Over the holidays, I received an email from Chris W. who is coming back to the game of APBA. He has a good question regarding some of the relatively new changes in the pitching grading.
I’m returning to APBA for the first time in a LONG time!
Since I just got back to it, I see they now have some new pitcher ratings, like R, K, and ZZ.
Do you have any idea how a pitcher gets those ratings? I’m trying to sort of “retro-fit” older seasons I owned in the past. I assume the R rating may be based on something like K/9, but I’m wondering how long it needs to be to warrant an R. And, for that matter, is it era-dependent. For example, is what a pitcher needs to receive an R dependent upon what the league’s K/9 is?
First of all Chris, welcome back to APBA baseball! There have been some definite changes in the game. Though baseball fans always seem to be resistant to any changes, most people I’ve talk to seem to like the new APBA boards and ratings now in place.
Now let’s get to your specific question: the pitchers R, K, and ZZ ratings. These ratings are meant to further articulate the strikeout accuracy (in the case of R and K rating) and the walk accuracy (in the case of the ZZ). In combination with the Y, X, and W already in place, APBA hopes to fine tune these stats. While the R (which actually reduce strikeouts by turning them into fly outs and ground outs) and the K strikeout ratings are relatively new the ZZ control rating has been around for some time (anyone have the exact years?).
But what Chris W. really wants to know is how pitchers get these ratings of R, K and ZZ. Well, only APBA knows and they’re not telling. But there are generally accepted values for each rating. I have to admit I was ignorant of what the exact values were off the top of my head. But I sent an email to Steve Stein from the Transcontinental Baseball League who is generally smarter than I in matters like this. Steve had the answer in a jiffy and good one at that.
Here are Steve’s numbers. Keep in mind that he uses K/9 IP and BB/9 IP K/(BF-IBB) and BB/(BF-IBB) where BF=batters faced and IBB=intentional walks but these numbers must be compared to the league average (i.e. 1.00 equals the league average). Steve was nice enough to include all strikeout and walk letters, too.
Pitchers’ Strikeout Ratings
|Strikeout letter||K/(BF-IBB) compared to league average|
|R||less than 0.62|
|KXY||greater than 2.20|
Pitchers’ Control Ratings
|Control letter||BB/(BF-IBB)* compared to league average|
|ZZ||less than 0.30|
|Z||0.30 – 0.83|
|no letter||0.83 – 1.26|
|W||greater than 1.26|
*use unintentional walks
I hope this answers Chris W.’s question. With a little stat work, he should be able to determine which pitchers in his season warrant an R, a K or a ZZ. Thanks to him for a great question and thanks to Steve Stein for his help!
Let me emphasize that these are not in any way APBA’s formula (we wish we knew!) but hopefully something close.