Projecting Nick Pivetta, Philly’s Return for Papelbon

The floodgates are wide open, my friends. The latest trade to come down the pike is between the Phillies and the Nationals. This one has Jonathan Papelbon headed to the Washington Nationals in exchange for 22-year-old pitcher Nicholas Pivetta. Here’s what the data say about Mr. Pivetta and his future.

Pivetta holds a 3.02 ERA and 3.96 FIP through 101 innings this year, with most of those innings coming at the High-A level. The Nationals bumped Pivetta up to Double-A a couple of weeks ago, where he’s gotten shellacked in three starts. Both his ERA and FIP are north of 7.00 through 15 Double-A innings.

KATOH isn’t particularly high on the 2013 fourth rounder. My system pegs him for just 0.9 WAR through age 28, which is actually up from his 0.6 WAR mark in the preseason. Pivetta’s strikeout and walk numbers in High-A were both within a rounding error of the Carolina League average, which isn’t overly impressive coming from a 22-year-old. His two-week ordeal in Double-A doesn’t help his forecast, either. Prospects with Pivetta’s statistical track record are a dime a dozen.

The Mahalanobis comps I generated based on the 22-year-old’s performance agree with this premise. Among his top comps, it’s basically Aaron Sele, Sam LeCure and a whole lot of nothing. Pivetta throws hard, which automatically makes him somewhat interesting. But Pivetta’s  stats suggest he’s unlikely to make much of an impact for the Phillies in the future.

Rank Mah Dist Name IP thru 28 WAR thru 28
1 0.33 Rhett Parrott 0 0.0
2 0.38 Alex Santos 0 0.0
3 0.40 Kirt Ojala 28 0.0
4 0.42 Chad Zerbe 6 0.0
5 0.44 Kyle Mcculloch 0 0.0
6 0.49 Pat Dunham 0 0.0
7 0.49 Sam LeCure 183 1.5
8 0.51 Nate Adcock* 123 0.0
9 0.53 Bret Wagner 0 0.0
10 0.55 Aaron Sele 834 14.2
11 0.56 Ron Chiavacci 0 0.0
12 0.58 Corey Thurman 83 0.0
13 0.59 Alex Graman 6 0.0
14 0.62 Jayson Durocher 55 0.0
15 0.62 Mark Holliman 0 0.0
16 0.65 Tommy Phelps 0 0.0
17 0.67 Mark Freed 0 0.0
18 0.67 Joe Ness 0 0.0
19 0.71 John Kaufman 0 0.0
20 0.72 Reid Cornelius 66 0.0

We hoped you liked reading Projecting Nick Pivetta, Philly’s Return for Papelbon by Chris Mitchell!

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Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. He's also on the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell None of the views expressed in his articles reflect those of his daytime employer.

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So they gave up Papelbon + $4.5 million for a guy who’s not likely to be worth the league minimum they’re going to have to pay him if the gets called up? Nice.


No, they gave up Papelbon and +4.5 million dollars to receive a guy who’s not worth the league minimum and the change to roundly boo him every time he faces the Phillies and celebrate in ecstasy if he should ever blow a save against the Phils.


If that ever happens, I hope all Phillies fans grab their crotches while booing him.


im sure that will happen as he walks over to the visiting dugout.