 ERA. The lowest ERA for a Grade D pitcher? That would be Chris Rusin, a MG Grade 4 pitcher with 3.93 ERA.
Strikeout and Control Letter Distribution
I’ll end by displaying the distribution of the Xs, Ys, Ws and Zs. First the control letters. The Ws really win out purely because of the many D*W pitchers who didn’t put in much time on the mound.
Now the strikeout letters. Seems to be an upswing in the Xs and XYs in the past two years.
Keep in mind, the K, R and double Z is still a mystery to us until we get the cards in our hands.
I’ll be touching on the Fielding data next. Keep an eye out for a By the Numbers article in the next couple days.