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Maddux, Pedro, and The Big Unit

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After writing those Roger Clemens articles I received some feedback suggesting a Greg Maddux/Pedro Martinez/Randy Johnson comparison should come along, so here it is. Maddux and Johnson are contemporaries, while Pedro's career sort of overlaps the two. Let's take a look at some important figures; as always, ERA is of the translated variety from Clay Davenport's DT Cards:

Greg Maddux 1986-2005
ERA: 3.29
IP: 4243.7
K: 2954
BB: 882
K/BB: 3.35
WARP3: 148.6
Peak WARP: 57.2
JAWS: 102.9
PRAA: 412
PRAR: 1449
ERA+: 141

Maddux started out with the Cubs but didn't impress much until he became worth roughly 5-7 WARP3 per year from 1988 to 1991. When he got to Atlanta though he strung off 7 years in row of atleast 9.1 (and a few times over 12) Wins Above Replacement. He has the same ERA+ as Roger Clemens at the moment, but that will most likely change as Maddux's career winds down in Chicago and Clemens continues to excel like its 1997 or something. With a JAWS score over 100, Maddux is going to enter the discussion for one of the greatest righthanders of all-time when he retires.

Randy Johnson 1988-2005
ERA: 3.03
IP: 3438.0
K: 4219
BB: 1318
K/BB: 3.20
WARP3: 123.3
Peak WARP: 47.4
JAWS: 85.35
PRAA: 395
PRAR: 1268
ERA+: 144

Randy Johnson started out slow with the Expos as a wild pitcher and came to the Mariners in 1989. His gaudy walk totals (and not gaudy in a good way like David Wells) hurt his career value somewhat. Slow and steady does not really win the race in the argument between Johnson and Maddux for superiority. Maddux bests him in every category that is not K's or ERA related. Let's look at Randy Johnson's walk totals for his first few full seasons:

 1989: 70 BB, 131 IP
 1990: 120 BB, 219.7 IP
 1991: 152 BB, 201.3 IP
 1992: 144 BB, 210.3 IP
 1993: 99 BB, 255.3 IP
 1994: 72 BB, 172 IP

After that his highest walk total for a full season was 77, but he also had 291 K's for a 3.78 K/BB, so no complaints. He was not as successful as his ERA's show in those first few years with control problems either; his ERA's for 1990-1994:

 1990: 108
 1991: 104
 1992: 106
 1993: 135
 1994: 154

In 1995, his first Cy Young year Johnson became the pitcher that we all know and love, and he even turned it up a notch when he came to the NL. His Peak WARP score is taken from 1998-2002, his age 34-39 seasons; that is not something I think happens too often for a Hall of Fame pitcher. Coming back to the AL though his stats have reverted to almost 1998 Seattle levels (3.99 is very good, but not dominating like he was meant to do) so I do not expect the same sorts of performances he put up in Arizona. At this point I'm not sure he'll take the title of greatest lefty of all-time away from Lefty Grove, but you never know what could happen.

Pedro Martinez 1992-2005
ERA: 2.80
IP: 2367.0
K: 2736
BB: 627
K/BB: 4.36
WARP3: 98.8
Peak WARP: 51.1
JAWS: 74.95
PRAR: 968
PRAA: 372
ERA+: 167

Pedro obviously does not have enough innings logged to be in direct comparison with these two pitchers, but it is safe to assume he will be right up there with the other two when he retires (if he stays healthy of course.) Rather than go on about Pedro's career, I just want to hammer home how absolutely brilliant a pitcher he is. Keeping in mind Pedro's stats from above, take a look at this:

Sandy Koufax 1955-1966
ERA: 2.70
IP: 2324.3
K: 2396
BB: 817
K/BB: 2.93
WARP3: 68.8
Peak WARP: 47.8
JAWS: 58.3
PRAR: 785
PRAA: 261
ERA+: 131

In just 42.7 innings more than Sandy Koufax, Pedro has these differences with him:

ERA: +0.10
IP: +42.7
K: +340
BB: -190
K/BB: +1.43
WARP3: +30
Peak WARP: +3.3
JAWS: +16.65
PRAR: +183
PRAA: +111
ERA+: +36

Some might say Koufax's shortened career, and leaving during his peak hurts his JAWS score and Peak WARP. Well, Pedro had a 5.1 injury shortened season in his Peak WARP score, and a 13.4 WARP3 season in 2000 (and an ERA+ of 285, the highest ever in the post 1900-world), higher than anything Koufax put together. I mention Koufax because everytime I mention the greatest pitchers of all-time or of lefties, etc. Koufax gets brought up when I don't give him enough credit. So here is someone who only pitched 42.7 innings more than him who basically blows him out of the water in career value. Pedro's time to be anointed as one of the greatest ever is not here yet, but his time will be coming when he retires. The peak is there; now he must just pad his counting numbers.

Looking back at all three of these pitchers, you can safely assume that during the most prolific era of offense baseball has ever seen, 4 of the 10 greatest pitchers of all-time just may have started through the whole thing. I say 4, because Roger Clemens is also involved in the discussion. What about Maddux's teammate Tom Glavine, who has more career wins than Randy Johnson?

Tom Glavine 1987-2005
ERA: 3.65
IP: 3796.7
K: 2272
BB: 1303
K/BB: 1.74
WARP3: 113.2
Peak WARP: 39.5
JAWS: 76.35
PRAR: 1157
PRAA: 214
ERA+: 121

Tom Glavine can make a Hall of Fame case based on his JAWS score and his Wins, as well as his career value, but his PEAK was never really dominanting:

 WARP3 Scores
 1996: 8.7
 1997: 7.5
 1998: 9.5
 1999: 5.6
 2000: 8.2

You can also see most of his value is tied up in longevity rather than peak value when you take a look at his PRAR verse his PRAA. PRAA does a good job of assessing peak value, while PRAR is more for career. Notice Glavine's totals do not stack up against any of the three previously mentioned pitchers. One more reason why Wins and Losses are essentially useless in deciding who is who in the game's elite. Glavine is a fine pitcher who as said, can state a case to belong to Cooperstown. But he does not stack up against 3 contemporaries who should find themselves to be inner-circle Hall of Famers.