Who’s in Command Here?!?
…Crasnick’s tweet got us to thinking about K/BB ratio, a stat that seems to have gained currency beyond the analytics community, and what it can (or can’t) tell us about a pitcher. It’s become a supporting pillar of, among other things, the HOF credentials of Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina.
In very broad terms, K/BB ratio can function as a general proxy for pitcher command, the ability to not only hit the strike zone, but to throw to a specific part of the zone. Command differs from control, which is simply the ability to throw strikes. Major league pitchers can throw strikes if they want to; the problem confronting pitchers is that major league hitters can hit most strikes. Think about how many times you’ve heard a broadcaster say, after a ball has been stung to the deepest reaches of the park, that the pitcher “missed his target.” That, in a nutshell, is command: The ability to hit that target within the strike zone. READ MORE