Unconventional Wisdom: Who are today's best-hitting pitchers?
In the six years that I've generated
Still, if you aren't accounting for pitcher hitting, you're unambiguously cheating some players out of their value. For example,
To address this question, I developed a regression-based system for projecting hitter performance that I'll call SPHPS (Simple Pitcher Hitting Projection System), which isn't a catchy anagram at all, but has the virtue of being a palindrome. This system is derived solely from the hitting statistics of pitchers; you don't want to include position players in the same dataset because then you'll regress toward the mean established by position players, when pitchers and position players are selected to play in the major leagues based on totally different skill sets. (The gap between pitcher and position-player hitting has grown steadily since the dawn of baseball time).
The balance of this article will be devoted to identifying the 10 best-hitting pitchers in baseball as identified by SPHPS. The specific measure we use is the number of extra runs a pitcher produces relative to a league-average hitting pitcher, as derived from a version of the
Strictly speaking, the worst worst-hitting pitcher is probably an older relief specialist somewhere in one of the bullpens of the American League;