So far this spring, SP Yu Darvish has pitched 9 innings while walking 7 and striking out 10. Rangers fans, like any typical fan would, are beginning to laugh nervously. It is only human tendency, of course, to make too much out of Spring Training. We have been trapped in a baseball-less winter for nigh-on twelve or eighteen months or something up until this month, so when we finally get some more of that sweet, leather-tossing action, it’s only natural we freak out when someone goes 0 for 3 or a pitcher allows 2 home runs.
The best solution to this March Mania is to refer to the wealth of statistics behind the player and remind oneself that, more often than not, the last few years will tell us much more than the present spring. Well, for Darvish, it’s not as easy. So here, today, right now, I offer that March Mania solution for all NPB imports (I’m looking at you, SP Wei-Yin Chen, SP Tsuyoshi Wada, and OF Norichika Aoki):
Presenting the 2011 NPB stats for hitters and pitchers:
Please do note: The hitters’ wOBA+ has not been calculated with park adjustments. The formula is simply adjusted to league average (which was .281 wOBA in 2011).
Please do note: The pitchers’ FIP- has not been calculated with park adjustments. The formula is simply adjusted to league average (which was 3.43 FIP in 2011).
It should also be noted that the two leagues in Japan do have different rules regarding the DH, but these numbers have been calculated according to the NPB as a whole, not the specific leagues within it.
You are welcome to download these charts and unhide certain hidden columns (mostly old school or counting stats like RBI or W-L records). Just click on the green Excel icon at the bottom of the first chart (both charts are contained in a single file).
Bradley writes for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @BradleyWoodrum.