The Contact Tales: 2007

Starting Pitchers (Min IP: 100)

The Best:
John Smoltz 72.4%
Johan Santana 73.2%
Cole Hamels 73.9%
Scott Kazmir 74.5%
Erik Bedard 75.3%

Bedard was pretty good in 2007, completing a wee bit over 180 innings with a FIP of 3.19. Even more impressive is that his xFIP was even lower at 3.00. Of course this degree of awesomeness was uncharacteristic, even for a good pitcher, and a pair of disappointing – due to injury more so than performance – seasons in Seattle have caused some to forget that Bedard was one of the better American League hurlers late into the last decade.

The Worst:
Mike Bacsik 89.2%
Woody Williams 88.6%
Carlos Silva 88.2%
Chris Sampson/Aaron Cook 88%

You’ll never guess who finishes fourth in 2008. Not ever.

Relief Pitchers (Min IP: 40)

The Best:
Brad Lidge 62.8%
Francisco Cordero 64.5%
Mike Wuertz 65.8%
Francisco Rodriguez 66.1%
Justin Miller 66.3%

Miller is probably best-known – is he even known? – for the amount of ink on his arms, which reaches the overkill threshold. Because of the tats, MLB required him to wear sleeves at all times so as not to distract the hitters. During 2007, his pitches did that on their own. Miller has never cooked with gas, but his slider held a run value per-100 of 2.15 and unlike the other time he topped that number (2002), this time his fastball wasn’t being obliterated left and right.

The Worst:
Aaron Sele 89.8%
Jay Marshall 88.8%
Todd Jones 88.2%
LaTroy Hawkins 87.5%
Mike Myers 86.8%

I’m not sure there’s anything mildly compelling about any of these five guys. Three are retired, one just signed a decent free agent deal with Milwaukee, and the other is the Mets’ newest bullpen piece. There’s a joke about Ed Wade being interested in Todd Jones somewhere in there, but I won’t make it.

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Brad Johnson

“There’s a joke about Ed Wade being interested in Todd Jones somewhere in there, but I won’t make it.”

Already been done! God he was awful for the Phillies.