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Home Run Per Flyball Leaders

Today we'll take a look at this year's home run per flyball leaders.  This rate is supposed to regress toward 10%, but every year many pitchers benefit by posting lower rates.  But before we get into the 2008 leaders, let's examine those who topped the list in '07.  Did these players see their HR/flyball rate go up or down in '08?

  1. Brad Penny - 4.7% - went up
  2. Chris Young - 5.0% - went up
  3. Kelvim Escobar - 6.0% - didn't pitch
  4. Chien-Ming Wang - 6.4% - went down
  5. Tim Hudson - 6.6% - went up
  6. Matt Cain - 6.7% - went up
  7. Jake Peavy - 6.7% - went up
  8. Adam Wainwright - 7.0% - went up
  9. Roy Halladay - 7.3% - went up
  10. Jon Garland - 7.4% - went up

Tons of injured pitchers among the '07 leaders for some reason.  But more importantly, all but one of the active pitchers saw their HR/flyball go up the following year.

Now let's look at the '08 leaders:

  1. Cliff Lee - 6.0%
  2. Tim Lincecum - 6.5%
  3. Ubaldo Jimenez - 6.9%
  4. John Danks - 7.1%
  5. Mike Pelfrey - 7.2%
  6. Daisuke Matsuzaka - 7.5%
  7. Dana Eveland - 7.5%
  8. Ryan Dempter - 7.6%
  9. Ben Sheets - 7.6%
  10. Justin Verlander - 7.9%

Holding all else equal, we should expect these pitchers' HR rates (and therefore ERAs) to rise in 2009.  Keep that in mind on draft day.  Other notable pitchers with abnormally low HR/flyball rates include Joey Devine, Matt Lindstrom, Jonathan Broxton, Brad Lidge, Kerry Wood, Brian Fuentes, Chris Volstad, Kevin Gregg, Grant Balfour, Bobby Jenks, Anthony Reyes, B.J. Ryan, Joba Chamberlain, Rich Harden, C.C. Sabathia, Brad Ziegler, Francisco Rodriguez, Dustin McGowan, Andrew Miller, and Justin Duchscherer.


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