The Depth of Pitching

No I'm not going to discuss the attrition rates because there are better resources than  I could provide that cover that angle of minor league pitching. Instead I'm going to provide information on which of our pitchers strike the most hitters out while walking the least. Some people around here think looking at the K/BB ratio is evil, and well, some people around here are stupid. Generally 2.00 is the lowest accepted K/BB ratio for a pitcher, with 3.00 being pretty good, 4.00 being great, and anything higher being really, really impressive.

K/BB ratio obviously isn't the end all to be all, but the pitchers who strike out three+ times their walk totals are usually going to be succesful. For instance, the top of the K/BB leaderboard this season features names like Dan Haren, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay while the bottom has Barry Zito, Daniel Cabrera, and Kenny Rogers.

54% of the Rays pitchers have a K/BB ratio of 2.00 or better and nearly 40% have K/9s of 8 or better. Anyhow here is the list of pitchers, ranked by K/BB ratio in descending order:

Player Position Age Level K/9 K/BB
Omar Bencomo RHSP 19 ROK 8.16 18.33
Matthew Gorgen RHRP 25 L-A 13.91 8.5
Nelson Liriano RHRP 20 L-A 10.8 8.5
Kyle Ayers RHRP 18 L-A 7.03 8.33
Jeremy Hellickson RHSP 21 AA 9.59 8.1
Jamie Bagley RHRP 20 L-A 11.27 7.6
Jesse Darcy RHSP 23 L-A 6.63 6.53
Albert Suarez RHSP 18 L-A 7.63 5.29
Juan Salas RHRP 29 L-A 10.95 4.83
Wilking Rodriguez RHSP 18 L-A 9.79 4.83
Neil Schenk LHRP 22 L-A 12.18 4.6
Joseph Cruz RHSP 19 L-A 10.33 4.43
Chris Luck RHRP 18 L-A 8.75 4.38
Lewis Heath Rollins RHSP 23 AA 7.7 4.18
Carlos Hernandez LHSP 28 L-A 8.65 4.17
Matthew Moore LHSP 19 L-A 12.75 4.05
Mitch Talbot RHSP 24 AAA 7.88 4.03
Michael Jarman LHRP 23 L-A 10.92 4
James Shields RHSP 26 MLB 6.82 4
Angel Chapa RHRP 21 L-A 9.2 3.88
Justin Garcia RHRP 22 L-A 9.71 3.85
Deivis Mavares RHRP 21 L-A 11.47 3.65
Austin Hinkle RHRP 23 L-A 12.92 3.53
Raul Guedez RHRP 23 L-A 7.71 3.5
Juan Wilsino RHSP 19 L-A 5.97 3.45
Grant Balfour RHRP 30 MLB 13.77 3.43
Nick Barnese RHSP 19 L-A 11.07 3.41
David Price LHSP 22 AAA 8.95 3.41
Andrew Sonnanstine RHSP 25 MLB 5.44 3.38
Jeremy Cummings RHSP 31 AAA 7.9 3.35
Kevin Boggan RHRP 22 L-A 6.66 3.31
Juan Santana RHRP 22 L-A 7.31 3.29
Brian Baker RHRP 25 L-A 7.11 3.24
Scott Dohmann RHRP 30 AAA 9.75 3.21
Dale Thayer RHRP 27 AAA 10.01 3.17
Matthew Long RHRP 23 L-A 12.49 3.1
Eduardo Morlan RHRP 22 AA 8.62 3
Jose Monegro RHSP 18 L-A 4.41 3
Elvin Perez RHRP 22 L-A 8.07 2.91
Ryan Reid RHRP 23 AA 11.41 2.88
Alexander Cobb RHSP 20 L-A 6.25 2.77
Frank De Los Santos LHSP 20 L-A 6.99 2.75
Neal Frontz RHRP 24 AA 6.84 2.75
Dan Wheeler RHRP 30 MLB 7.02 2.71
Scott Kazmir LHSP 24 L-A 9.71 2.68
Marquis Fleming RHRP 21 L-A 9.6 2.67
Joshua Satow LHRP 22 L-A 11.36 2.65
Brandon Mann LHSP 24 L-A 7.09 2.64
Jeremy Hall RHSP 24 L-A 7.09 2.52
Jason Ragan RHSP 25 L-A 5.16 2.46
Jeff Niemann RHSP 25 AAA 8.47 2.44
Shane Dyer RHSP 20 L-A 7.06 2.42
