One of the most difficult parts about valuing Starting Pitching has to do with predicting innings. For many folks, a projection value for pitchers is hard to determine for this exact reason.
One of the ways I like to figure this out for specific targets is by creating a simple graph that determines a dollar value per inning pitched for starting pitchers based on expected PPI. Without digging too deep into my own personal systems, for 2018, based on where I have replacement level for SP expected, the following numbers apply:
5.25 points per inning is equal to $0.175 ($35 at 200 IP)
5.0 points per inning is equal to $0.15 ($30 at 200 IP)
4.75 points per inning is equal to $0.125 ($25 at 200 IP)
4.5 points per inning is equal to $0.10 ($20 at 200 IP)
4.25 points per inning is equal to $0.075 ($15 at 200 IP)
4.0 points per inning is equal to $0.05 ($10 at 200 IP)
3.75 points per inning is equal to $0.025 ($5 at 200 IP)
I want to NOTE that this is in no means a system designed to determine auction value, rather, it is set up to give an answer to the following 2 questions:
- If Pitcher A is projected to throw “x” number of innings at “y” PPI what would his value be at a lower or higher inning rate,or a lower or higher PPI?
- What is his SAFE PRICE TO OWN POST AUCTION? (meaning, whats the comfortable mid point between floor and ceiling)
I’ll use James Paxton as an example. Paxton is coming off of a 5.82 PPI season over 136 IP. His current steamer projection calls for 822 POINTS OVER 176 IP or 4.65 PPI.
Using the chart above and rounding up to the benefit of the doubt for 4.75 PPI, Paxton would be valued at about $22
Now assume you believe Paxton ends up at 5.25 PPI thats about $31
So if you (like me) believe Paxtons steamer projection is conservative, you could peg a $22-31 valuation on him.
However, that $22 valuation assumes you use Paxton in every start and he gives you a full 176 innings, a number he has never achieved. perhaps Steamer is aggressive there as well, and you believe he kaxes out around 150 IP, and you stream a couple games. Now you anticipate 125 IP from him…
the valuation drops to $15 to $21 over 125 IP and if he only gives 100 innings, its $12 to $18.
Using this logic, Paxton seems like a really good bet to deliver $15 in value in 2018, but less realistic over much more than that.
I use this system specifically for pitchers will less than a 5.25 PPI projection that:
- I AM TARGETING IN TRADE
- CURRENTLY OWN
- ARE AVAILABLE AT AUCTION
Think of it as a way to hedge your bets on innings.
A player like Shark, who projects at 4.5 PPI but based on HR/9 numbers could end up closer 4.0 is likely worth between 10-20 due to consistently throwing 200 innings a season. that’s a $15 pitcher as well.