If you had to pick one pitcher in the game today, who would be the most dominating to face?
What pitcher would strike you out the most often and give up the fewest hits and runs?
When you add ERA and WHIP, and then subtract the number of strikeouts per inning (Power Pitching), you can find who is the most dominant in the game.
The lifetime leader in Power Pitching is Billy Wagner. This 5′ 10″ 180 lb left hander struck out an average of 11.9 batters per nine innings, or 1.324 batters per inning. Subtract his K/inning from his lifetime ERA (2.310) plus his lifetime WHIP (0.998), and it gives Wagner the lowest Power Pitching (PP) number in history, 1.984.
The lifetime Power Pitching list was published here, one of the first stories I wrote in 2011 for 60ft6in.
Nobody in the history of baseball ever struck out more than half the batters they faced in a single season until Craig Kimbrel faced 231 batters and struck out 116 last year.
To put that in prospective, Justin Verlander led baseball with 239 strikeouts in 2012. He needed to face 956 batters to reach that number.
In the history of baseball the highest number of strikeouts per nine innings is 12.2 by Rob Dibble, followed by Billy Wagner at 11.9.
In 160 lifetime innings, Craig Kimbrel is averaging 15.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
In 2012 Kimbrel averaged 16.7 strikeouts per nine innings, equal to 1.765 strikeouts per inning. He had a WHIP of 0.654 and an ERA of 1.01. That meant that he had a negative (-0.11) PP number for the season.
Kimbrel has a lifetime ERA of 1.46 and lifetime WHIP of 0.911. His lifetime PP number is 0.606.
Lifetime Power Pitching leaders:
Yes, it’s very early in Kimbrel’s career, but nobody that ever pitched in the game has put up this type of Power Pitching numbers at any time.
Craig Kimbrel was the 96th pick in the draft class of 2008. In less than five years, this 5’11” 205 lb 24-year-old righthander from Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, AL has turned into the greatest Power Pitcher in the history of the game.