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Old 01-02-2015, 05:03 PM   #1
Charlie Hough
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Who Is Your Best Hitting Pitcher of All Time?

In my current fictional league, based on early 1980s league totals and modifiers, my #4 starting pitcher went on a tear this season, batting .358 despite having modest ratings at the plate.

Who is the best hitting pitcher that you have ever had on a team that you've managed, especially during modern eras of baseball?

Since my league plays only 132 games, my pitcher made only 75 plate appearances and had only 67 at-bats. Otherwise, he would have led my team in batting average.

He got hot on June 10 when he went 2-for-4, and thereafter he was remarkably consistent and was hitting a remarkable .413 on August 4. He never really cooled off and continued to hit fora high average all the way until the end of the season.

He was so good at the plate that I didn't pull him for a pinch hitter a couple of times in key situations, and he came through on both occasions. Never before had I found myself thinking that going to one of my top pinch hitters might actually decrease the chances of success at the plate.

Sadly, because the players in the #7 and #8 batting slots were not hitting well for much of his phenomenal run, he didn't get an opportunity for many RBIs and didn't score a lot of runs because he often got on base with two outs already.

Also, he ended up missing out on the post-season when he picked up an injury in his final start of the season. But he would have been in the bullpen anyway, so he wouldn't have had much of a chance to contribute on offense or defense.



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Old 01-02-2015, 05:28 PM   #2
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removed hijack.


back on topic....That is definitely a good hitting pitcher!!
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:25 AM   #3
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So why exactly are you batting him 9th?

Or maybe you actually thought you'd bat him 9th so that the lineup would wrap around nicely

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Old 01-03-2015, 02:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
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So why exactly are you batting him 9th
Because you can't afford to ignore batting ratings, particularly when other players have ratings that are two points or more above another guy's ratings across the board.

No matter how hot a player may be hitting, if his ratings are significantly worse than other hitters and he doesn't offer any real gap or power ability, then it's pretty foolish to bat him ahead of other players in the lineup.

The guys just ahead of him were hitting for significantly lower average, but they produced a lot more offense because they could actually hit doubles, triples, and home runs.
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:57 PM   #5
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I think it would be foolish to ignore his great form and bat him 9th just because of his ratings. Ride the .350 horse until it drops, then he can bat 9th again. I'm not saying he should lead off, but I'm pretty sure even with no power .350 would beat some shortstops or catchers. Especially as you were saying he had not many RBIs because #7 and #8 sucked.
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I think it would be foolish to ignore his great form and bat him 9th just because of his ratings. Ride the .350 horse until it drops, then he can bat 9th again. I'm not saying he should lead off, but I'm pretty sure even with no power .350 would beat some shortstops or catchers. Especially as you were saying he had not many RBIs because #7 and #8 sucked.
Do you think an MLB manager would ever do this? No. When you consider the statistical probabilities, particularly for a player whose batting ratings are so poor, it was an absolute fluke and freak result that this pitcher was hot at the plate for about two months. I have never seen anything like this in over 10 years of playing the game.

If you start basing your lineup decisions on freak occurrences that are extreme statistical anomalies, then you're going to lose games. OOTP is far too random and finicky when it comes to streaks, and it was unprecedented to see a streak like this for a pitcher at the plate. I could see doing it with a regular hitter but not with a guy who only bats every five days.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:16 PM   #7
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I'm not going to turn this post into one on Stats Only, ( I don't even play SO myself). But I was just thinking it would be neat if this was to happen in a SO league. It would make you wonder, could this guy really be a good hitter? But with ratings on, you know that - No - its just an anomaly and thus the decision to leave him in the 9 spot.


Still an interesting story. I had Chris Sale hit .339 for me, with an .836 OPS (he hit .500 vs LHP somehow).


.339 avg/ .429 obp/ .836 OPS in 59 AB, with 4 doubles.


Hit .213/273/279 the following year so I was not so lucky the second time around.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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Well, OOTP never seems to create a pitcher with hitting ability that resembles an everyday player. So, even if you play stats only, you probably know enough to realize that no pitcher is ever a really good hitter. Sometimes a guy has unusually good contact and an eye at the plate, but he has no gap or power and is very bad at avoiding strikeouts. It seems that there are always glaring weaknesses that ensure that pitchers are never quite as good as your weakest batters.

However, in theory, if you had only played the game with stats only and you had never seen OOTP player ratings, then you wouldn't necessarily know this. But eventually you would probably figure it out from long-term stats. Inevitably you're going to realize that pitchers might get hot for a while, but they're almost never as good as the worst batter on your team, much less better than your other hitters.

