The Contact Tales: 2005 by R.J. Anderson January 11, 2010 Starting Pitchers (Min IP: 100) The Best: Jake Peavy 73.7% Johan Santana 74.2% Jason Schmidt 74.5% Rich Harden 74.8% A.J. Burnett 75.5% Schmidt’s career arc is one of the oddest in recent baseball history. After toiling for years with the Pirates as a decent starter, Schmidt was traded to the Giants (alongside John Vander Wal) for Armando Rios and Ryan Vogelsong. It’s just as the Pirates luck: Schmidt would immediately turn into a well above average starter, posting xFIP of 3.57, 3.24, and 3.21 over 2002-04. Injuries would slow Schmidt down beginning in 2007 and he would throw fewer than 15 innings on average over the past three years. The Worst: Carlos Silva 91.1% Kirk Saarloos 89.7% Ryan Drese 89.3% Shawn Estes 89.1% Aaron Sele 88.9% Saarloos has started nearly 75 games in the Majors and appeared in an additional 90 as a reliever. Even still, his career HR/FB% is 13% despite throwing most of his 509 innings within the snuggly confines of the Oakland Coliseum. Truth be told, his career 4.87 FIP isn’t too bad all things considered. Baseball-Reference’s most similar pitcher is Gary Glover. I’d say that fits. Relief Pitchers (Min IP: 40) The Best: Rudy Seanez 58.7% Brad Lidge 59.6% Mike Wuertz 59.9% Joe Nathan 66.7% Ugueth Urbina 67.2% Over his career, Seanez appeared in the Majors with nine different teams. His career contact rate was just shy of 70% and he did it mostly with a ferocious slider. Nearly one-third of the pitches Seanez threw outside of the strike zone were swung at during 2005. The Worst: Paul Quantrill 91.2% Jesse Crain 88.3% Dan Kolb 87.8% Travis Harper 87.7% Jason Christiansen 87.5% Mostly names previously covered. Crain has impressively improved the amount of swings and misses he induces ever since.