MLB Spring Training Stats: Pitching Leaders

Brandon McCarthy
Brandon McCarthy
DBacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy Tim Heitman USA TODAY Sports

No team’s pitching staff has gotten off to a better start than the Arizona Diamondbacks, with Brandon McCarthy, Wade Miley, and top prospect Archie Bradley posting dominant numbers in their first appearances of the spring. It isn’t a ton of innings, and certainly plenty have come against batters who won’t even be in the Majors this season, but spring stats can definitely be a barometer of how ready a pitcher is to start the season.

Let’s see the Majors’ top spring training pitching leaders through the first two weeks and who’s already in mid-season form.

Brandon McCarthy (ARI): 1-0, 14 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 6 K/2 BB

After two very solid, albeit injury-riddled seasons in Oakland, McCarthy’s first season in Arizona was a disappointment. His 5-11 record, 4.53 ERA, and 1.35 WHIP were a far cry from the 17-15 record, 3.29 ERA, and 1.18 WHIP he posted in two seasons with the A’s.

He improved in the second half, however, and looks to be on the right track right now. Look for McCarthy to turn things around in his second year with the D’Backs.

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Jesse Chavez (OAK): 3-0, 8.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.46 WHIP, 8 K/1 BB

Chavez is battling for the A’s spot starter job and has been untouchable in three spring appearances thus far. He posted the best season of his career coming out of the pen for the A’s last season and looks to be on track to move up in the depth chart and become the go-to guy should any of the regular starters get hurt.

Wade Miley (ARI): 0-1, 9 IP, 1.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 6 K/2 BB

Although he had his ups and downs in 2013, Miley has now gone 26-21 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over his last two seasons. He appears to have picked up where he left off, tossing nine one-run innings over two starts thus far.

Erasmo Ramirez (SEA): 2-0, 8.2 IP, 1.04 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 7 K/1 BB

Although much of the hype in Seattle is focused on injured prospect Taijuan Walker, Erasmo Ramirez is out to prove the doubters wrong after a rough 2013 campaign that saw him post a 4.98 ERA and 1.45 WHIP over 72 innings. He’s posted three excellent starts so far and hasn’t been as wild as he can be. Of course, it seems like every season there are a handful of Mariner prospects that pitch well in spring and don’t impress anyone once the season starts.

Archie Bradley (ARI): 2-0, 6.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 9 K/4 BB

It’s unclear if Bradley can make the D’Backs roster out of spring training but the prospect (ranked No. 9 by Baseball Prospectus) is off to a strong start. Although he’s had some difficulty finding the strike zone, he has only given up three hits and no runs over 6.1 innings. Last season in High-A and Double-A, Bradley went 14-5 with a 1.84 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.

Hector Santiago (LAA): 0-1, 6.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 8 K/2 BB

After a strong year out of the White Sox bullpen in 2012 (3.33 ERA) and an equally strong year as a starter in 2013 (3.56 ERA), Santiago is taking his talents to SoCal. He’s only surrendered two hits over his first two starts and hasn’t been as wild as he can be. He’ll need to improve his career 4.5 BB/9 to get to the next level in 2014.

David Phelps (NYY): 0-0, 9.2 IP, 1.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 7 K/1 BB

After a tough season in 2013 (4.98 ERA, 1.42 WHIP), Phelps is fighting for another chance to start for the Bombers. His strikeout/walk rate looks great, as does the ERA, but the right-hander will need to cut down on the hits (10 allowed already) if he’s going to stick in the rotation. Last season, Phelps posted a 9.1 H/9 which, along with injuries, led to his removal from the rotation.

Charlie Morton (PIT): 1-1, 8 IP, 1.13 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2 K/2 BB

Morton posted the best season of his career in 2013, going 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 6.6 K/9. He’s picking up where he left off, giving up just one earned run (3 earned) over his first eight innings. After three incredibly bad years, Morton has posted a solid 3.75 ERA over his last three seasons and appears poised for another strong season.

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Igor Derysh
Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and