Thursday, October 6, 2011
The guy who is better than Yu Darvish
There has been plenty of talk about Japanese phenom Yu Darvish, and it seems for good reason, his numbers are very good. However, what if I were to tell you that there was a better pitcher in Japan? Meet Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka is the only pitcher in Japanese baseball (out of pitchers that have enough innings to qualify) with a lower ERA than Darvish. In 208 innings, Tanaka has a 1.38 ERA. His WHIP is a microscopic .89, and he strikes out 9.63 hitters per 9 innings. After calculating his BAA, which is around .208, this is a PE of -5.28. After hustling him through the Japanese pitching metric we calculated in the Yu Darvish article, he would still have an ERA of 1.99, a WHIP of .976, and a 8.27 K/9. This year in Japan, he has only given up .35 HR/9 innings, an amazing 8.57 K/BB ratio, 12 complete games (4 of them shutouts, Darvish has just 9 complete games), and he is only 22! There are many things to really like about Tanaka. All the talk is about Darvish and Wada in Japan, but if Tanaka ever becomes available to the U.S., I would take him over the other two.