HHP: Frobby breaks down the 10 game winner question


Poster glenn_davis pointed out how few times post-Mussina the Orioles had a pitcher they drafted win 10+ games for them in a season.

There have only been seven pitchers drafted by the O’s since Mussina who have won 10+ games for them in a year, and they’ve only done it 9 times total. Bundy and Bedard did it twice, Coppinger, Matusz, Arrieta, Britton and Gausman once each.

Putting aside the whole “wins are a lousy statistic” issue, it got me to wondering how common it is for a home-drafted pitcher to win 10+ games, and how bad the O’s performance really was compared to other teams. So I looked at it two ways: (1) doing the same analysis for the other AL East teams over the same time period, and (2) looking at how many home-grown 10-game winners there were in MLB in 2017.

First, the other AL East teams:

Boston: The Red Sox have only had three home-grown 10-game winners since Mussina was drafted, but they did it 11 times: Lester (7), Buchholz (3), Sele (1).

New York: The Yankees only drafted three pitchers who won 10 games in a season for them since Mussina, and they did it only four times: Hughes did it twice and Kamieniecky and Hitchcock once each.

Tampa: Despite giving every other AL team a multi-year head start, the Rays have drafted 8 pitchers who won 10+ for them, and they’ve done it an AL East-high 27 times: Shields 6, Price 6, Cobb 4, Niemann 3, Hellickson 3, Davis 2, Moore 2, Sonnanstine 1. In both 2011 and 2012, the Rays had five starters accomplish the feat, and that included six different pitchers over the two years. The total of 27 is all the more remarkable when you consider that they had no home-grown 10-game winners from their debut in 1998 through 2006, and they’ve had none the last three seasons. So they had 27 such seasons in an 8-year window.

Toronto: The Blue Jays lead the AL East pack by drafting ten pitchers who won 10 games for them since Mussina was drafted, and they’ve done it a total of 23 times: Halladay (7), Carpenter (3), Romero (3), Marcum (2), Hutchison (2), Stroman (2), and one each for McGowan, Litsch, Cecil and Sanchez.

2017: Looking at this past year is fairly instructive. There were 75 10-game winners in MLB, but only 20 were drafted by the team they play for: Kershaw, DeGrom, Verlander (who won 10 for the Tigers before being traded), Strasburg, Berrios, Keuchel, Bundy, Stroman, G. Cole, Nola, Cobb, Gibson, Wacha, Nelson, Paxton, Gausman, Freeland, Tomlin and J. Gray. Here’s a further breakdown of the 75:

Played for the team that drafted them: 20 (incl. Verlander)

Acquired via trade: 27

Acquired via free agency: 14

International players playing for the team that originally signed them: 12

Picked up on waivers: 1

(Actually, I missed one in my tally, but you get the idea)

A few observations about all this:

1. Although the Orioles look pretty terrible, remember that the cutoff date was deliberately set to omit Mussina, who won 10+ games nine times for us. You only pick up a stud like that once in a blue moon, so starting the relevant period right after it happens kind of skews the picture. (Note: Andy Pettitte was drafted the same year as Mussina and won 10+ games 15 times for the Yankees.)

2. Considering that there are only 20 home-drafted pitchers among the 30 major league teams who won 10+ games in 2017, it’s rare for the O’s to have two of them in Gausman and Bundy. They’re under control for quite some time and hopefully can add to our totals.

3. Quite a few of the 27 pitchers acquired by trade were acquired pretty early in their careers — like Jake Arrieta, Zach Davies and Parker Bridwell.