Big Ten Conference Recap: Michigan Pitching

The team pitching recaps from the 2010 season are all linked to under the 2010 Season Recap tab. This is the fifth installment, focusing on the Michigan Wolverines.

The Michigan Wolverines finished second in Big Ten play with a 14-10 record (35-22 overall). In my look at league-wide, team-level pitching we saw Michigan posted above-average strikeout numbers but struggled with walks and hit batters. Combining their raw numbers with their hitting numbers, I had estimated that U of M gave up the fourth most runs in the conference (including non-conference play) while having the second highest estimated runs total.

In reality, Michigan scored the most runs, but were middle of the pack in runs allowed. Here’s their pitchers raw data.

Name CL K% BB% K-BB% BABIP Pitches TBF
Ballantine, Ben FR 0.178 0.137 0.041 0.438 258 73
Broder, Matt FR* 0.167 0.229 -0.063 0.414 177 48
Brosnahan, Bobby FR* 0.191 0.135 0.056 0.362 1126 319
Burgoon, Tyler JR 0.285 0.103 0.182 0.373 914 253
Clark, Kyle FR 0.163 0.185 -0.022 0.446 326 92
DeCarlo, Jeff SR 0.160 0.320 -0.160 0.500 102 25
Gerbe, Matt JR* 0.107 0.164 -0.057 0.318 541 159
Katzman, Eric SR 0.117 0.193 -0.076 0.283 506 145
Miller, Matt JR 0.169 0.110 0.060 0.374 1032 301
Oaks, Alan SR 0.179 0.123 0.055 0.274 1380 397
Sinnery, Brandon SO 0.133 0.095 0.038 0.380 874 263
Smith, Travis JR 0.222 0.292 -0.069 0.375 284 72
Vangheluwe, Kevin SO 0.200 0.100 0.100 0.500 104 30
Wood, Kolby JR 0.190 0.061 0.128 0.433 593 179

K% – Strikeout Percentage (K/total batters faced)
BB% – Walks and Hit Batter Percentage (BB+HBP/TBF)
K-BB% – Difference between K% and BB%
BABIP – Batting Average on Balls In Play
Pitches – An estimated pitch count total from Boyd’s World
TBF – Total Batters Faced

I’ve included each players class in 2010. An asterisk denotes that the player was a redshirt player.

Michigan had four primary starters (Alan Oaks, Bobby Brosnahan, Matt Miller and Brandon Sinnery) that combined to make 44 starts out of the Wolverines 57 games. Before getting into the starters, here are the above stats graded against the conference average.

Name CL K+ BB+ K-BB+ BABIP+
Ballantine, Ben FR 114 80 98 73
Broder, Matt FR* 107 0 -149 80
Brosnahan, Bobby FR* 122 82 135 95
Burgoon, Tyler JR 182 110 435 92
Clark, Kyle FR 104 39 -52 71
DeCarlo, Jeff SR 102 -79 -383 55
Gerbe, Matt JR* 68 57 -135 108
Katzman, Eric SR 75 31 -181 118
Miller, Matt JR 108 104 143 92
Oaks, Alan SR 114 92 133 121
Sinnery, Brandon SO 85 117 91 90
Smith, Travis JR 142 -55 -166 91
Vangheluwe, Kevin SO 128 113 239 55
Wood, Kolby JR 121 146 307 75

The Starters

  • Alan Oaks led the squad with 15 starts and 92 innings pitched. He posted above average strikeout rates and below-average walk/HBP rates. The Senior also had a better-than-average BABIP of just .274 which helped his success. Oaks was drafted in the 8th round by the Florida Marlins and in 21 minor league innings struck out 20, while walking 7 of the 89 batters he faced.
  • The Saturday starter was primarily redshirt freshman Bobby Brosnahan. The left-hander struck out 19.1% of hitters he faced in 2010 while walking 13.5%. Brosnahan had Tommy John surgery just 7 innings into his senior year of high school, which was the cause of the redshirt. At that time, he was a decently sought-after commodity with Michigan State, Kentucky and some “other southern schools” interested in the south paw. His 2010 season shows why. Normally losing a Senior with above-average strikeout numbers like Oaks would hurt, but Brosnahan has a bright future in Ann Arbor.
  • Matt Miller picked up 10 starts for the Wolverines, and provided a 108 K+ and 104 BB+. Aaron Fitt noted that a scout had Miller at “92 with a good four-pitch mix.” It’s pretty likely Miller slides into the Saturday spot of the rotation next year.
  • Brandon Sinnery had 8 starts and 21 appearances overall. That same article from Fitt puts Sinnery at having a rock solid 74-76 MPH breaking ball. Very good BB+ numbers from the then-sophomore, but you’d like to see a bit more K’s — especially with the amount of time he spent in the ‘pen.

