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TommyPickles

John Means 2019 vs. Justin Verlander 2006 ROY Season

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I know Means is probably not going to win Rookie of the Year.  But take a look at how his numbers this year (so far) stack up against one of the other recent AL starters to win the award, Justin Verlander in 2006:

rWAR:

Means- 4.1

Verlander- 4.0

ERA:

Means- 3.47

Verlander- 3.63

ERA+:

Means- 136

Verlander- 125

WHIP:

Means- 1.114

Verlander- 1.328

IP:

Verlander- 186.0 (30 G, 30 GS)

Means- 137.1 (28 G, 24 GS)

 

Now, Verlander had a sexier record and the 2006 Tigers did make it all the way to the World Series... but still, when you look at their numbers side by side, Means has definitely put together a ROY-type season.

 

Edited by TommyPickles
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15 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Which hyped draft pick is going to win AL ROY?

I should have said hyped prospect.  🙄

They'd give it to Vlad Jr. if they could.  Practically had already given it to him before the season started.  

 

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Yordan Álvarez is the current favorite for RoY, but Means keeps himself in the top tier.   Verlander was a #2 overall pick (SD took Matt Bush 1-1).   Means is off to a much better start to his career than many of us thought possible.

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FIrst time I saw Verlander pitch, it was clear he was going to be great.  Means has been more of a slow reveal.    But he’s been very impressive, and he seems really driven to keep getting better.   

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- I don't think you should discount 50 innings difference.

- Verlander is a different type of pitcher.  His strikeout rate was low as a rookie, but over the subsequent couple years he changed something (maybe switching from a sinker to a four seam?) and became more of a prototypical power starter in the same family as a Clemens or a Halladay or Mike Scott or a hundred others.  That's not John Means.

- Most pitchers with below-average strikeout rates fade away pretty quickly.  Almost every HOF starter began life with a better-than-average K rate, most well above average.  K rate is basically a pitcher's margin.  Most lose it over time and eventually get a point where they're not viable anymore.  Verlander's early career switch made him an exception.  We'll see what happens with Means.

- Verlander's fastball has 5 mph on Means, and he's 36.  It's a little astonishing that he throws about as hard at this point in his career as he did as a rookie.  If Means is a normal pitcher he'll have lost 3-5 mph on his 90 mph fastball in a decade.

I hope Means wins the ROY, he's a great story.  But we should be happy if he ends up with a third of Verlander's career.

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12 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

- I don't think you should discount 50 innings difference.

- Verlander is a different type of pitcher.  His strikeout rate was low as a rookie, but over the subsequent couple years he changed something (maybe switching from a sinker to a four seam?) and became more of a prototypical power starter in the same family as a Clemens or a Halladay or Mike Scott or a hundred others.  That's not John Means.

- Most pitchers with below-average strikeout rates fade away pretty quickly.  Almost every HOF starter began life with a better-than-average K rate, most well above average.  K rate is basically a pitcher's margin.  Most lose it over time and eventually get a point where they're not viable anymore.  Verlander's early career switch made him an exception.  We'll see what happens with Means.

- Verlander's fastball has 5 mph on Means, and he's 36.  It's a little astonishing that he throws about as hard at this point in his career as he did as a rookie.  If Means is a normal pitcher he'll have lost 3-5 mph on his 90 mph fastball in a decade.

I hope Means wins the ROY, he's a great story.  But we should be happy if he ends up with a third of Verlander's career.

giphy.gif

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How did we ever survive without GIFs and Memes, lol?

I like Means, he's had a nice year.  I hope he can sustain it next season and beyond, but we'll see.  Comparing him to Verlander just isn't a good comp, as has been pointed out.  I'm trying to think of comps for him and I'm struggling.  Jamie Moyer, maybe?  Although Moyer didn't start to pitch really well into his mid-30's.

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Before I go on my quest to prove Richie Martin will one day be inducted into Cooperstown... here are some other ROY starters vaguely similar to John Means:

- Michael Fulmer, 2016.  11-7, 139 ERA+.  Currently out for the year with TJ surgery.  24-31, 3.81 for his career.
- Dontrelle Willie, 2003.  14-6, 127 ERA+ in 27 starts.  58-63 rest of his career, 22-10, 2nd in 2005 Cy Young.
- Pat Zachry, 1976, 14-7, 128 ERA+ in 28 starts.  55-60, 98 ERA+ rest of career.
- John Montefusco, 1975, 15-9, 133 ERA+ in 34 starts.  72-72, 100 ERA plus in 10 more years.
- John Matlack, 1972, 15-10, 145 ERA+ in 32 starts.  110-113, with 112 ERA+ rest of career.

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2 minutes ago, DirtyBird said:

Are you saying that this season could land Means a large busted supermodel?

Damn, I totally read that wrong.

3 minutes ago, esmd said:

How did we ever survive without GIFs and Memes, lol?

I like Means, he's had a nice year.  I hope he can sustain it next season and beyond, but we'll see.  Comparing him to Verlander just isn't a good comp, as has been pointed out.  I'm trying to think of comps for him and I'm struggling.  Jamie Moyer, maybe?  Although Moyer didn't start to pitch really well into his mid-30's.

It's not a good comp from a stuff perspective.  But from a stats perspective it's an interesting look.

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