Colter Bean RHRP 31 L-A 9.63 2.38
Travis Risser RHRP 23 H-A 7.5 2.37
Jason Cromer LHRP 27 L-A 6.48 2.25
J.P Howell LHRP 25 MLB 9.2 2.24
Eliazer Suero RHSP 19 ROK 6.71 2.24
Chris Mason RHSP 23 AAA 7.44 2.17
Luis Yendis RHSP 18 L-A 6.79 2.16
Matt Garza RHSP 24 MLB 6.35 2.15
Wade Davis RHSP 22 AAA 7.62 2.06
Alexander Colome RHSP 19 L-A 10.1 2
Troy Percival RHRP 38 MLB 8.31 2
Kevin Chavez RHSP 19 L-A 6.99 2
Jae Kuk Ryu RHSP 25 AAA 6.92 2
Wilton Noel RHRP 23 L-A 6.24 2
Joice Linares LHRP 18 L-A 5.89 2
Jason McEachern RHRP 17 L-A 5.76 2
Craig James RHRP 25 L-A 8.32 1.97
Michael Wlodarczyk LHRP 25 L-A 7.25 1.94
John Baird RHRP 21 L-A 9 1.93
James Houser Jr. LHSP 23 AAA 7.25 1.9
Braulio Lara LHRP 19 L-A 10.32 1.86
Steve Andrade RHRP 30 AAA 10.24 1.86
Heath Phillips LHRP 26 AAA 7.07 1.85
Kevin Lynn RHRP 29 L-A 6.14 1.84
Ryan Owen LHRP 23 L-A 8.03 1.83
Eduar Quinonez RHRP 18 L-A 6.6 1.83
Robert Della Grotta RHRP 23 L-A 9.62 1.82
Jose Torres RHRP 17 L-A 6.28 1.82
Ryan Morse LHSP 25 H-A 5.45 1.82
Jacob McGee LHSP 21 AA 7.53 1.76
Travis Barnett RHRP 24 L-A 8.13 1.75
Darin Downs LHRP 23 L-A 8.21 1.74
Chris Andujar RHSP 20 L-A 7.63 1.73
Brian Flores LHSP 23 L-A 5.87 1.71
Joshua Johnson RHRP 21 L-A 6.1 1.69
Trever Miller LHRP 35 MLB 8.74 1.65
Richard De Los Santos RHSP 24 AA 4.44 1.63
Roger Deago LHRP 31 L-A 6.53 1.59
Tyree Hayes RHSP 19 L-A 5.43 1.52
Mike Prochaska LHSP 28 L-A 4.38 1.5
Wade Townsend RHRP 25 L-A 7.56 1.44
Chad Bradford RHRP 33 MLB 3.1 1.42
Aneuris Mercedes RHRP 21 L-A 7.16 1.4
Hugo Duarte RHRP 18 L-A 8.13 1.39
Victor Mateo RHSP 18 L-A 6.1 1.38
Carlos Duenas LHRP 20 L-A 6.2 1.36
Nick DeBarr RHRP 24 AAA 6.12 1.36
Edwin Jackson RHSP 24 MLB 5.19 1.3
Francisco Andrade LHRP 17 L-A 7.22 1.28
Jordi Amargos RHRP 22 L-A 6.41 1.27
Brian Henderson LHRP 26 AA 5.22 1.26
Alberto Molina LHRP 17 L-A 6.95 1.24
Glenn Gibson LHRP 20 L-A 6.15 1.24
Calvin Medlock RHRP 25 AAA 5.66 1.22
Jason Hammel RHRP 25 MLB 4.94 1.22
Kevin Lopez RHRP 19 L-A 6.09 1.2
Jino Gonzalez LHRP 25 L-A 6.98 1.19
Jose Angel Mejias RHRP 24 L-A 4.97 1.19
Diego Echeverria RHRP 23 L-A 4.77 1.19
Ben Hendrickson RHSP 27 AAA 4.58 1.14
Woods Fines RHSP 22 L-A 4.12 1.13
Matthew Walker RHRP 21 L-A 6.48 1.02
Joselo Jasco RHRP 19 L-A 6.75 1
Chris Fessler RHRP 24 L-A 5.4 1
Ali Crespo RHRP 18 L-A 2.13 1
Chuck Tiffany LHRP 23 L-A 6.7 0.94
Ronny Ozoria RHRP 19 L-A 6.75 0.89
Orlando Cabrera RHRP 18 L-A 5.45 0.84
Chris Kelly RHRP 25 L-A 4.56 0.84
Jose Fermin RHRP 17 L-A 5.59 0.78
Joan Guerrero LHRP 17 L-A 4.71 0.76
Luis Espana RHRP 19 L-A 3.54 0.73
Robinson Reyes LHRP 19 L-A 8.33 0.56

Most of the pitchers in the bottom half are likely never going to be successful unless they are a heavy groundballer (Bradford) ora lefty (Miller) or quirky like a knuckleballer (Echeverria). The guys at the top aren't guaranteed success either, sometimes they will find a wall where their stuff or control meets its match, but they have a higher chance of being major leaguers than poor Luis Espana.

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