Pitchers Who are Nasty and Hittable

I wanted to look this up for myself so I figured I'd share the results in a fanpost. I don't really know what the relevance is, but the thought occurred to me today that I often use strikeout percentage or swinging strike percentage to determine how nasty a pitcher's stuff is. And it would naturally seem to me that pitchers with nastier stuff would be tougher to get base hits off of on balls put in play.

So I went to a query in Play Index that TheJay ran for me a while back. Here's the list, it's the highest career BABIP allowed by a pitcher with a minimum of 100 innings since 1954. I wanted to sort them by the highest K rates. Parra is notable because he is 16th on the list, and has the most career innings of any pitcher in the top 50.

I had to do it manually because I can't export the query to Numbers.

Jepsen, 8.9 K/9

Connollly, 8.2 K/9

Parra, 8.1 K/9

Mock, 8 K/9

Paulino, 8 K/9

Parnell, 7.8 K/9

The list drops to 6.5 after Parnell.

Jepsen is a current reliever with the Angels who has put up a pretty good season this year, with a strikeout rate over 10 per 9. Connolly pitched in the 60s, bouncing between starting and relieving. In his career his walk rate was quite a bit higher than even Manny Parra's, probably explaining why he was out of the majors midway through his second year. Jepsen had 102 innings at the time of the query and Connolly amassed 130 in his career.

Manny Parra is a weird creature. I'm not going to try to conclude anything from this, but it's something to think about. Maybe part of why I defend him so much is because of this strange combination of skills: great stuff, tons of strikeouts, poor control, and extremely hittable. There's no pitcher in baseball that has ever been like him, as far as I can tell. But fortunately, his career is not over, and hopefully things start to change and the BABIP evens out and he becomes a solid starting pitcher.

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