A.J. Burnett may not be a Yankee, but analyzing his post-Yankee days may tell us how other team’s approached the problem child. The starting pitcher has been wildly successful this season, posting a 3.59 ERA, a 3.50 FIP, a 7.44 K/9, and 2.84 BB/9. Most of the media’s analysis has ended at the league change, but I figured Burnett and the Pirates deserved a more in depth look over.
What I expected to see was a decrease in homeruns outside of Yankee Stadium and the AL East, and indeed it dropped from 17.0% HR/FB last year to 11.8% in 2012. I also expected the strikeout rate to increase due to the pitcher’s spot in the lineup, but the number has decreased from 8.18 K/9 in 2011 to 7.44 K/9 in 2012. Outside of what we assumed would happen with the Pirates, he’s increased his groundball rate from 49.2% to 57.0%, and he’s lowered his BB/9 rate from 3.92 to 2.84.… Click here to read the rest