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Thread: Where does Johnny Cueto rank against other ace pitchers?

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  1. #1
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    Where does Johnny Cueto rank against other ace pitchers?

    Like Halladay, Hamels, Sabathia, Kershaw?

    I know, there are still some people that are apprehensive to call him an ace for some reason.

    Interestingly enough I looked at his stats between 2010-2012. The season where he seemed to turn it on more or less.

    2008-2009

    20 W-25L
    4.61 ERA
    0 CG


    2010-2012:

    40 W-21 L
    2.93 ERA
    6 Complete Games
    558 Innings Pitched

  2. #2
    [redacted]
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    Re: Where does Johnny Cueto rank against other ace pitchers?

    Everyone seems to have a different definition of what an 'ace' is. Is James Shields an ace because he leads that rotation? Does Strasburg qualify yet? Is an ace the guy who can be relied on as a stopper in a short series? In any event, I think most everyone would agree that Cueto isn't yet in the highest tier of SP. That list probably goes something like:

    Felix Hernandez
    Justin Verlander
    Roy Halladay
    Cliff Lee
    Clayton Kershaw
    David Price
    Cole Hamels
    C.C. Sabathia

    Perhaps along with guys like Matt Cain and Zack Greinke, depending on how high you are on them.

    Here's an interesting comparison: the mystery pitcher! Comparing stats from 2011-2012 (when Cueto 'turned the corner') -

    Cueto (26 years old):
    373 IP
    6.61 K/9
    2.32 BB/9
    7.0 HR/FB%
    2.58 ERA
    3.35 FIP
    3.75 xFIP

    Mystery Pitcher (26 years old):
    357 IP
    6.98 K/9
    1.87 BB/9
    7.5 HR/FB%
    3.05 ERA
    3.35 FIP
    3.78 xFIP

    Eerily similar, aren't they? Any guesses as to who it is? It's a guy who is widely considered a very good pitcher, but I'm not certain the 'ace' term would be dropped on him that often - and I doubt he'd appear much in lists of the 20 best SP in baseball.

    So here's the thing: is Cueto one of the 10 best SP in the game? No. Top 15? You could make a case both ways. Top 25? I think so, for sure. I just know he is very good, even if he doesn't stack up to the King Felixes of the world (though the HR/FB rate does worry me... another topic, another day). But that doesn't even bother me, because we have what so few other teams do: two guys behind him in Latos and Bailey that can be just as good. I mean, would anyone be that surprised if one of them stepped up to be the 'ace' this year?

  3. #3
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    Re: Where does Johnny Cueto rank against other ace pitchers?

    Three things to add to Cueto's pedigree:
    He might be the best bunting pitcher in baseball.
    He might have the best pickoff move.
    He might be the hardest to run on in baseball.
    I may not be fast, but I sure am slow.

  4. #4
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    Re: Where does Johnny Cueto rank against other ace pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by [deleted] View Post
    Everyone seems to have a different definition of what an 'ace' is. Is James Shields an ace because he leads that rotation? Does Strasburg qualify yet? Is an ace the guy who can be relied on as a stopper in a short series? In any event, I think most everyone would agree that Cueto isn't yet in the highest tier of SP. That list probably goes something like:

    Felix Hernandez
    Justin Verlander
    Roy Halladay
    Cliff Lee
    Clayton Kershaw
    David Price
    Cole Hamels
    C.C. Sabathia

    Perhaps along with guys like Matt Cain and Zack Greinke, depending on how high you are on them.

    Here's an interesting comparison: the mystery pitcher! Comparing stats from 2011-2012 (when Cueto 'turned the corner') -

    Cueto (26 years old):
    373 IP
    6.61 K/9
    2.32 BB/9
    7.0 HR/FB%
    2.58 ERA
    3.35 FIP
    3.75 xFIP

    Mystery Pitcher (26 years old):
    357 IP
    6.98 K/9
    1.87 BB/9
    7.5 HR/FB%
    3.05 ERA
    3.35 FIP
    3.78 xFIP

    Eerily similar, aren't they? Any guesses as to who it is? It's a guy who is widely considered a very good pitcher, but I'm not certain the 'ace' term would be dropped on him that often - and I doubt he'd appear much in lists of the 20 best SP in baseball.

    So here's the thing: is Cueto one of the 10 best SP in the game? No. Top 15? You could make a case both ways. Top 25? I think so, for sure. I just know he is very good, even if he doesn't stack up to the King Felixes of the world (though the HR/FB rate does worry me... another topic, another day). But that doesn't even bother me, because we have what so few other teams do: two guys behind him in Latos and Bailey that can be just as good. I mean, would anyone be that surprised if one of them stepped up to be the 'ace' this year?
    Come on man...you cant leave me hanging like that...whos the mystery?

  5. #5
    Member nheath22's Avatar
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    Re: Where does Johnny Cueto rank against other ace pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by [deleted] View Post
    Mystery Pitcher (26 years old):
    357 IP
    6.98 K/9
    1.87 BB/9
    7.5 HR/FB%
    3.05 ERA
    3.35 FIP
    3.78 xFIP

    Eerily similar, aren't they? Any guesses as to who it is? It's a guy who is widely considered a very good pitcher, but I'm not certain the 'ace' term would be dropped on him that often - and I doubt he'd appear much in lists of the 20 best SP in baseball.
    Is it Jordan Zimmerman? I think he is 26 and fits those kind of numbers.
    "The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price." -Vince Lombardi

  6. #6
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    Re: Where does Johnny Cueto rank against other ace pitchers?

    I think some similarities are fair with zimmerman, but Cueto is good at things that bring his value above his FIP which is why his ERA outperforms FIP.

    He's become a big time groundball pitcher.

    Zimmerman 357 IP, 469 GB, 626 FB, 13 SB, 8 CS, 24 DP
    Cueto 373 IP, 588 GB, 538 FB, 2 SB, 13 CS, 32 DP

    So while the K,BB, and FIP show why Zimmerman and Cueto are similair with the OBP, I think the GB rates show why Cueto exceeds him in the slugging/ERA side. It doesn't hurt that Cueto has become one of the best in baseball at controlling the basepads. So if guys don't get XBH, and they don't run on Cueto, it becomes much tougher to score. That's why I don't think it's a fluke that he continually outperforms his FIP.

    Zimmerman 357 IP, .296 OBP, .383 SLG, .679 OPS
    Cueto 373 IP, .297 OBP, .340 SLG, .636 OPS

  7. #7
    [redacted]
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    Re: Where does Johnny Cueto rank against other ace pitchers?

    Yup! Mystery Pitcher is Zimmermann.


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