First Pitch

First Pitch: Should We Change the Way We Value Pitchers?

First Pitch: Should We Change the Way We Value Pitchers?

This afternoon, A.J. Burnett signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. If you're looking for my reaction to the deal, you're not going to find it here. I've spent plenty of time discussing my thoughts on Burnett. To sum it all up once again, I think the Pirates rotation looks good, and I don't think Burnett was necessary to have a contending team. If you're looking for more detail, there are plenty of articles I've written on Burnett this off-season.

Today I want to focus on what could turn out to be a very interesting case study during the 2014 season: the impact of park factors and defense on a pitcher.

As we know, Burnett came to the Pirates after struggling with the Yankees for two years. Almost immediately he saw success with the Pirates. Part of that success came due to his new approach, pitching more with his two-seam fastball, and focusing more on ground balls. Burnett saw his ground ball percentage go from 49% in 2011 to 56% in 2012 and 2013. That adjustment...

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First Pitch
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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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