Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> Breakout Candidates -- The DERA Report for 2005 About the author, Boyd Nation

Breakout Candidates -- The DERA Report for 2005

Publication Date: January 3, 2006

The Opening Look Back

It's time for this year's look at Defense-Independent ERA, or DERA, an attempt to look at pitching performance independently of the factors of defense and luck that can distort a pitcher's record. The 2003 report contains the formula that I'm using and links further back to introductory material.

As a way of establishing my bona fides, I always like to look back at last year's list of candidates for improvement (which is one of the reasons why DERA is so interesting) and see how they did. Here's last year's list, with 2005 ERA added in:

Team                      Pitcher                    DERA  ERA    2005

Air Force                 Paul Vignola               6.93 11.87  13.29
St. Joseph's              Al Braun                   4.68  8.50   4.20
Kentucky                  Craig Snipp                4.46  7.62   5.29
Murray State              Billy Fares                4.23  6.97   4.67
Old Dominion              Andrew Bucher              4.45  7.12   9.72
James Madison             Brian Leatherwood          5.16  7.73   7.58
Mount St. Mary's          Steve Stone                3.53  6.05   7.50
High Point                Josh Cotten                6.33  8.73   6.75
Hofstra                   David Huth                 6.35  8.66   6.88
Nevada-Las Vegas          Matt Luca                  3.71  5.99   4.94

These results aren't quite as encouraging as last year's. Braun and Fares can be called good calls, and seven of the ten improved their ERA from 2004, but the pattern isn't quite as clear as I'd like. One of these days, I need to run a study comparing the correlations between year-to-year ERA and DERA to next year ERA, to have more definitive proof on the matter.

Leader Board

The full reports for starters and relievers are online now; here are the top 25 for each group:

Team                      Pitcher                    DERA  ERA

Massachusetts             Matt Torra                 1.65  1.14
Louisiana-Monroe          Matt Green                 1.97  2.65
Texas Christian           Lance Broadway             2.14  1.62
UC Davis                  Dave McKae                 2.22  2.43
Yale                      Josh Sowers                2.27  2.10
Boston College            Joe Martinez               2.56  2.63
Winthrop                  Kevin Slowey               2.58  2.26
Southern California       Ian Kennedy                2.60  2.54
Wichita State             Mike Pelfrey               2.64  1.93
Arizona                   Kevin Guyette              2.66  3.73
Sacred Heart              Chris Aldrich              2.70  2.69
Miami, Florida            Cesar Carrillo             2.71  2.22
Army                      Nick Hill                  2.74  1.21
Long Beach State          Cesar Ramos                2.77  2.64
Cal State Fullerton       Wes Roemer                 2.78  3.80
Rice                      Eddie Degerman             2.81  3.28
Missouri                  Max Scherzer               2.81  1.86
Lehigh                    Kyle Collina               2.86  4.27
Pittsburgh                Billy Muldowney            2.87  2.47
Yale                      Alec Smith                 2.88  3.12
Sacred Heart              Jay Monti                  2.88  2.20
Tulane                    Micah Owings               2.88  3.26
Boston College            Nate Jeanes                2.89  2.48
St. John's                Anthony Varvaro            2.89  2.32
McNeese State             Jacob Marceaux             2.91  3.05

Team                      Pitcher                    DERA  ERA

Wichita State             Damon Sublett              1.14  0.00
Elon                      Brian Ebert                1.61  2.35
Cal Poly                  Casey Fien                 1.68  4.32
Georgia                   Joshua Fields              1.70  7.00
Georgia                   Rip Warren                 1.84  4.18
Northeastern              Tim Bush                   1.95  3.46
Hawaii                    Steven Wright              1.99  3.26
George Washington         Joel Brookens              2.04  2.53
Houston                   Justin Vaclavik            2.08  3.21
St. John's                Craig Hansen               2.09  1.68
Central Florida           Dominic Petracca           2.11  3.00
Northern Iowa             Bryan Westphal             2.14  4.45
Southwest Missouri State  Chris Krawczyk             2.24  2.59
Ball State                Kyle Heyne                 2.25  2.59
Minnesota                 John Gaub                  2.25  2.08
Minnesota                 Gary Perinar               2.30  2.70
Long Beach State          Neil Jamison               2.31  0.00
Army                      Dan Pluff                  2.31  1.33
College of Charleston     Brett Harker               2.33  2.47
Louisiana-Lafayette       Ian Pecoraro               2.34  0.95
Pacific                   Josh Schmidt               2.38  1.79
George Mason              Jason Mills                2.45  3.25
Virginia                  Sean Doolittle             2.47  1.64
Wichita State             Noah Booth                 2.47  2.13
South Alabama             Justin Rayborn             2.49  4.11

Again, none of this is competition- or park-adjusted, so make your own mental adjustments there. No huge surprises here, other than my surprise at how little buzz Josh Sowers generated -- between those bloodlines and those numbers, you'd think he'd get a bit more attention.

Guys to Watch

Here are the guys with the biggest gaps between their ERA and their DERA who should be returning this year -- this is the top ten plus anybody in the top 25 who had a DERA under 5.00:

Team                      Pitcher                    DERA  ERA

Fairfield                 Steve Tyburski             5.92 10.67
St. Peter's               Grevin Rodriguez           7.13 11.41
Lafayette                 Brian Cope                 7.27 11.54
Canisius                  Jordan Neufeld             9.10 12.91
St. Peter's               Santo Maertz               5.25  9.00
Lafayette                 Tom Phelan                 3.32  6.91
Wake Forest               Matt Hammond               7.14 10.69
New Mexico                Darren Coltrinari          4.96  8.50
Coppin State              Matt Bellon                5.24  8.71
Air Force                 Paul Pratt                 6.26  9.62
Cal State Northridge      Craig Baker                4.82  7.88
Davidson                  Matt Meade                 3.69  6.52

Now, bear in mind that I'm not predicting that any of these guys are going to go under 2.00 in ERA this year. What I'm saying is that, if you're coaching them and trying to figure out their place this year in your plans, you might want to factor in a bit of bad luck or bad defense that they had last year into your thinking. If that still only gets you to an ERA of 7, you can pull the plug, but 4.50 is worth quite a bit these days.

R. I. P., Coach

We lost one of the giants of the game this week when retired Southern California coach Rod Dedeaux passed away on Thursday. More information on Dedeaux, who won eleven national championships, and his family is available on the Trojan web site.

If you're interested in reprinting this or any other Boyd's World material for your publication or Web site, please read the reprint policy and contact me


Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> Breakout Candidates -- The DERA Report for 2005 About the author, Boyd Nation