Sorting Out the Pitchers – Starters

Looking at the tendencies of Cardinals organization pitchers using 2005 statistics.

One of the statistics that was tracked during the 2005 season was the type of recorded outs each pitcher compiled. This article attempts to sort that information out.

Pitchers were separated into starters and relievers. While roles for certain pitchers were fluid, in general the pitchers were either one or the other. The impact of pitching roles is that relievers do not have to pace themselves for a long pitching outing so can just let loose and give it all they have in the relatively short time they are on the mound. Generally speaking their velocity tends to be higher than a starter's velocity. A reflection of this is under the category of "Strikeout Artists". When looking at those pitchers that qualified for postseason recognition, the starter category had only one true strikeout pitcher last season while the reliever category had ten.

When it came to rankings, all pitchers were ranked by both strikeouts and contact outs. In the latter case, pitchers were divided into groundball, neutral and fly ball subcategories. Both the groundball and fly ball subcategories were then ranked separately, while the neutral subset was classified by their tendency instead of being ranked. (Keep reading, hopefully this will become clearer.)

We will use Mark McCormick to illustrate how this process worked. McCormick's overall classification is as a strikeout pitcher. He ranked first in strikeouts among all starters and then fell into the groundball class for his contact outs. He ranked eighth out of the sixteen pitchers classified as groundball pitchers, by percentage of groundball contact outs. However, another way to look at it would be that he was the eighth most groundball pitcher among all thirty-four starters.

Congratulations on wading through that explanation. There is one final important point to make – The 2005 performances should not be taken as an indicator of future performance, particularly at the lower levels. It is simply too small of a sample size. This article simply reports what happened. Now on to the good stuff –

Starters
Thirty-four pitchers who were tracked this season were classified as starters with either at least half their game appearances coming as starts, which was the criteria used for postseason recognition qualification, or finished the season in a team's rotation.

Strikeout
The definition used to determine a strikeout pitcher here is one that strikes out at least a batter an inning on average or thirty-three percent, rounded off, of their total outs coming via a strikeout. Four pitchers met that minimum level with another three being borderline. Only the strikeout pitchers have two classifications; strikeout and then whether their contact outs came via ground or fly outs.

Mark McCormick - RHP
Classification - Strikeout/Groundball
Overall - 153 total outs: 36.60% ground, 22.88% fly, 40.52% strike
Contact - 91 outs: 61.54% ground, 38.46% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 1 of 34
Contact Ranking - 8 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Short-season A, class A

Anthony Reyes - RHP
Classification - Strikeout/Flyball
Overall - 377 total outs: 23.87% ground, 40.05% fly, 36.07% strike
Contact - 241 outs: 37.34% ground, 62.66% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 2 of 34
Contact Ranking - 1 of 12, flyball
2005 Level(s) - Triple-A

Justin Brown - RHP
Classification - Strikeout/Groundball
Overall - 18 total outs: 38.89% ground, 27.78% fly, 33.33% strike
Contact - 12 outs: 58.33% ground, 41.67% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 3 of 34 but tiny sample size
Contact Ranking - 16 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Class A/short-season A

Tyler Herron - RHP
Classification - Strikeout/Neutral with groundball tendencies
Overall - 148 total outs: 37.84% ground, 29.05% fly, 33.11% strike
Contact - 99 outs: 56.57% ground, 43.43% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 4 of 34
Contact Ranking - Neutral with groundball tendencies
2005 Level(s) - Rookie

Adam Daniels - LHP
Classification - Borderline Strikeout/Groundball
Overall - 76 total outs: 42.11% ground, 25.00% fly, 32.89% strike
Contact - 51 outs: 62.75% ground, 37.25% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 5 of 34 but spent part of season in the bullpen
Contact Ranking - 7 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Short-season A

Shaun Garceau - RHP
Classification - Borderline Strikeout/Groundball
Overall - 132 total outs: 40.91% ground, 27.27% fly, 31.82% strike
Contact - 90 outs: 60% ground, 40% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 6 of 34
Contact Ranking - 11 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Rookie

Matt Lane - RHP
Classification - Borderline Strikeout/Groundball
Overall - 163 total outs: 44.17% ground, 24.54% fly, 31.29% strike
Contact - 112 outs: 64.29% ground, 35.71% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 7 of 34
Contact Ranking - 6 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Rookie

Neutral
The neutral range this past season was calculated to be between 52-58% of their contact outs being groundballs. While six starters qualified as neutral, Tyler Herron is listed under the strikeout category so the remaining five are listed below.