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Old 01-06-2015, 03:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Hough View Post
Do you think an MLB manager would ever do this? No. When you consider the statistical probabilities, particularly for a player whose batting ratings are so poor, it was an absolute fluke and freak result that this pitcher was hot at the plate for about two months. I have never seen anything like this in over 10 years of playing the game.

If you start basing your lineup decisions on freak occurrences that are extreme statistical anomalies, then you're going to lose games. OOTP is far too random and finicky when it comes to streaks, and it was unprecedented to see a streak like this for a pitcher at the plate. I could see doing it with a regular hitter but not with a guy who only bats every five days.
Not necessarily with pitchers, but managers definitely ride hot streaks for players who would have low ratings in real life. Brock Holt is a perfect example no way should he be a starting 3B for the Sox for most of the season, but he was.

Again it's not with pitchers, but riding a hot streak isn't completely outrageous.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:43 AM   #10
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I think streaks and slumps are more than random statistical anomalies. A hitter might have a phase where he sees the ball well, hits with confidence and therefore has a better average than usual. Conversly, he might be discouraged by a bad phase and until he regains his confidence, he'll bat worse than usual.

And this pitcher, although overall he might have bad ratings, with his platoon split he has usable contact and a good eye against righties. He may get into favorable counts and then hit well enough to connect on a meatball for a single.

And in real life baseball, there is a lot of inertia. "Pitchers bat 9th!" Yeah, because they suck with the bat. Might be true in many cases, but there might be rare exeptions where a good hitting pitcher on a good streak deserves to be in front of a weak hitting positional player. IRL I'd say Zack Greinke in 2013 might have been a candidate. By now, he's hitting .200 again, but him hitting higher in the order in 2013 might given his team an extra run or 2.
You shouldn't do it after 10 ABs of course, but if lets say halfway through the season he's still hitting .300, why not give him a shot? Worst case he'll go back after 2 or 3 hitless games, but it's not like your regular #7 starter couldn't have had hitless games as well.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:25 PM   #11
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I have this guy. Not doing so well in 2016, but his 2015 was pretty good. He is technically a two way player though, and does play a bit in the OF:

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Old 01-07-2015, 03:39 PM   #12
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^^^ Sheesh, what are his steal and speed ratings? Looks like he'd swipe 60-70 over a full season of games.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:41 PM   #13
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^^^ Sheesh, what are his steal and speed ratings? Looks like he'd swipe 60-70 over a full season of games.
Speed 13, Steal 20, Baserunning 15 (out of 20).
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:27 PM   #14
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I am not up to the modern day in my dynasty yet—I just finished 1928—but I can share with you the best hitting pitchers by career numbers among still active players:

First Division:

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Second Division:

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Third Division:

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The First Division guy, Cary Byrne, is the also best hitting pitcher in League history.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:35 PM   #15
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Also, as far as I can tell, Cary Byrne's 1925 is the greatest hitting season for a pitcher in Baseball League history, so far. He slashed .494/.512/.696 for a 241 OPS+. He also had eight doubles, a triple, two homers, and only five strikeouts. And if you look closely, you can see that his 1923 ain't too shabby, either.

And, if you're interested, his career record is 146-86 and a 2.43 ERA in eight League seasons, with a 149 ERA+ and a 67.7 WAR. The shame is that his first League season was an age 27 season, because he was originally signed by a non-League club; otherwise, if/when the League establishes a Hall of Fame, he'd be on track for it. He still might be if he has a great late career run in him.

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Old 01-08-2015, 12:02 PM   #16
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My best hitting pitcher didn't hit for too terribly high average: Charlie Xiu from my OOTP 13 league was a two way player. I had him at catcher, and relief pitcher. Then he started complaining he was a closer; so I switched him to closer. He had a career .228 avg, but 100 HRs; I'm sure most of those came when he was catching, but after his 4th major league season, (at which point he had 76) he never caught again, meaning that he hit at least 24 in 6 seasons as a closer.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:03 AM   #17
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Brandon Ervin.

When I traded for him in 1907 I used him in LF on his days off. He ended up getting hurt on the basepaths (on one of his pitching days) but I'd bat him 6th/7th that year. After that injury when he returned in 1908 I think I spot started him in the outfield only a few more times as he was my ace and I didn't want to risk injury.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:33 PM   #18
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Some of the recent examples are great, but they're from historical eras when good-hitting pitchers were much more common. I think the real challenge is to see if anyone has seen numbers like those in a more modern game.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:32 AM   #19
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Fred Nichols. Might have had a more memorable career as a position player to be honest.




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Old 01-13-2015, 10:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Some of the recent examples are great, but they're from historical eras when good-hitting pitchers were much more common. I think the real challenge is to see if anyone has seen numbers like those in a more modern game.
My pitcher was from the early part of the century but that is using 1980s modifiers
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