The Relievers

  • Tyler Burgoon tossed 60.2 innings for the Maize and Blue over 23 appearances (3 starts) and was dominant as one could be. a 28.5% K-rate and 10.3% BB-rate’s were just filthy. Burgoon works 87-91 with a big slurve and an okay change-up. However, Perfect Game noted bigger velocity — up to 96 with an 87 MPH slider — from a little man’s frame. Burgoon signed with the Seattle Mariners and dominated rookie ball (as he should have) and will be a big loss for the Wolverines in 2011.
  • Matt Gerbe picked up 32.1 innings and 17 appearances of somewhat underwhelming baseball. The redshirt junior was extremely below-average in both strikeouts and walks. That will need to change if he’s going to get a bigger chunk of the relief innings in 2011.
  • Kolby Wood was the only other Wolverine pitcher to accrue more than thirty innings — picking up 38.1. I like Wood to really step into the Burgoon role as a senior in 2011. The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder throws across his body with deception that helps his 88-92 MPH fastball. To compliment that, Wood reportedly has a biting slider and a very good splitter. Michigan had wanted Wood to be used as a starter in summer ball after the 2009 season to prepare him for a starting role for the 2010 college campaign, but a wrist injury nixed those plans and Wood worked out of the ‘pen in Ann Arbor. I’d guess there’s a chance that Wood picks up one of the weekend starting spots as well, or at the very least earns some mid-week starts. His 19% K-rate and measly 6.1% BB-rate with good scouting report would make him a very nice Saturday starter or a smooth transition to bullpen ace.

Michigan has some live arms coming back and only lost Oaks, Eric Katzman, Jeff DeCarlo, and Matt Miller to pro ball. There’s enough talent in there to churn out some solid pitching numbers like they did in 2009.

Next up in the series are the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

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4 Comments on “Big Ten Conference Recap: Michigan Pitching”

  1. I wrote a long reply in response to you saying Miller was going to slide into next year’s Saturday spot, and then I got down to the last paragraph and realized you knew that anyway.

    Liking the blog and hope to see it around next year. Given your background, it seems likely. There’s a couple of us who cover the other teams if you’re interested (Illinois Baseball Rerport, BuckeyeNine, and Happy Valley Hardball are all baseball specific, and HVH is sabremetrically focused as well). Drop me an email sometime.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks! I’ve been googling scouting reports on guys I didn’t have prior knowledge on and was directed to your U of M blog a bunch of times. Good to see you coming around here. Thanks for the kind words.

      I goofed up on the Matt Miller part. I skimmed over his name as guys who signed that were drafted out of U of M last year, and realized it at the end but forgot to change it earlier in the post. I’ll do that now.

      I’ve seen that there’s a lot a few big ten blogs and I’ve been slacking on putting them in my blogroll but will definitely do that soon. Thanks for the comments!

  2. Oh, and Sinnery and Brosnahan spent this summer playing below their level. They stayed in the Ann Arbor area in the Livonia Summer League so they could focus on weight and conditioning training. They should be #1/#2 next year. It’s probable that Gerbe/Ballantine compete for Sunday, unless Smith comes out of nowhere.

  3. […] Big Ten Conference Recap: Michigan Pitching His 19% K-rate and measly 6.1% BB-rate with good scouting report would make him a very nice Saturday starter or a smooth transition to bullpen ace. Michigan has some live arms coming back and only lost Oaks, Eric Katzman, Jeff DeCarlo, […]


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