Email from Page 2's DJ Gallo this morning, subject matter: Depressing Stat 'o the Day!
This got me thinking, first about the Pirates and how long it's been since they developed a really good starter (no offense to Paul Maholm), and then to how difficult in general it is to develop winning pitchers. (Yes, I used wins; I could've used WAR or some other saber superstat, but for this quick little study, wins works just fine.) I went back 2001 to find the five winningest pitchers for each franchise and then checked to see how they were originally acquired.
An asterisk notes a player who was originally drafted or signed by that organization. The only team with five homegrown pitchers was the Angels.
Arizona: Brandon Webb* 82, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling 53, Miguel Batista 40, Dan Haren 37.
Atlanta: Tim Hudson 76, John Smoltz 53, Greg Maddux 49, Tom Glavine* 36, Russ Ortiz 36.
Chicago: Carlos Zambrano* 118, Kerry Wood* 56, Ryan Dempster 53, Ted Lilly 47, Mark Prior* 42.
Cincinnati: Aaron Harang 75, Bronson Arroyo 73, Johnny Cueto* 32, Edinson Volquez 27, Chris Reitsma 22.
Colorado: Aaron Cook* 69, Jason Jennings* 58, Jeff Francis* 55, Ubaldo Jimenez* 50, Jorge de la Rosa 37.
Florida: Dontrelle Willis 68, Ricky Nolasco 56, Josh Johnson* 48, A.J. Burnett 42, Josh Beckett* 41.
Houston: Roy Oswalt* 143, Wandy Rodriguez* 63, Wade Miller* 52, Roger Clemens 38, Andy Pettitte 37.
Los Angeles: Chad Billingsley* 61, Derek Lowe 54, Brad Penny 46, Odalis Perez 45, Jeff Weaver 38.
Milwaukee: Ben Sheets* 86, Dave Bush 46, Chris Capuano 44, Yovani Gallardo* 38, Doug Davis 38.
New York: Steve Trachsel 66, Tom Glavine 61, Al Leiter 49, Mike Pelfrey* 44, Johan Santana 40.
Philadelphia: Brett Myers* 73, Cole Hamels* 62, Jamie Moyer 56, Randy Wolf* 52, Vicente Padilla 47.
Pittsburgh: Paul Maholm* 48, Zach Duke* 45, Josh Fogg 39, Kip Wells 36, Ian Snell* 33.
San Diego: Jake Peavy* 92, Brian Lawrence* 49, Adam Eaton 40, Chris Young 33, Woody Williams 29.
San Francisco: Jason Schmidt 78, Matt Cain* 59, Tim Lincecum* 58, Kirk Rueter 49, Barry Zito/Noah Lowry* 40.
St. Louis: Chris Carpenter 84, Matt Morris* 79, Adam Wainwright 66, Jeff Suppan 47, Woody Williams 45.
Washington: Livan Hernandez 64, Tony Armas 41, Javier Vazquez* 39, Tomo Ohka 31, John Lannan* 30.
Baltimore: Rodrigo Lopez 60, Daniel Cabrera* 48, Sidney Ponson* 44, Erik Bedard* 40, Jeremy Guthrie 39.
Boston: Tim Wakefield 108, Josh Beckett 73, Jon Lester* 63, Derek Lowe 57, Pedro Martinez 57.
Chicago: Mark Buehrle* 145, Jon Garland 88, Freddy Garcia 55, Jose Contreras 55, John Danks 46.
Cleveland: CC Sabathia* 103, Cliff Lee 83, Jake Westbrook 69, Fausto Carmona* 47, Paul Byrd 32.
Detroit: Justin Verlander* 85, Jeremy Bonderman 67, Nate Robertson 51, Mike Maroth 50, Kenny Rogers 29.
Kansas City: Zack Greinke* 60, Brian Bannister 35, Kyle Davies 29, Gil Meche 29, Runelvys Hernandez* 25.
Los Angeles: John Lackey* 102, Ervin Santana* 76, Jered Weaver* 70, Jarrod Washburn* 58, Joe Saunders* 54.
Minnesota: Johan Santana 91, Brad Radke* 70, Scott Baker* 56, Kyle Lohse 51, Carlos Silva 47.
New York: Mike Mussina 123, Andy Pettitte 103, Roger Clemens 56, Chien-Ming Wang* 55, Mariano Rivera* 42.
Oakland: Barry Zito* 95, Mark Mulder* 72, Tim Hudson* 61, Joe Blanton* 47, Dan Haren 43.
Seattle: Jamie Moyer 80, Felix Hernandez* 73, Joel Pineiro* 57, Freddy Garcia 50, Gil Meche* 43.
Tampa Bay: James Shields* 58, Scott Kazmir 55, Victor Zambrano 35, Matt Garza 34, David Price* 32.
Texas: Kenny Rogers 50, Kevin Millwood 48, Vicente Padilla 43, Scott Feldman* 31, C.J. Wilson*/Joaquin Benoit* 30.
Toronto: Roy Halladay 135, A.J. Burnett 38, Shaun Marcum 37, Ted Lilly 37, Josh Towers 37.
Breaking down the 152 pitchers (note that this is NOT a list of the best 152 pitchers of the past decade) by various categories, we get:
Draft picks: 53 (26 were first-rounders)
Latin amateur: 12
Asian amateur: 1
That means 66 of 152 (43.4 percent) were developed from within.
Traded for while a minor leaguer or unproven major leaguer: 32
Traded for while a proven major leaguer: 25
Free agent signing: 19
Free agent signing after released/waived/not wanted: 9
Rule 5 pick: 1
(Note: Andy Pettitte was originally a Yankee draft pick, but was considered a free agent signing, since more of wins in this period came after returning to New York; Kenny Rogers originally came up with Texas, but his wins came after signing as a free agent; Woody Williams pitched twice for San Diego, but more came as a free agent signing.)
The Rule 5 pick was Johan Santana. He was actually selected by the Marlins from the Astros and traded to the Twins in a pre-arranged trade. Nine guys were picked up off the scrap heap. Not all of the minor leaguers/unproven guys were necessarily top prospects, but some like Scott Kazmir, A.J. Burnett and Jeremy Bonderman were.
Anyway, it's kind of fun to go through each team. It's also a reminder that winning major league ballgames is an amazingly difficult task and that developing pitchers who can succeed for a period of years is amazingly difficult.
Finally, back to the Pirates. Paul Maholm has 48 wins in a Pirates uniform, meaning he could become the first homegrown pitcher to win 50 games for the Pirates since ... John Smiley. Who was drafted in 1983.
(Research via Baseball-Reference.com.)
Follow David Schoenfield on Twitter at @dschoenfield. Follow the SweetSpot blog at @espn_sweet_spot.