TigsStats: 2009 Whitecaps Pitchers

How good was Wilk really in '09?

The TigsStats series now resumes in 2010 with a look back at the organization's minor league clubs and their performances. We wrap up the full season clubs with a look at the 2009 Whitecaps' pitchers, and how they performed in pitcher-friendly Fifth Third Ballpark.

Luke Putkonen - Age: 23

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

149.1

3.13

3.26

.318

6.9

2.8

0.2

.569

.118

.230


Putkonen proved to be the workhorse for the Whitecaps in 2009, and beyond leading the team in innings, he excelled in effectiveness too. His FIP was right on with his ERA, he struck out more than double the amount that he walked, and he kept the ball on the ground, helping result in a very low home run rate (also helped by his pitcher friendly home park).


Victor Larez - Age: 22

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

108

4.33

3.75

.306

6.8

2

0.7

.418

.134

.423


The 22-year old Larez was also very effective, and likely might have even had a bit of bad luck on the mound with an FIP half a run lower than his ERA. Larez also had a good K:BB ratio, with the lone concern being his high fly ball rate, and in turn, his higher home run rate. Given his home park, that home run rate could get worse as he moves up the ladder.


Anthony Shawler - Age: 22

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

107.2

3.76

3.08

.326

8.2

2.6

0.3

.464

.119

.382


Shawler was the ultimate swingman for the Whitecaps in 2009, filling a variety of roles, and excelling in each. Again, his FIP was lower than his ERA indicating a little bit of bad fortune for Shawler, while the rest of his peripheral stats remain excellent. He struck out nearly a batter per inning while keeping his walk rate low, and limited his home run rate.


Casey Crosby - Age: 20

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

104.2

2.41

3.09

.290

10.1

4.1

0.3

.502

.117

.304


It was hard to follow any Tigers' minor leaguers without knowing how good Casey Crosby was pitching in 2009, but the stats indicate that Crosby might not have been quite as good as the numbers showed. While his ERA was in the mid two's, his FIP was actually above three, and his BABIP was below .300, so he might have been a bit fortunate in the balls that fell in play. Crosby also possessed a higher walk rate, even though his strikeout rate was excellent. Crosby still had a great year, but it might not have quite been the ‘elite' year everyone saw on the surface.


Brayan Villareal - Age: 22

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

103.1

2.87

2.87

.324

10.3

3

0.4

.409

.110

.381


Despite tiring late in the season, Villarreal was excellent overall for the '09 season, though he did show signs of tiring later in the year. Villarreal's FIP matched his ERA, his K rate was excellent at more than a strikeout per inning, and his walk rate was respectable, but low compared to his high K rate. Villarreal will still have to answer concerns about his stamina and durability, but it was an impressive first full year for Brayan.


Brandon Hamilton - Age: 20

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

99

7.09

5.3

.326

6.5

5.5

1

.426

.118

.375


Hamilton has emerged as a bit of an enigma in the farm system, as he has flashed excellent stuff, but has struggled mightily with consistency and command. His FIP shows that the season wasn't nearly the disaster it appeared to be on the surface from his production, but he still has lots of problems, and his poor K:BB rate, driven by his large number of walks is just part of the problem. Hamilton was also susceptible to giving up homers left and right, and in a big home park, that home run rate is particularly alarming. Hamilton has the ability, but has to show that he can still turn the corner.


Tyler Conn - Age: 23

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

70

3.21

3.08

.314

8

2.3

0.4

.482

.118

.345


Conn posted very good numbers virtually across the board, but those don't factor in his relative age for the league. Being 23, he was very advanced compared to his competition and so that reduces the impressiveness of the numbers he put up, both raw and peripheral.


Erik Crichton - Age: 24

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

65.1

3.99

4.29

.341

5.2

2.9

0.7

.459

.103

.393


Crichton was a great pitcher to help eat innings for the Whitecaps in 2009, and more than held his own doing it. That being said, he wasn't overpowering and his numbers don't indicate he's likely to dominate, given a higher home run rate, a K:BB ratio below two, and an advanced age for the league.


Tyler Stohr - Age: 22

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

61

3.54

3.08

.324

8.1

2.4

0.3

.492

.127

.354


The Whitecaps closer was a reliable reliever for the club in 2009, and his peripherals show why. He was actually better than his ERA indicated, he struck out nearly a batter per inning while limiting his walks, and he kept the ball on the ground, helping limit big hits against him. There remain questions about Stohr's projectability, but from a performance standpoint, Stohr was very strong.


Robert Waite - Age: 22

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

53.1

4.56

3.21

.287

6.6

2.7

0.2

.526

.095

.321


Waite was a classic experienced ground ball pitcher that didn't have his effectiveness truly come through in his numbers – Waite had a strong K:BB ratio and his FIP was well under his ERA.


Jared Gayhart - Age: 22

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

45.2

1.97

2.88

.210

9.7

3

0.4

.487

.076

.278


Gayhart was bounced all over the farm system in 2009, but put in most of his work with the Whitecaps. In his particular case, while he was certainly overwhelming against most, it's possible he might have had some good fortune lead to those dominating numbers, especially his BABIP, which at .210 is unrealistically low and likely wouldn't continue given more innings pitched. The rest of his numbers were excellent though and illustrated why Gayhart moved up so quickly.


Adam Wilk - Age: 21

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

GB%

LD%

FB%

36.1

1.49

2.37

.270

8.2

0.5

0.5

.424

.169

.364


After seeing dominating performances by Casey Crosby and Jared Gayhart get qualified a tad, might the same be said for Adam Wilk, who was outstanding in his West Michigan time in '09? Maybe a tad, yes, but on the whole Wilk was still excellent. His ERA was lower than his FIP, but a 2.37 that would still be an incredible showing. His K:BB rate was astounding as well. Possibly the only chink in the armor would be a low BABIP that at .270 is unlikely to repeat, but that would only jump slightly and change things again slightly. There are still concerns about Wilk's ‘stuff', but the production is pretty clear at this point.


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