Friday, May 29, 2009
Rick Porcello Revisited
A number of very young pitchers were placed in major league rotations to start this season. In most cases, I thought their promotions were premature based on their minor league performance to date. I happen to have been wrong on most of them, including Rick Porcello. In 51.2 innings pitched, he's struck out 32 batters and walked 16. That would be good enough to get by in any case, but given his exceptional 54% groundball rate, it's terrific. Three lessons that his success so far reinforces - young pitchers can improve very rapidly, it would be really nice to have access to minor league groundball rate data, and sometimes the scouts DO know something that basic statistical data can't tell us. My gloomy forecast for Porcello ignored what people were saying about him not having been allowed to use his secondary pitches last season.