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The Saber's Edge: Targeting BB% Improvements

Jeff Zimmerman

Jeff Zimmerman

Jeff Zimmerman writes about all things Baseball for RotoWire. He also handles scouting and reporting for Jeff also contributes to, and

Usually, the first stat I look at when comparing pitchers is K%-BB%. It gets to the core of a pitcher's controllable talent. How many batters can they strike out and how few do they walk? The next item I look at is health. How many of High K%/Low BB% innings is the pitcher going to hopefully produce for me? Finally, I look for a high walk rate, the higher the better. Yep, if I have to decide between two otherwise equal pitchers, I will take the walk-happy thrower because walks are one aspect of a pitcher's game that can improve. This week, I will look at why a large walk can be an item to exploit.

Historically, pitchers begin to see a declining strikeout rate as soon as they reach the majors. This decline can be seen in this graph that I helped produce for FanGraphs. Even though some pitchers see an increase, they are definitely the exception. The one aspect of a pit

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