St. John: Introducing an evaluation system for minor-league pitchers

From Chris St. John at Beyond the Box Score on November 4, 2014:

After working with hitting prospects for so many years, it is finally time to turn my attention to pitching prospects. Pitchers are known to be more volatile than hitters, as evidenced by the popularity of the phrase TINSTAAPP – there is no such thing as a pitching prospect. However, just because it is hard to project pitchers, does not mean we should not try. Is there some signal in the noise?


The data for pitchers in the minor leagues are extremely limited. As such, the only statistics I use to compare players are walk rate per inning, strikeout rate per inning and percent of games started. I also factor height and handedness into the equation.

All the thank yous go out to Sean Lahman and Harry Pavlidis for helping me get the necessary biographical data for thousands of seemingly-insignificant minor league players. This allowed me to find additional comparisons using height and handedness. Without their assistance, I would not have been able to include these factors into the analysis.

The only other available statistics dating to 1979 are home runs and hits. Both of these statistics are very dependent on environment, and with the incredible variations between minor league locations, I would rather not use them.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: November 4, 2014. Last Updated: November 4, 2014.