Thursday, August 3, 2023

Newsletter Excerpt, August 3, 2023 -- "Fun With Numbers: Snell the Strander"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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Let’s start with that walk rate, which at 13.6% is the highest of any qualified starter by a full 2% over Kodai Senga. It would be the highest since 1994, when Todd Van Poppel walked 16.7% of the batters he faced in the strike-shortened season, or 1993 if you prefer, when Wilson Alvarez walked 13.9% of hitters. The game has changed in the 21st century, of course, and we don’t really let pitchers do that any more. Snell’s 13.9% walk rate, should it hold, would be the highest of any qualified starting pitcher this, well, millennium.

Walk Like A Franciscan (highest walk rate, 2001-22, qualified pitchers)

Daisuke Matsuzaka   BOS   2008   13.1%
Edinson Volquez     SDP   2012   13.1%
Kazuhisa Ishii      LAD   2004   13.1%
Clayton Kershaw     LAD   2009   13.0%
Al Leiter           NYM   2004   12.9%