Friday, September 17, 2010

Pitchers - Great performances through the 1st 4 years of their career


Best ERA, Through first 4 seasons of career, 200+ IP (since 1910)
2005-08 Jonathan Papelbon 1.84 ERA, 230 IP (Red Sox)
2007-10 Joakim Soria 1.99, 249.1 (Royals)
1913-16 Dutch Leonard 2.04, 941.1 (Red Sox)
2006-09 Takashi Saito 2.05, 245.1 (Dodgers, Red Sox)
1914-17 Babe Ruth 2.07, 890.2 (Red Sox)
1914-17 Mellie Wolfgang 2.10, 317.2 (White Sox)
1912-16 Ernie Shore 2.13, 613.2 (Giants, Red Sox)
1941-46 Howie Pollet 2.16, 563.2 (Cardinals)
1911-15 Jeff Pfeffer 2.16, 641 (Browns, Dodgers)
1915-18 Carl Mays 2.17, 959 (Red Sox)

What jumps out is that Joakim Soria is quietly having an amazing career, and could legitimately be considered a possibility for the Hall of Fame someday.  That will obviously be made easier if gets to play on some winning teams, either with an improved Royals team or somewhere else.  There are only 5 closers in the Hall of Fame right now (Bruce Sutter, Rollie Fingers, Googe Gossage, Dennis Eckersley and Hoyt Wilhelm). 

Of that group, only Eckerlsey closed into the 90's, and Sutter failed 12 years in a row before being elected in 2006.  Lee Smith and John Franco (#3 and 4 on the all-time) are not in the Hall of Fame yet either.  Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman should be first ballot locks, but the certainty ends there. 

Soria will have to continue this incredible pace for a long time, but a sub-2.00 through 4 full seasons shows that he has what it takes.

Best ERA, Through first 4 seasons of career, 200+ IP (since 1950)2005-08 Jonathan Papelbon 1.84 ERA, 230 IP (Red Sox)
2007-10 Joakim Soria 1.99, 249.1 (Royals)
2006-09 Takashi Saito 2.05, 245.1 (Dodgers, Red Sox)
1963-67 Frank Linzy 2.17, 294.1 (Giants)
1980-83 Steve Howe 2.17, 306.2 (Dodgers)
1988-91 Rob Dibble 2.21, 338.2 (Reds)
1979-82 Jeff Reardon 2.26, 310.2 (Mets, Expos)
1976-79 Bruce Sutter 2.33, 390.2 (Cubs)
1964-67 Bob Lee 2.34, 427.1 (Angels)
1988-91 Greg Harris 2.34, 403.1 (Padres)

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