Kevin Jarvis - RHP
Classification - Neutral with groundball tendency
Overall - 468 total outs: 43.80% ground, % fly, % strike
Contact - 360 outs: 56.94% ground, 43.06% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 23 of 34
Contact Ranking - Neutral with groundball tendency
2005 Level(s) - Triple-A

Mike Parisi - RHP
Classification - Neutral with groundball tendency
Overall - 518 total outs: 41.31% ground, 31.47% fly, 27.22% strike
Contact - 377 outs: 56.76% ground, 43.24% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 17 of 34
Contact Ranking - Neutral with groundball tendency
2005 Level(s) - Class A, A-Advanced

Stuart Pomeranz- RHP
Classification - Neutral
Overall - 428 total outs: 44.16% ground, 34.81% fly, 21.03% strike
Contact - 338 outs: 55.92% ground, 44.08% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 28 of 34
Contact Ranking - Neutral
2005 Level(s) - Class A, A-Advanced

Adam Wainwright - RHP
Classification - Neutral
Overall - 539 total outs: 39.89% ground, 32.84% fly, 27.27% strike
Contact - 392 outs: 54.85% ground, 45.15% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 16 of 34
Contact Ranking - Neutral
2005 Level(s) - Triple-A

Tyler Adamczyk - RHP
Classification - Neutral with flyball tendency
Overall - 348 total outs: 44.83% ground, 41.09% fly, 14.08% strike
Contact - 299 outs: 52.17% ground, 47.83% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 34 of 34
Contact Ranking - Neutral with flyball tendency
2005 Level(s) -

Groundball
A pitcher qualified in the groundball category if over fifty-eight percent of his contact outs came via a ground out. Eleven of the total of sixteen are listed below. The rest of them are listed in the strikeout category.

Nick Webber - RHP
Classification - Extreme Groundball
Overall - 238 total outs: 60.50% ground, 18.49% fly, 21.01% strike
Contact - 188 outs: 76.60% ground, 23.40% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 29 of 34
Contact Ranking - 1 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Short-season A, class A

Eric Haberer - LHP
Classification - Groundball
Overall - 474 total outs: 54.01% ground, 23.63% fly, 22.36% strike
Contact - 368 outs: 69.57% ground, 30.43% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 25 of 34
Contact Ranking - 2 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Class A, A-Advanced

Chris Clem - RHP
Classification - Groundball
Overall - 109 total outs: 55.05% ground, 24.77% fly, 20.18% strike
Contact - 87 outs: 68.97% ground, 31.03% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 31 of 34
Contact Ranking - 3 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Short-season A

Blake Hawksworth - RHP
Classification - Groundball
Overall - 43 total outs: 46.51% ground, 25.58% fly, 27.91% strike
Contact - 31 outs: 64.52% ground, 35.48% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 13 of 34
Contact Ranking - Tied for fourth of sixteen, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Short-season A

Josh Wilson - RHP
Classification - Groundball
Overall - 156 total outs: 51.28% ground, 28.21% fly, 20.51% strike
Contact - 124 outs: 64.52% ground, 35.48% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 30 of 34
Contact Ranking - Tied for fourth of sixteen, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Rookie

Dennis Dove - RHP
Classification - Groundball
Overall - 433 total outs: 46.88% ground, 30.48% fly, 22.63% strike
Contact - 335 outs: 60.60% ground, 39.40% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 24 of 34
Contact Ranking - 9 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Class A, A-Advanced

Jordan Pals - RHP
Classification - Groundball
Overall - 450 total outs: 47.11% ground, 30.67% fly, 22.22% strike
Contact - 350 outs: 60.57% ground, 39.43% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 26 of 34
Contact Ranking - 10 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Double-A

Mitchell Boggs - RHP
Classification - Groundball
Overall - 206 total outs: 42.23% ground, 28.16% fly, 29.61% strike
Contact - 145 outs: 60% ground, 40% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 9 of 34
Contact Ranking - 12 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) -

Tyler Leach - RHP
Classification - Borderline Groundball
Overall - 106 total outs: 42.45% ground, 30.19% fly, 27.36% strike
Contact - 77 outs: 58.44% ground, 41.56% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 15 of 34
Contact Ranking - 13 of 16, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Rookie

Mark Michael - RHP
Classification - Borderline Groundball
Overall - 236 total outs: 47.03% ground, 33.47% fly, 19.49% strike
Contact - 190 outs: 58.42% ground, 41.58% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 32 of 34
Contact Ranking - Tied for fourteenth of sixteen, groundball
2005 Level(s) - A-Advanced

Bill Pulsipher - LHP
Classification - Borderline Groundball
Overall - 409 total outs: 41.56% ground, 29.58% fly, 28.85% strike
Contact - 291 outs: 58.42% ground, 41.58% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 10 of 34
Contact Ranking - Tied for fourteenth of sixteen, groundball
2005 Level(s) - Double-A, Triple-A

Fly Ball
There were twelve starters in the Cardinals minor league during 2005 that are categorized as fly ball pitchers. Eleven of the twelve are listed below. The twelfth is Anthony Reyes, who is listed in the strikeout section.

