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Why Brandon Morrow is Underrated

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:33 AM

Brandon Morrow is one of the best pitchers on the Toronto Blue Jays. Considering their strong rotation, you might be surprised by this - but you shouldn't be. He is a much better pitcher than his record suggests, and his performance has been top-shelf over the last few years.

FIP: FIP, which stands for Fielding Independent Pitching, is used as a way to more effectively measure how well a pitcher is performing by focusing on things over which a pitcher has control over. Unlike ERA, it specifically ignores events outside of a pitcher's influence, including position players' fielding abilities or park factors like wind and short outfield fences. For the last three seasons, Morrow has posted FIPs of 3.16, 3.64 and 3.65, respectively, and ranks collectively in the top 50 of all starting pitchers. To put it into perspective by comparing his FIP to others, San Francisco’s ace, Matt Cain, had very comparable FIP totals of 3.65, 2,91 and 3.40 over the same years.

K/9: Morrow has an incredible strikeout-per-nine innings ratio. In fact, during the last three years his K/9 has been 10.95, 10.19 and 8.20. Just how incredible are those numbers? The league leader in wins in 2010, Roy Halladay, only had a 7.86 K/9. In 2011, Morrow’s rate was 10.19, which was good for second overall, behind only Zack Greinke in the lead with Clayton Kershaw, Anibal Sanchez and Cliff Lee all following behind.

HR/9: Since becoming a Blue Jay, Morrow has started half of his games in the Rogers Centre, a stadium where it is five percent more likely for a player to hit a home run than the average park. Despite this fact, Morrow has retained a low home run ratio per nine innings pitched. In the last three years his HR/9 has been 0.68, 1.05 and 0.87. His ratio last season was good for 30th overall, again showing ace potential.

While Brandon Morrow has been off to a slow start this season, these peripheral statistics from previous seasons suggest we should see yet another excellent year from him as the season progresses. What do you expect from Morrow in 2013? Comment below.

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