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Young Pitcher Symposium: Rich Harden

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Most Similar Pitchers to Rich Harden (by Sim Score)

  1. Jake Peavy (978)
  2. Stan Williams (978)
  3. Cal Koonce (978)
  4. Jim Maloney (977)
  5. Roger Clemens (976)
  6. Melido Perez (974)
  7. Brett Myers (974)
  8. Harry Howell (973)
  9. Jerome Williams (973)
  10. Gil Meche (971)
Other Comparables
Floyd Youmans
Dennis Martinez
Jaret Wright
Don Robinson
Ramon Martinez
Dave Moorhead
Ray Culp
Tom Gordon

It's ironic that three of the most similar pitchers to Harden are themselves current young pitchers. Whether that's a good sign or a bad sign or irrelevant, I don't know.

I came up with the "other comparables" by a combination of 2004 PECOTA, and looking up comparables to some of Harden's comparables (it makes sense if you think about it). When the 2005 PECOTAs are released, we will have more information to look at. I thought about delaying the Young Pitcher Symposium until then, but reader interest in this topic is quite high and I didn't want to put it off. We'll revisit the issue later this season.

This list looks good. . .for the most part these are hard-throwing right-handers. The presence of Clemens will certainly get hearts beating quickly among Oakland fans, but Jim Maloney and Stan Williams were damn good too. There are also some early burnouts and injury guys, as you'd expect.

Harden's comp list is a bit more impressive than Beckett's, if harder to interpret long-term due to the presence of three current other youngsters. Beckett does have better command, and after thinking about it for some time I think I'd rather have him right now than Harden. But it is close.

Tomorrow we'll hit Jake Peavy. I have decided to continue this discussion into next week, but I don't want people to get bored with the topic, so we'll summarize next week, then revisit the topic later this spring.

What say you, readers? Harden or Beckett?