Phillip Andersen - RHP
Classification - Extreme Fly Ball
Overall - 311 total outs: 27.65% ground, 43.73% fly, 28.62% strike
Contact - 222 outs: 38.74% ground, 61.26% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 11 of 34
Contact Ranking - 2 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - Class A

Donnie Smith - RHP
Classification - Extreme Fly Ball
Overall - 78 total outs: 29.49% ground, 44.87% fly, 25.64% strike
Contact - 58 outs: 39.66% ground, 60.34% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 19 of 34
Contact Ranking - 3 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - Class A

Matt Scherer - RHP
Classification - Extreme Fly Ball
Overall - 396 total outs: 30.05% ground, 45.71% fly, 24.24% strike
Contact - 300 outs: 39.67% ground, 60.33% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 21 of 34
Contact Ranking - 4 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - Class A

Michael Cooper - RHP
Classification - Fly Ball
Overall - 209 total outs: 31.10% ground, 44.02% fly, 24.88% strike
Contact - 157 outs: 41.40% ground, 58.60% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 20 of 34
Contact Ranking - 5 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - Short-season A, class A

Jeremy Cummings - RHP
Classification - Fly Ball
Overall - 369 total outs: 31.44% ground, 40.92% fly, 27.64% strike
Contact - 267 outs: 43.45% ground, 54.07% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 14 of 34
Contact Ranking - 6 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - Double-A, Triple-A

Zach Zuercher - LHP
Classification - Fly Ball
Overall - 235 total outs: 33.62% ground, 39.57% fly, 26.81% strike
Contact - 172 outs: 45.93% ground, 54.07% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 18 of 34
Contact Ranking - 7 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - Short-season A

Chris Gissell – RHP
Classification - Fly Ball
Overall - 405 total outs: 32.10% ground, 37.53% fly, 30.37% strike
Contact - 282 outs: 46.10% ground, 53.90% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 8 of 34
Contact Ranking - 8 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - Triple-A

Chris Lambert – RHP
Classification - Fly Ball
Overall - 387 total outs: 35.92% ground, 40.05% fly, 24.03% strike
Contact - 294 outs: 47.28% ground, 52.72% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 22 of 34
Contact Ranking - 9 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - Double-A

Randy Leek - LHP
Classification - Fly Ball
Overall - 552 total outs: 38.41% ground, 42.75% fly, 18.84% strike
Contact - 448 outs: 47.32% ground, 52.68% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 33 of 34
Contact Ranking - 10 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - Double-A, Triple-A

Jose Garcia - RHP
Classification - Fly Ball
Overall - 391 total outs: 35.55% ground, 36.32% fly, 28.13% strike
Contact - 281 outs: 49.47% ground, 50.53% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 12 of 34
Contact Ranking - 11 of 12, fly ball
2005 Level(s) - A-Advanced

Oscar Alvarez - LHP
Classification - Borderline Fly Ball
Overall - 421 total outs: 40.14% ground, 38.48% fly, 21.38% strike
Contact - 331 outs: 51.06% ground, 48.94% fly
Strikeout Ranking - 27 of 34
Contact Ranking - 12 of 12, flyball
2005 Level(s) - Double-A

Summary

 

Strikeout ranking

 

 

 

Contact Out

 

 

 

 

 

Ground ball

Neutral w/GB tendency

Neutral

Neutral w/FB tendency

Fly ball

Strikeout pitchers              
Mark McCormick  1 of 34   8 of 16        
Anthony Reyes  2 of 34           1 of 12
Justin Brown  3 of 34   16 of 16        
Tyler Herron  4 of 34    

X

     
Adam Daniels  5 of 34   7 of 16        
Shaun Garceau  6 of 34   11 of 16        
Matt Lane  7 of 34   6 of 16        
               
Neutral pitchers              
Kevin Jarvis  23 of 34    

X

     
Mike Parisi  17 of 34    

X

     
Stuart Pomeranz 28 of 34      

X

   
Adam Wainwright  16 of 34      

X

   
Tyler Adamczyk  34 of 34        

X

 
               
Groundball pitchers              
Nick Webber  29 of 34   1 of 16        
Eric Haberer  25 of 34   2 of 16        
Chris Clem  31 of 34   3 of 16        
Blake Hawksworth  13 of 34   T4 of 16        
Josh Wilson  30 of 34   T4 of 16        
Dennis Dove  24 of 34   9 of 16        
Jordan Pals  26 of 34   10 of 16        
Mitchell Boggs  9 of 34   12 of 16        
Tyler Leach  15 of 34   13 of 16        
Mark Michael  32 of 34   T14 of 16        
Bill Pulsipher  10 of 34   T14 of 16        
               
Flyball pitchers              
Phillip Andersen  11 of 34           2 of 12
Donnie Smith  19 of 34           3 of 12
Matt Scherer  21 of 34           4 of 12
Michael Cooper  20 of 34           5 of 12
Jeremy Cummings  14 of 34           6 of 12
Zach Zuercher  18 of 34           7 of 12
Chris Gissell  8 of 34           8 of 12
Chris Lambert  22 of 34           9 of 12
Randy Leek  33 of 34           10 of 12
Jose Garcia  12 of 34           11 of 12
Oscar Alvarez  27 of 34           12 of 12

Part two of this series will look at the relievers.

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