All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > Nolan Ryan: Thoroughly Average Good Pitcher
7/23/2013 5:30 PM
BBR has Ryan 20th in career WAR, about 2 wins behind Pedro.  FanGraphs puts Ryan 6th all-time (interestingly, FanGraphs also has Clemens 1st all time; BBR has Cy Young first and Walter Johnson 2nd) at about 20 wins better than Pedro.  There's virtually no meaningful metric which could ever argue that Ryan was anywhere near Pedro's league in terms of per-inning value, but he threw almost twice as many  innings.  In fact, though he only led his league in IP once, he threw a full ML season every year from 1972 through 1991 - 20 consecutive full seasons worth of starts.  That's just ridiculous to even think about in the modern game, and Ryan is 2nd amongst all post-deadball pitchers in career IP.  And he did that as a fireballing strikeout pitcher, while the guy ahead of him (Niekro) did it on the knuckleball.  Extreme durability is an asset for pitchers.  No way to deny that...
7/23/2013 6:30 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/23/2013 5:24:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 7/23/2013 5:19:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/23/2013 5:05:00 PM (view original):
I think Ryan compares quite well with "thoroughly average good pitchers".
Do you put "thoroughly average good pitchers" in the Hall of Fame?
I said "quite well".    Most people would think that means he's better.    But, since you're a bit slow, I'll spell it out.

Ryan
is
better
than
a
throughly
average
good
pitcher.
Much
better.
He
compares
to
those
ranked
in
the
20s
for
all
time
rankings.
I apologize, I misunderstood. I thought you meant "compares quite well" as "similar," meaning you thought he was thoroughly average.
7/23/2013 6:49 PM
My entire argument here is that Ryan, while DEFINITELY worthy of the HOF and all of his accolades, was not one of the "best" pitchers in history. His longevity is his hallmark and his durability is INSANE. NO ONE will EVER come close to him again as far as taking the ball every fifth day and going out there and pitching 6 or 7 innings. He was a VERY solid pitcher, but NOT one of the best of all time. Ryan deserves his status because he was ELECTRIC. He had the ability to, on ANY given day, go out there and throw a no-no or a one-hitter. When he was in command he was unhittable. BUT, there were FAR TOO MANY times where he was simply an innings eater. He'd strike out 10, walk 5 and give up 4 runs in 7 innings. That is NOT greatness, no matter what your measure. The bottom line is that the TITLE OF THIS THREAD is VERY accurate. Ryan was, for the most part, a THOROUGHLY AVERAGE GOOD PITCHER. His longevity makes him a freak, and his (very) OCCASIONAL ability to dominate makes him a Hall of Fame worthy pitcher. But there are FAR too many people who elevate his status to MYTHICAL levels. Ryan was FUN TO WATCH and absolutely ELECTRIFIED crowds, but he was also just a smidge above mediocre when you look at the big picture. If you're not willing to accept that fact then you are absolutely DELUSIONAL.
7/23/2013 7:12 PM
I think if you say a pitcher belongs in the hall of fame, you're saying he was among the best all time and significantly above average. Even if a ton of his value was tied to his durability.
7/23/2013 8:29 PM

I don't think anyone is saying "he's the best!"

Comparing him to the all-time greats and saying "Well, he's not faring very well" is pretty damn accurate.   He won't. 

I think he falls into the Johnson(Randy), Jenkins, Feller level.    And that's going to put him somewhere in the top 25-30.

There can only be a few top 10(about 10 of them if my math is right).   Ryan doesn't fit in there.  I'm not sure he fits into the 2nd group(11-25).   But, if you're saying 50ish, I'll need to see your list.

7/23/2013 9:22 PM
Rsp777

Everything was logically debatable until you said, "...he was also just a smidge above mediocre..."

Um...

WHAT!?

Wanna say top 50 of all time, I don't agree he is that low but ok, we can have a conversation.

"A smidge above mediocre"?

I turn to the next guy at the bar .
7/24/2013 2:03 AM
Using lots of capital letters doesn't make you any less wrong.
7/24/2013 1:41 PM
"but he was also just a smidge above mediocre when you look at the big picture."

I think we know who is delusional :)
7/27/2013 3:04 AM
RSP... of the pitchers in MLB history who have amassed 300 or more wins, Nolan Ryan received 0.83 runs per game fewer than the average in the group. Using pythagorean W/L with the same performance by Ryan and the added 0.83 runs per game in support, rather than 324-292, Ryan ends up at 397-258. At almost 400 wins, he would definitely be considered one of the top pitchers of all time. And none of his stats are altered. Just his run support. I'm not saying that his bb/9 is acceptable... but he did a great job of not allowing those baserunners to score. Keith Hernandez's book, Dave Winfield's book and many others have identified Nolan Ryan as the pitcher they least liked to face. While I agree that he had his flaws, Nolan is among the all time greats and if he had even average run support, would be much more highly regarded by his W/L record.
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7/27/2013 11:13 AM
Posted by eschwartz67 on 7/27/2013 3:04:00 AM (view original):
RSP... of the pitchers in MLB history who have amassed 300 or more wins, Nolan Ryan received 0.83 runs per game fewer than the average in the group. Using pythagorean W/L with the same performance by Ryan and the added 0.83 runs per game in support, rather than 324-292, Ryan ends up at 397-258. At almost 400 wins, he would definitely be considered one of the top pitchers of all time. And none of his stats are altered. Just his run support. I'm not saying that his bb/9 is acceptable... but he did a great job of not allowing those baserunners to score. Keith Hernandez's book, Dave Winfield's book and many others have identified Nolan Ryan as the pitcher they least liked to face. While I agree that he had his flaws, Nolan is among the all time greats and if he had even average run support, would be much more highly regarded by his W/L record.
Thanks for proving that pitcher w/l record is useless.
8/1/2013 5:27 PM
UPDATE - Ryan still average overall but occasionally electric.
8/1/2013 9:23 PM

UPDATE:  You're still a retard.

Stay tuned for more.

8/2/2013 11:56 AM
UPDATE: I got nuthin...arguing with you is like ******* into a tornado. I just get covered in ****. I mean, you've TOTALLY missed the point. Ryan was, on an individual game basis, one of the most exciting players MLB has EVER seen. He ABSOLUTELY deserves his HOF status and all of his accolades. But just admit it already...he wasn't that ******* GREAT except on an OCCASIONAL basis. He was an innings eating workhorse who had incredible longevity that MORE than deserves to be recognized. And yet, he was still, at the end of the day, an above-average pitcher. Yes, he did it longer than almost everyone and he could flame the **** out of the ball, but he was, on most days, imminently beatable.
8/2/2013 12:03 PM
Ryan has some very good seasons.   He is the all-time leader in hit per 9.   Not for a game or a season but for his career.   He was extremely difficult to hit.  

Like most pitchers, he was beatable on any given day.   But, without question, he gave his team a good chance to win because he was so difficult to hit.   He walked a lot of guys, and I understand why this frustrates people, but he was still difficult to hit.    Now, if he could only pitch 5 innings because his pitch count was so high from the walking, he'd be far less valuable.   But that was not the case.    No one is arguing "greatest ever" but I think he falls in the 20-30 of all-time.   I just don't think it's possible to name 30 pitchers who had better careers.  If you'd like to, I'll certainly read your list.
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