Hitting (or pitching) Your Weight

As the baseball world awaited the announcement of this year’s Cy Young winners, this conversation took place on Twitter (excerpted):

Fun fact I discovered that will be part of an upcoming SN feature: Bartolo Colon is listed at 265 pounds, and had a 2.65 ERA this year.

Jayson Stark @jaysonst

@CJNitkowski @EliasSports @jessespector I think that 3.43 last year might be closer to his real poundage. But I’m actually working on this!

Jayson Stark @jaysonst

@jaysonst how in the world did you get that so fast?!?!

Jayson Stark @jaysonst

@CJNitkowski Lee Sinins’ Complete Baseball Encyclopedia. Just searched for guys of 265+ and their ERAs. What a country!

David B @obxleatherman

@jaysonst @funbaseballfact @CJNitkowski @EliasSports @jessespector Since 1920, pitchers whose ERA < weight/100: baseball-reference.com/play-index/sha…

So building on this, here are the 25 instances since 1901 in which a pitcher’s ERA equaled 1/100th of his listed weight (as per Baseball Reference).  We’ve had at least one pitcher achieve this in each of the last five seasons.  Roger Clemens led the league with his 2.05 ERA in 1997, and Carlos Zambrano is the heaviest to have pulled this feat off:

Player Year ERA Wt Tm IP
Bartolo Colon 2013 2.65 265 OAK 190.1
Scott Elbert 2012 2.20 220 LAD 32.2
Francisco Cordero 2011 2.45 245 CIN 69.2
Jonny Venters 2010 1.95 195 ATL 83.0
Jordan Walden 2010 2.35 235 LAA 15.1
Henry Rodriguez 2009 2.25 225 OAK 4.0
Carlos Zambrano 2004 2.75 275 CHC 209.2
Toby Borland 2003 1.86 186 FLA 9.2
Trevor Hoffman 2003 2.00 200 SDP 9.0
Paul Quantrill 2003 1.75 175 LAD 77.1
Roger Clemens 1997 2.05 205 TOR 264.0
Chuck Ricci 1995 1.80 180 PHI 10.0
Steve Howe 1994 1.80 180 NYY 40.0
Steve Farr 1990 1.98 198 KCR 127.0
Gary Lucas 1981 2.00 200 SDP 90.0
Tug McGraw 1972 1.70 170 NYM 106.0
Tug McGraw 1971 1.70 170 NYM 111.0
Mudcat Grant 1970 1.86 186 TOT 135.1
Masanori Murakami 1964 1.80 180 SFG 15.0
Howie Pollet 1943 1.75 175 STL 118.1
Bill Voiselle 1942 2.00 200 NYG 9.0
George Boehler 1915 1.80 180 DET 15.0
Dave Davenport 1915 2.20 220 SLM 392.2
Jeff Pfeffer 1915 2.10 210 BRO 291.2
Rube Foster 1914 1.70 170 BOS 211.2
Player Year ERA Wt Tm IP
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/13/2013.

In terms of hitting one’s weight, we’ve had no fewer than 245 instances of a batter hitting exactly 1/1000th of their listed weight.  Here are the ones to do that in at least 250 plate appearances in a season.  We’ve had at least one player do it every season since 2003:

Player Year BA Wt PA Tm
Mark Reynolds 2013 .220 220 504 TOT
Brian McCann 2012 .230 230 487 ATL
Scott Rolen 2012 .245 245 330 CIN
Bryan Petersen 2012 .195 195 273 MIA
Vernon Wells 2012 .230 230 262 LAA
Carlos Pena 2011 .225 225 606 CHC
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2011 .235 235 386 BOS
Aaron Hill 2010 .205 205 580 TOR
Gerald Laird 2009 .225 225 477 DET
Joe Thurston 2009 .225 225 307 STL
Frank Thomas 2008 .240 240 289 TOT
Richie Sexson 2007 .205 205 491 SEA
Joe Borchard 2006 .230 230 270 TOT
Juan Uribe 2006 .235 235 495 CHW
John Buck 2006 .245 245 409 KCR
Austin Kearns 2005 .240 240 448 CIN
Toby Hall 2004 .255 255 441 TBD
Jason Giambi 2003 .250 250 690 NYY
Ruben Rivera 1999 .195 195 475 SDP
Mike Cameron 1998 .210 210 443 CHW
Scott Servais 1994 .195 195 275 HOU
Rob Deer 1993 .210 210 532 TOT
Lance Blankenship 1993 .190 190 328 OAK
Rob Deer 1989 .210 210 532 MIL
Jose Canseco 1986 .240 240 682 OAK
Player Year BA Wt PA Tm
Dave Kingman 1986 .210 210 604 OAK
Ray Oyler 1969 .165 165 291 SEP
Buck Rodgers 1968 .190 190 281 CAL
Willie Kirkland 1964 .206 206 282 TOT
John Bateman 1963 .210 210 434 HOU
Don Zimmer 1959 .165 165 292 LAD
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/13/2013.

 

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