Monday, September 23, 2013

Meet A Prospect : Andy Pettitte Edition

This is Andy Pettitte Day

Andy Pettitte, left handed starting pitcher,  was drafted in the 22nd round in the 1990 First Year Player Draft by the New York Yankees out of  his high school in Deer Park, Texas. Andy did not sign with the Yankees that season and instead decided he would go to a junior college which, you may or may not know, allows you to get drafted every season rather then having to play two seasons of college baseball before being eligible again for the draft. Also, as the rules have since changed, no other team could talk to Andy Pettitte nor sign him until a day before the next year's draft because he did not sign with the Yankees. It did not matter anyway as Andy signed with the Yankees the very next season, in 1991, as an amateur free agent for $80,000 which was a nice bonus at that time. Andy turned down a chance to pitch for perennial powerhouse University of Texas to travel to New York.  

Pettitte made his pro debut in 1991 going 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in 6 Gulf Coast League (GCL) starts followed by a 2-2 record with a 2.18 era in the New York Penn League (NYPL). Those two levels combined Pettitte had 83 K's and 24 BB's for nearly a 4-1 ratio, which is amazing. His command was very impressive but his velocity and "stuff" were considered nothing more then average. 

Throughout the minors his walk rates got better and better but his K/9 rate got worse and worse. While he showed all the way through the system that he could get advanced hitters out no one was every crazy about Pettitte due to his strike outs. He never once did rank as a Top 10 prospect in any league that he played in because of the low strike out rates and Pettitte projected to be a back end of the rotation starter due to his strike out issues. Pettitte was never graded higher then a "B" graded prospect in his entire minor league career but he had an uncanny ability to hammer the strike zone, keep batters off balance with his off speed stuff, and give his team a chance to win every single time out there. 

I think that his career, if it ended today, ended up being pretty good and was borderline Hall of Fame worthy. Let's start with where, in my opinion, he really made a name for himself and that was the post season. Who can forget the Game 5 duel with John Smoltz in the 1996 World Series that he won down in Atlanta 1-0 after being pummeled in Game 1 in New York. Who can forget Pettite's dominance going into the 8th inning in Game 4 of the 1998 World Series clinching game against the San Diego Padres? Who could forget his 2009 post season performance where he was the clinching winning pitcher in all 3 rounds of the post season including the World Series?  That is all before you consider his two 20 win seasons including a second place finish in the AL CY Young in 1996 to Pat Hentgen. 

Andy is a borderline candidate in my opinion but I honestly would not vote him in because I would not consider the post season statistics but I know that some will. He was also, lets not equivocate, helped a TON by run support playing in New York and even in Houston. 255+ wins and a huge winning percentage might be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame but who knows, what say you?


  1. I know it's not the same as with A-Rod and Ryan Braun but he did use HGH. Some people say that shouldn't disqualify you from the HOF but for me it definitely does. Especially if you're keeping a guy like Pete Rose out for gambling.

    1. I think that will ultimately keep him out of the hall for a while but honestly I think he could get in after a few years. I am probably wrong but that's what I think.

    2. My issue with that thinking is that MLB didn't have any rules against PED usage prior to 2006, when Andy Pettite admitted to using them. However, rules against gambling were firmly in place in MLB when Pete Rose broke them.

      That doesn't make what Andy, or others, did. But you can't lump them in with what Pete Rose did.

    3. I think the main point is missing here.
      Andy and A-Rod both used and lied about first. Neither one broke any rules at the time of use.
      Andy got a free pass but, A-Rod was demonized. Nice and fair, right?
      Andy is a good pitcher but HoF? Where are the numbers, just like Jeter...where are the MLB numbers? Both of them have great numbers for Yankees but not the Major League Records to qualify.
      Being a nice well liked player is not a ticket to the HoF, although one could argue that seems to be the way the media votes now days.

      It would be great to add two more Yankees to the fine list of Hall players that have been there for years. One thing about those Yankees in the Hall already is, they had one (or more) MLB records at the time they were voted in. Or, they were voted in because of the total of their game was above most other players of their time.

      Jeter, Mo and (at some day in time) Andy may make it. I think Jeter and Mo will, in their first year. Andy, not really!

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    5. Where are Jeter's numbers?

      10th on the career hits list, 13 time All Star, three top 3 finishes in MVP voting, 5 time Silver Slugger winner, 13th in career runs scored, 5 World Series rings, two other World Series appearances, career batting line in the postseason of .308/.374/.465, 2000 World Series MVP, 2000 All Star MVP.

      I'm not saying he's the greatest player of all time, but to say he doesn't have the numbers to be a Hall of Famer is not right.

    6. Bryan...

      I have said, he will make it into the Hall, maybe on the first ballot even.
      Just on his total performance alone he should get into the HoF.

      What I am saying is, many fans and media say he should be a unanimous choice...they must be on drugs, NO BODY has ever been unanimously voted he the greatest player ever to play the game?

      He is one of the two best SS the Yankees have ever had. Having seen "Scooter" play, it is hard for me to say which was the better...different times, is hard to compare! Stats with standing, I would have to go with Jeter!

      As for Andy, If not for HGH I would say he may have a chance.

    7. I think the fact that nobody has been unanimiously inducted into the hall is a crock of shit. Who in their right mind voted against Babe Ruth, Lou gehrig, and will vote against Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter?

  2. If it werent for the HGH I think Andy would get in no problem. Not a first or second ballot mind you but 255 wins and so many games over .500 would be enough, especially with the post season numbers. That HGH is going to kill him though


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)