Monday, March 31, 2008
#297 Zane Smith
Why this card is awesome: Because of deceptive stats. In the "Cool stat" below, I'm going to demonstrate that Smith was actually a pretty good pitcher. But you wouldn't know it from these stats. Aside from leading the league in Runs Allowed in 1987 (but not Earned Runs, which is very telling, re: crappy Braves defense), his K/BB ratios are simply awful.
Cool stat: Smith finished with a career ERA+ of 105, which is great considering the poor teams he played on for most of his career. But with that above-average ERA, he finished with just a 100-115 record. A basic neutralization of his stats on B-R.com changes his career ERA from 3.74 to 3.76, but also changes his record to 114-102, a .528 win percentage as compared to his actual value of .465. Smith was, in actuality, a pretty consistent, above average pitcher who had a bad reputation from being on the terrible late-80's Braves. Also of note: he was traded twice in mid-season, and both times performed fantastically for his new team.