2013 APBA by the numbers: Pitching

Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles April 19, 2013This 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
1-4 D
5-9 C
10-14 B
15-19 A
20-24 A&C
>24 A&B


Now I’ll be getting to the fun stuff…

The Best of the Starters

Pitcher Highest Graded Starters
Clayton Kershaw 19
Clay Buchholz 18
Jose Fernandez 18
Jarred Cosart 17
Max Scherzer 16
Anibal Sanchez 16
Danny Duffy 16
James Paxton 16
Matt Moore 16
Zack Greinke 16
Tanner Roark 16


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
Kevin Siegrist 29
Jesse Crain 27
Koji Uehara 24
Greg Holland 24
Neal Cotts 24


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.

Grade Distribution

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
D 128
C 86
B 64
A 14

Basic Game Grade for Relievers Distribution
D* 149
C* 124
B* 90
A* 60

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.

Control letter Distribution
W 219
Z 95


Now the strikeout letters.  Seems to be an upswing in the Xs and XYs in the past two years.

Strikeout Letter Distribution
Y 175
X 121
XY 91


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.

[photo credit]

Thomas Nelshoppen

I am an IT consultant by day and an APBA media mogul by night. My passions are baseball (specifically Illini baseball), photography and of course, APBA. I have been fortunate to be part of the basic game Illowa APBA League since 1980 as well as the BBW Boys of Summer APBA League since 2014. I am slogging through a 1966 NL replay and hope to finish before I die.


  1. Good stuff….I have never tried APBA baseball (only football) and actively play Strat but am looking forward to learning more with your blog and trying the game!

  2. Great article as always, was a lil upset to see that Cliff Lee missed on an “A”…….. Is it possible to ask what his ratings are??

  3. I’d love to see your analysis of the disk filtered for offense players with, say greater than 100 AB and pitchers greater than 30 IP.

  4. I played from a number of years at my house with many friends we would draft and trade. we never played it straight out of the box I have a couple of times since we all got busier and its so realistic

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