Free Agent Groundballers

One trait any GM looks for in a starting pitcher is a strong groundball rate.  According to FanGraphs, the free agent leaders (100 innings pitched minimum):

  1. Jake Westbrook – 56.4%
  2. Jorge de la Rosa – 52.3%
  3. Jon Garland – 51.9%
  4. Carl Pavano – 51.2%
  5. Hiroki Kuroda – 51.1%

An honorable mention goes to free agent Brandon Webb, who had a 64.2% rate in 2008, his last full season.  How about a few trade candidates over 50% in 2010?  Derek Lowe, Aaron Cook, Paul Maholm, and Edwin Jackson fit the bill.

Ted Lilly is the anti-Westbrook, with a groundball rate of just 29.5%.  Bruce Chen, Javier Vazquez, and Aaron Harang also tend to keep the ball in the air.


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21 Comments on "Free Agent Groundballers"


BravesRed
4 years 10 months ago

With the way Lowe is pitching right now, Braves might get some useful prospect for him, but doubtful Wren will trade him, especially with Medlen out next season.

scottandwtb
4 years 10 months ago

And the fact that he’s owed $30 million over the next 2 years. Eeep.

twins06
4 years 10 months ago

i think if the braves get someone to take on lowe’s entire contract and give up a decent prospect as well they will have no trouble pulling the trigger on the trade

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

No one will spend 30 million and give up anything of use.

sdsuphilip
4 years 10 months ago

I think someone is going to get Kuroda at a very reasonable price, hopefully he stays away from the N.L West

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

I think he made around 15 million this year, I don’t think hes gonna take a very big pay cut.

HerbertAnchovy
4 years 10 months ago

Anti-Westbrook sounds like some kind of totalitarian society.

4 years 10 months ago

Isn’t Brandon Webb a free agent? I get that he’s injured and thus doesn’t meet that minimum 100ip mark, but he’s also the king of ground balls when he is healthy

4 years 10 months ago

Good point, he definitely deserves an honorable mention.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 10 months ago

Ted Lilly can keep putting the ball in the air. He’s a different kind of pitcher, throws slow stuff in fastball counts, and fastballs in slow stuff count, moves the ball up, down, in, out. Has a low walk rate and healthy K rate, gives up a lot of home runs. Almost all of them are solo. He can come pitch for my Padres any day. I like the idea of a pitcher on the starting staff with a completely different look and pitch pattern than the rest of the pitchers.

Lilly takes his craft seriously and has found a formula for success. He’s also a serious competitor. Jed, call him.

roomwithamoose
4 years 10 months ago

Well if the Padres had the money then I think Lilly would look great for the Padres some home runs will die in his would be home stadium, and all that fun stuff. That being said, money will be an issue. I think if the Pads had Lilly in the rotation this year it would’ve been easier for them to give Latos more time off to keep him fresh.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t think a lot of clubs are going to be after Lilly because of his age, and they don’t want different, or at least as different as Lilly is. He could slip into that category of 1 year bargain. I suspect he’ll stay with the Dodgers if they’ll have him. He’s a good fit for them. He’d be fantastic for the Padres though, and buy some time for their young arms.

atlaskl
4 years 10 months ago

ha anybody wanna take jamie moyer or kyle kendrick?

BravesRed
4 years 10 months ago

You can keep Kendrick and Moyer is a free agent.

4 years 10 months ago

am i the only one who laughed when javy vazquez was mentioned as keeping the ball in the air? as in in the air usually over the fence or shots to the gap?

KStrickTech
4 years 10 months ago

Just as a quick question, I was always curious as to whether only balls in play were factored into this, or if balls out-of-play were factored in as well?

start_wearing_purple
4 years 10 months ago

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tigers attached to almost every free agent. But like several pitchers before him, I think Westbrook needs to realize he’s better off in St. Louis and should just sign anything they put before him.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

remember the last(couple) times that a guy had a good stay in St. Louis only to cash in on a big contract and implode in the other team’s face (suppan, looper, etc)

start_wearing_purple
4 years 10 months ago

Everyone loved him when the Tigers made the series 3 years after one of the worst and most humiliating seasons of all time.

BravesRed
4 years 10 months ago

I’ll take over his job for the day, and for free also.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Tim and a nap? Whoa Jackie. Wait until you see how much Tim works from November 1st until January 31st…I’m not sure if he even sleeps during that time, he waits.