All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > Nolan Ryan: Thoroughly Average Good Pitcher
8/30/2013 7:38 AM
If that ? is to me my answer is that that stat doesn't have that much value to me. Gary Nolan is 61st, Greg Maddux 57th, Roger Clemens is 92nd, Bob Gibson is 118. Which one of these doesn't belong? Obviously WHIP has some meaning as do all stats, and it's fun to try and adjust stats but there are way too many variables however the stats are configured to use them as absolutes. Take the example above. Gary Nolan also has a better career ERA than Clemens, so statistically he must be the better pitcher. Realistically speaking however,  how many people would honestly trade Clemens to acquire Nolan. Granted Clemens has a better ERA+ but by that measurement Brandon Webb is the 12th greatest pitcher of all time. 

BTW. Nolan Ryan is 58th all time in WAR and 20th rated WAR pitcher of all time which to me is absolutely meaningless, but I know some people are into it. 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_career.shtml,
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_pitch_career.shtml

Also FWI.  I don't mean to belittle G Nolan, He was a very good pitcher who was mishandled by the Reds.
8/30/2013 4:01 PM
Posted by mirky on 8/30/2013 7:38:00 AM (view original):
If that ? is to me my answer is that that stat doesn't have that much value to me. Gary Nolan is 61st, Greg Maddux 57th, Roger Clemens is 92nd, Bob Gibson is 118. Which one of these doesn't belong? Obviously WHIP has some meaning as do all stats, and it's fun to try and adjust stats but there are way too many variables however the stats are configured to use them as absolutes. Take the example above. Gary Nolan also has a better career ERA than Clemens, so statistically he must be the better pitcher. Realistically speaking however,  how many people would honestly trade Clemens to acquire Nolan. Granted Clemens has a better ERA+ but by that measurement Brandon Webb is the 12th greatest pitcher of all time. 

BTW. Nolan Ryan is 58th all time in WAR and 20th rated WAR pitcher of all time which to me is absolutely meaningless, but I know some people are into it. 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_career.shtml,
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_pitch_career.shtml

Also FWI.  I don't mean to belittle G Nolan, He was a very good pitcher who was mishandled by the Reds.
Nah, I was just throwing it out there generally.  WHIP is usually a stat most guys will use as a basis for pitching success, at least I always have.  I think with Nolan you took the good with the bad.  Thing is, with him....his GOOD could turn GREAT in a hurry.  Any pitcher with 7 no hitters (and I am sure a lot of 1, 2, and 3 hitters) and 5700+ strikeouts (to me) deserves to be in Cooperstown. 

I just think you do have to account for his insane walk rates when comparing him to others.  Also, he never won a Cy Young award.  Awards don't mean everything, but I think it shows that he never truly dominated his position like Maddux, Clemens, Walter Johnson, Koufax.....etc.  Ryan would probably be in my top 25-30 ever.

8/30/2013 6:14 PM
If I had to pick ONE pitcher to start ONE game to win it all, Ryan would come in around 30 to 40, but ONLY based on the CHANCE that he could be great in that ONE start. He was an AVERAGE pitcher overall, who lit it up on occasion and got lit up on occasion. That's my ONLY argument. His longevity and durability are NOT in question. He was a VERY SPECIAL HUMAN SPECIMEN when it comes to pitching.......but he wasn't THAT good overall. NOTHING you can say can argue that FACT.
8/30/2013 6:20 PM
Posted by rsp777 on 8/30/2013 6:14:00 PM (view original):
If I had to pick ONE pitcher to start ONE game to win it all, Ryan would come in around 30 to 40, but ONLY based on the CHANCE that he could be great in that ONE start. He was an AVERAGE pitcher overall, who lit it up on occasion and got lit up on occasion. That's my ONLY argument. His longevity and durability are NOT in question. He was a VERY SPECIAL HUMAN SPECIMEN when it comes to pitching.......but he wasn't THAT good overall. NOTHING you can say can argue that FACT.
It's ironic that Ryan was the one who had a talk with Randy Johnson, supposedly helping him settle down to be a great pitcher.  The irony is that I would take Randy over Nolan any day of the week now.  The student surpassed the master.
9/3/2013 9:00 AM
Posted by mirky on 8/28/2013 2:56:00 PM (view original):
Nolan Ryan. When he was on he was awesome, but you never knew what you were going to get. As I remember him, if his curve was working it was lights out, but he could be very wild and consistency was an issue. When he would pitch I would always watch because you never knew when it might be special (back then it was Monday night baseball or the Saturday game of the week). I believe that Ryan gets overrated or underrated by stat geeks. Some look at his K's, no hitters and longevity and want to make him the greatest pitcher of all time. Trust me he was no Tom Seaver who for some reason never gets his due anymore . Others look at his walks and try to diminish him. Yes, he is just an average pitcher with 7 no hitters and 5700 K's. That argument doesn't even make sense. Blyleven and Morris better than Ryan? Really? I would be very skeptical of any list of top 50 pitchers that did not include Ryan.
My Rating of pitchers I've personally seen pitch, not including current pitchers. I Saw Gibson and Marichal  but outside of the peak. So roughly the last 40+  years
1. T Seaver
2. P Martinez
3. G Maddux
4. R Johnson
5.  J Palmer
6.  R Clemens
7.  N Ryan
8. D Sutton
9. S Carlton
10. J Smoltz

Obviously the order might vary based on individual preference but I can't think of any other pitchers with completed careersbin the last 40 years that I would put on this list. Hunter? Niekro?
People (scribes, etc...) always remember the gas that he threw but almost always forget about his unhittable curve when he was on. There was a lot of talk of Blyleven's curveball back in the day but when Ryan's was on, his was equal to- if not better than than the latter's.
My own opinion here is that his "surface" numbers (the K's + no- hitters) are what about 90% of folks look at when thinking of Ryan but having said this, and having seen him pitch in his prime and then his latter years that he is a HOFer, but not the best pitcher I've ever seen.

My own list would be (this from the cuff, without much fore- thought...)
1-   Tom Seaver
2-   Pedro Martinez
3-   Jim Palmer
4-   Steve Carlton
5-   Greg Maddux
6-   John Smoltz
7-   Roger Clemens
8-   Gaylord Perry
9-   Randy Johnson
10- Nolan Ryan

I probably could have added Ferguson Jenkins or Ron Guidry but I just haven't had enough time to really think about this list...

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