Pitching Coaches and Systems

9 04 2009

Starting pitching has long been my bane in fantasy sports, which is why I’ve been writing a fair bit about it.  The conventional wisdom seems to value pitchers who had a good season last year, an idea I’m not too crazy about.  A lot of pitchers seem to have one great year and then disappear into mediocrity.  There’s a ton of turnover in the top of starting pitching rankings, much more so than in hitting, or in other sports like basketball.

One idea I’ve been batting around is to focus on particular teams that tend to consistently crank out fantasy-viable starters.  The theory is that pitching coaches, and the systems that draft and develop young starters have a strong influence on performance, perhaps moreso than historical statistical data on those players.  It would be difficult to design a good test to detect and measure this effect, but pretty valuable.  Off the top of my head, it seems like Atlanta, Oakland, both LA teams, Toronto and Florida are all pretty good at putting good young starters on the mound.

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