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Explanation of Ratings

This is the fifth year for the Full Count website. The idea for this site began as a simple means of evaluating pitchers, particularly starters, for a fantasy league.

Experienced fantasy owners know as well as their major league counterparts that the most difficult aspect of developing a winning team is the often frustrating process of trying to identify reliable pitchers. In Rotisserie-style fantasy, this means the ability to deliver wins, saves and innings without destroying team ERA and WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched). To say nothing of having to do this with something MLB owners don't have to deal with - a salary cap!

But you don't need to be a fantasy owner to use this site. The Full Count site provides both dollar ratings useful to fantasy owners, and written evaluations which are of potential interest to everyone.

Dollar Ratings are based on a straightforward valuation method. Values for saves and wins are determined as well as for units of ERA and WHIP. Each pitcher's dollar value is a combination of his values in each of the four categories. Because ERA and WHIP can have negative values, it is possible for pitchers to have negative total value. Those interested in a more detailed discussion of the Full Count valuation method can click here.

The written Evaluations were begun during the '98 season and reflect personal observation as much as possible. However, I also refer to a variety of statistical data and provide three key ratios for each pitcher:

  • H/IP, or hit rate. 
  • K/BB, the strikeout to walk ratio, a key indicator of plate command. 
  • HR/IP, or home run rate. 

In addition, the components of the strikeout to walk ratio (K/IP and BB/IP rates) are given.

These three ratios are key to selecting quality pitchers. For example, in 1999, an NL pitcher ranking in the top third in the H/IP category had an average value of $10.02 compared to an average value of -$1.51 for pitchers in the bottom third. The differential was even more pronounced in the AL where the top third averaged $10.30 compared to -$1.67 in the bottom third.

K/BB ratio is similarly important. In the NL, pitchers with the best K/BB ratios had an average value of $9.50 compared to -$.55 for those with poorer plate command. AL pitchers ranking in the top third had an average value of $11.23 compared to -$.98 in the bottom third. 

HR rate provides less differentiation than the other measures and should be given slightly less importance. AL pitchers with the lowest HR rates had an average value of $8.20, NL pitchers $8.27. AL pitchers with high HR rates averaged $.37 in value, NL pitchers -$.69.

Each evaluation for pitchers working a minimum of 35 innings last year features a graph which shows how the pitcher compares against the league average on each dimension. Pitchers that are better than average have indices above 100, those who are below average are below 100.

The evaluations benefit from occasional insightful comments provided by game analysts. Jeff Torborg, Joe Morgan, and Philadelphia's Chris Wheeler have proven to be the most helpful. I have also found STATS, Inc.'s Scouting Notebook to be a useful tool, particularly when cross-referencing observations.

To view Full Count's dollar values, use the buttons below. Links to evaluations for specific pitchers can be found there. To get to the evaluations for each MLB team, return to the home page and use the team buttons available there.

Enjoy the site!