The Draft Picks Show It’s Important For Phillies Pitching Prospects to Have a High Strikeout to Walk Ratio

The Phillies picked RHP Aaron Nola from LSU with the seventh pick in the draft.  Nola had a 6.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio at LSU.  The average big-leaguer this season has a 2.52 ratio. With the 47th pick they picked LHP Matt Imhof from Cal-Poly San Luis Opisbo who had 3 to 1 strike out to walk ratio in college.

Hats off to the Phillies Front Office for drafting starting pitchers with their first two picks who both have excellent strike out to walk ratios. This ratio is considered one of the best, if not the best metric, for measuring future success in major league baseball.

It is so frustrating watching pitchers walk batters.  Just pound the strike zone.  Keep the ball down on the corners. Trust your defense and good things will happen.  Unfortunately I have watch too many pitchers who can not throw strikes this season.

The Phillies have two pitchers in the organization who lead their respective leagues in base on ball.  A.J. Burnett who pitched last night leads the National League with 41 and has been a major disappointment recently on the mound because of it.  Not be out done Ethan Stewart who goes tonight for the Clearwater Threshers leads the Florida State League with 41 walks as well but pitched better in his last start in striking out five and walking only two in six innings of work.

The best new pitcher coming into the major leagues was Masahiro Tanaka who registered 4.5 strikeouts for every walk in Japan. That’s by far the best among Japanese pitchers who have become major league starters in the past 20 years.  It’s also the statistic that seems to be the best indicator for success in the big leagues according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal.

This season with the Yankees Tanaka has been outstanding.  He has struck out 88 and walked only 12 in 78.2 innings.  He has averaged better than a strike out an inning and now has a 6.5 strikeout to walk ratio.  No wonder he is 8-1 with a  2.07 ERA in 11 starts.  Where would the Yankees be without him.

The Phillies Cliff Lee has been one of the best strike throwers in the National League year in and year out.  He has struck out 68 and walked only 9 in 61 innings for a ratio 6.7 to 1  but he is on the Disabled List with elbow problems.

All of the sudden on Tuesday night, Hoby Milner started to throw strikes for the Reading Fightin Phils and good things happened for him.  He threw a five inning no-hitter walking only one and striking out six before the rains came in Harrisburg. He was at the coveted 6-1 strike out to walk ratio of Lee and Tanaka.  In his previous nine starts he had walked 26 and struck out 26.  It was a night and day difference in his performance from previous starts.

Jesse Biddle has struggled throwing strikes at times this season.  In Biddle’s last six starts his ratio is 26 strikeouts to 19 walks.  But in the four starts prior back in April he had the 6-1 ratio of 33 strikeouts to only 5 walks.

Ken Giles was tremendous out of the pen at AA because he had 29 strikeouts and only 5 walks–again the 6-1 ratio.  At AAA he has been less effective and he has struck out 9 and walked 8 so far.

Before any of these guys can move up just look at their strike out to walk ratios to see how they are doing.  It tells a lot about whether or not they have major league potential.  Milner, Biddle and Giles have shown at time they do, but they need to be more consistent if they are to pitch in the major leagues.
















About Baseball Ross

I have been a faithful Phillies follower all my life. Today I am most intrigued by those players in the minor league system who work every day of the year to make it to the Show. This is what this blog is mostly all about. To read more, click here:
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