Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Questioning Mr. Neyer

Rob Neyer is contining his series of the top players, position by position, over the next five years. Today he looked at pitching. He gives us a list of 16 pitchers ranked in order of their ERA+ from last season and then picks the 10 he thinks will be best over the next 5 years.

The list of 16 with their 2007 ERA+

Brandon Webb(154)
Johan Santana(145)
Roy Oswalt(144)
C.C Sabathia(142)
John Lackey(139)
Scott Kazmir(135)
Erik Bedard(132)
Roy Halladay(131)
Carlos Zambrano(126)
Cole Hamels(126)
Justin Verlander(125)
Jake Peavy(123)
Chien-Ming Wang(122)
Danny Haren(120)
Josh Beckett(114)
Felix Hernandez(104)

He says "You might look at the younger pitchers on the list -- Kazmir, Hamels, Verlander, especially Felix Hernandez -- and think they are the future of pitching. Some of them are. Some of them are not. None of them have proved they can give their teams 200 innings. Until they do, I have a hard time placing them among the game's elite."

Then he gives us his top 10 for the next five years:

1. Santana
2. Webb
3. Peavy
4. Beckett
5. Sabathia
6. Lackey
7. Oswalt
8. Haren
9. Verlander
10. ???

By your previous paragraph how can you include Verlander on that list and not Kazmir? Last season Kazmir DID prove he pitch 200 innings by putting up 206 IP with a 3.48 ERA and leading the AL in strikeouts. He was also third in walks, but one would assume that his walk rate would get better with experience. Verlander on the other hand had a lower ERA+, less Innings Pitched(201), less strike outs(183) and a higher ERA(3.66).

I'd like to see Mr. Neyer explain his reasoning on this one?