A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 58 Pedro Martinez (Number 17 Pitcher)

I feel bad I don’t have Martinez in the inner circle. He might be the guy to chose if you had to win one game. I would certainly choose him over Nolan Ryan. One thing I did was in evaluating starting pitchers was put in a second stat which was basically covered a pitcher’s prime. For position players I had already put in an additional stat that was more of a prime statistic than a career statistic, although it had elements of both. However, that statistic wasn’t available for pitchers. I also concluded I didn’t have Martinez and Dizzy Trout high enough. I tried adding a second prime statistic and I liked my pitcher ratings a lot better.

Martinez was a great pitcher but is only 168th all time in innings pitched. Usually if a pitcher is a great pitcher, he accumulates a lot of innings. I looked at the 16 pitchers ahead of Martinez on this list and found 13 in the top 24 in innings pitched. That means they get their picture at the top of the page in Baseball Reference. The three who weren’t in the top 24 was Randy Johnson in 38th place with more than 4,000 innings, Lefty Grove in 44th place and Bob Gibson in 46th place. So, all of these pitchers were in the top 50. Bob Gibson had 3,884 innings pitched and Pedro Martinez had 2,827 innings pitched.

We can take these three for individual seasons. Pedro was in the top 10 in innings pitched 6 seasons, his highest being fourth. That was the only year he was in the top 5. Randy Johnson led the league in innings pitched twice and was in the top 10, ten seasons. In each of those seasons he was in the top 5. Lefty Grove was in the top 10 in innings pitched 11 times with two seconds and two thirds. Bob Gibson was in the top 10 eight times with 4 thirds and 3 fourths. Basically, Pedro didn’t throw near as many innings as the pitchers above him and since my formula favorites longevity more, it hurts Pedro In the ratings.

Now we need to figure out why Pedro didn’t throw that many innings. Pedro was 5’11” and weighed 170 pounds according to Baseball Reference so he wasn’t the biggest guy. He also got hurt a few of those years. Then at the age of 34 he wasn’t as effective. His ERA went up 1 and a half runs per game in 2006 at age 34. In 2007 his ERA went down, but he pitched only 5 games. In 2008 he didn’t pitch well at all. He came back in 9 starts with the Phillies in 2009, but not close to his prime.

Pedro in his prime was about as good as you could get. His prime was from 1997 to 2003 seven seasons which no one pitched better if they did it couldn’t have been by much. He won 3 Cy Young Awards, was runner-up twice and third once. The other season Pedro pitched well he just had only 18 starts. In 1999 and 2000 he was about unhittable. He went 41-10 won-loss those two years.

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