The Roto Grotto: catching up with pitcher stats

So far, I’ve used hitter statistics for all of my examples. Really, hitter stats can demonstrate every concept that applies to either hitter or pitcher fantasy stats, but I spent this week catching my pitcher stats up to my hitter stats. Now, I can show comprehensive 2012 results.

First, here is the top-25 total Z-scores of pitchers based on the league mean and standard deviations of each roto stat from 2012:

Player Season zWins zK zSaves zERA zWHIP zTotal
David Price 2012 2.93 2.63 -0.32 0.92 0.87 7.03
Justin Verlander 2012 2.15 3.03 -0.32 0.99 1.17 7.02
R.A. Dickey 2012 2.59 2.48 -0.32 0.75 0.99 6.48
Jered Weaver 2012 3.06 1.54 -0.32 0.71 1.03 6.02
CC Sabathia 2012 2.27 2.88 -0.32 0.46 0.72 6.01
Chris Sale 2012 2.46 2.52 -0.32 0.61 0.70 5.97
Craig Kimbrel 2012 -0.65 -0.19 5.49 0.52 0.69 5.86
Yu Darvish 2012 2.37 3.27 -0.32 0.20 0.30 5.82
Clayton Kershaw 2012 1.60 2.39 -0.32 0.83 1.01 5.51
Cole Hamels 2012 2.35 2.40 -0.32 0.49 0.54 5.46
James Shields 2012 1.79 2.75 -0.32 0.46 0.75 5.42
Gio Gonzalez 2012 2.99 1.81 -0.32 0.52 0.41 5.42
Felix Hernandez 2012 1.42 2.74 -0.32 0.73 0.83 5.39
Matt Cain 2012 2.06 1.91 -0.32 0.67 0.94 5.25
Max Scherzer 2012 2.06 2.95 -0.32 0.26 0.28 5.22
Fernando Rodney 2012 -0.78 -0.70 5.19 0.70 0.68 5.10
Aroldis Chapman 2012 -0.49 -0.22 4.55 0.51 0.62 4.97
Jim Johnson 2012 -0.76 -0.95 5.94 0.32 0.38 4.92
Stephen Strasburg 2012 2.27 2.38 -0.32 0.29 0.25 4.87
Johnny Cueto 2012 2.51 1.50 -0.32 0.66 0.51 4.86
Jason Motte 2012 -0.58 -0.53 5.15 0.29 0.51 4.83
Madison Bumgarner 2012 2.06 1.91 -0.32 0.33 0.74 4.71
Hiroki Kuroda 2012 1.97 1.72 -0.32 0.55 0.71 4.62
Jake Peavy 2012 1.12 2.26 -0.32 0.51 0.91 4.49
Chris Tillman 2012 2.66 1.34 -0.32 0.30 0.44 4.41

There are several similarities between pitchers and hitters. Saves are a stat that applies only to certain types of pitchers. In that way, they are similar to stolen bases. Each starter has the same small negative Z-score for Saves of -0.32.

ERA and WHIP are the pitcher rate stats, which are analogous to batting average for hitters. Rather than scale to at bats, I scaled ERA and WHIP to innings pitched. The main difference is that both ERA and WHIP scale from high to low rather than low to high, and so I multiplied the Z-scores for those categories by negative one.

Remember that all Z-scores are based on per game numbers with a fairly small minimum innings qualification. Most names are the ones you would expect, but that is why pitchers like Chris Tillman and Brett Anderson made or nearly made the list.

Finally, hitter and pitcher totals can be combined to produce apples-to-apples comparisons based on total Z-scores:

Player Season zTotal
Mike Trout 2012 13.02
Ryan Braun 2012 10.57
Miguel Cabrera 2012 9.07
Josh Hamilton 2012 8.61
Andrew McCutchen 2012 7.85
Edwin Encarnacion 2012 7.52
Mike Stanton 2012 7.13
David Price 2012 7.03
Justin Verlander 2012 7.02
Jose Bautista 2012 6.92
Matt Kemp 2012 6.88
Carlos Gonzalez 2012 6.86
R.A. Dickey 2012 6.48
David Ortiz 2012 6.47
Chase Headley 2012 6.47
Alex Rios 2012 6.22
Adrian Beltre 2012 6.16
Ian Desmond 2012 6.14
Melky Cabrera 2012 6.04
Jered Weaver 2012 6.02
CC Sabathia 2012 6.01
Aramis Ramirez 2012 6.01
Chris Sale 2012 5.97
Allen Craig 2012 5.90
Craig Kimbrel 2012 5.86
Yu Darvish 2012 5.82
Robinson Cano 2012 5.68
B.J. Upton 2012 5.68
Yoenis Cespedes 2012 5.67
Curtis Granderson 2012 5.66
Adam Jones 2012 5.59
Clayton Kershaw 2012 5.51
Josh Willingham 2012 5.49
Cole Hamels 2012 5.46
James Shields 2012 5.42
Gio Gonzalez 2012 5.42
Coco Crisp 2012 5.41
Felix Hernandez 2012 5.39
Carlos Beltran 2012 5.28
Matt Cain 2012 5.25
Max Scherzer 2012 5.22
Albert Pujols 2012 5.20
Aaron Hill 2012 5.16
Evan Longoria 2012 5.15
David Wright 2012 5.13
Fernando Rodney 2012 5.10
Austin Jackson 2012 4.99
Jimmy Rollins 2012 4.98
Aroldis Chapman 2012 4.97
Ryan Zimmerman 2012 4.95

Even though starting pitchers by their nature contribute in only four categories, David Price and Justin Verlander still made the top-10 overall by total Z-score last season. Of course, total performance is not the only justification for drafting a player. Pitcher and hitters have different chances of injury, declining performance, and replacement levels.

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