Comparing Peavy to the rest of the majors

Comparing Peavy to the rest of the majors
May 11, 2012, 4:07 pm

Jake Peavy has been the best player in baseball.

That's per Baseball Reference's Wins Above Replacement, which pegs Peavy as being worth 2.8 WAR -- slightly higher than that of Josh Hamilton (2.6). While a month of data hardly is enough to say Peavy actually is the best player in baseball, it's a good way to show just how good he's been through seven starts.

Peavy's 1.89 ERA is the 11th-best among major-league starters, and his ERA (adjusted for park factors, with 100 as average) is 220, ninth-best in the majors.

Felix Hernandez and Peavy lead the majors in innings pitched (52 13) while Jered Weaver and Peavy are the only pitchers to throw two complete games thus far.

Peavy comes in third in WHIP (0.80), largely due to his low ralk rate (1.2 BB9, fourth-lowest among starters). Only three pitchers have a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Peavy's 6.29.

The good news is that Peavy's success hasn't been a fluke. His 2.22 FIP is the seventh-best in baseball, telling us that he's a decent bet to keep up his success going forward.

There are a few things that could lead to a regression from Peavy, be it his low BABIP (.234, his career average is .284) or his high fly ball rate (nearly 50 percent, eventually those'll start going for home runs). But Peavy's pitched so well that whatever regression he does experience should be minor.

It's only seven starts in, but Peavy has looked the part of a Cy Young candidate. A lot can go wrong in the next few months -- remember, Peavy hasn't made more than 20 starts in a season since 2008 -- but, at least through one month, he looks like an ace.