Is Weaver The Next Jake Peavy?

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In a previous post, I commented that I thought Jered Weaver would be, in a couple years, comparable to Jake Peavy.  I received one comment to the post which stated that I was wrong.  David wrote that Weaver's fastball has no movement and hitters have adjusted to Weaver deceptive motion to the plate.  I love it when people disagree with me because it gives me something to think about, and possibly something interesting to write about. 

I admit, I don't know much about a pitcher's lateral and/or vertical movement on their fastballs.  I watch almost every Angels' game and I can tell the difference between good players and average players, but my ability to "scout" players is lacking.  I typically rely on stats and general observations to form my opinions.  With pitchers I can judge their performances by pitch selection and location, but not by the finer details.  So, going back to the question; Is Weaver is going to be just as good as Peavy in a couple seasons?  Here's what I found...

Jake Peavy was selected in the 15th round of the 1999 amateur draft out of high school.  After spending 4 seasons in the Padre farm system, Peavy made his MLB debut at the age of 21 after being called up from double-A.  In his 4 minor league seasons, Peavy compiled a 2.59 ERA in 432 innings with 548 strike outs.  Upon reaching the majors at the age of 21, Peavy has gone 86-62 with a career ERA of 3.25...as we all know, he's been a very good pitcher.

Jered Weaver was the Angels' first round pick in the 2004 amateur draft after spending 4 years at Long Beach State.  Weaver spent 2 seasons in the minor leagues, throwing just 153 innings (he had 11 IP in 2007 as a rehab assignment).  In those 153 innings, Weaver struck out 188 batters.  Comparing Weaver and Peavy minor league SO%, Peavy did a little better with a 1.25 K/IP to Weaver's 1.22 although Peavy's numbers came in single and double-A, while Weaver split his time at all three levels.  Probably one of the biggest factors when comparing the two pitchers was Peavy was much younger than Weaver during their minor league careers, by the time Weaver was getting his professional career started (age 22), Peavy was already in the major leagues.  Here are their stats at age:

Age 23 W L IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Weaver 11 2 123.0 94 35 33 105 2.56 1.033
Peavy 15 6 166.1 146 42 53 173 2.27 1.196


The numbers look pretty close.  However, as David points out in his comment, this was Weaver's first time through the league while this Peavy's 5th professional season, and third in the majors. 

Age 24 W L IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Weaver 13 7 161.0 178 70 45 115 3.91 1.385
Peavy 13 7 203.0 162 65 50 216 2.88 1.044


Looks like the league kind of figured Weaver out his second season.  Also looks like Peavy stepped it up a bit at age 24, as he posted some excellent numbers.

Age 25 W L IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Weaver 11 10 176.2 173 85 54 152 4.33 1.285
Peavy 11 14 202.0 187 92 62 215 4.09 1.231


At age 25, both pitchers appear to have slipped a little.  Weaver's ERA is a bit deceiving as his K rate improved, as did his WHIP.  It looks like Weaver had one or two bad innings during a start that inflated his ERA, and if I remember right, that was the impression I had watching him pitch last season.  He'd be cruising along and then suddenly he'd give up two or three runs.  I don't know if he lose focus, lacks a good "out pitch", or possibly he has problems pitching out of the stretch.

Total W L IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Weaver 35 19 460.2 445 190 132 372 3.71 1.252
Peavy 39 27 571.1 495 199 165 604 3.13 1.155

 

Another way to look at this is by season.

Year 1 W L IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Weaver 11 2 123.0 94 35 33 105 2.56 1.033
Peavy 6 7 97.2 106 49 33 90 4.52 1.423
                   
Year 2 W L IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Weaver 13 7 161.0 178 70 45 115 3.91 1.385
Peavy 12 11 194.2 173 89 82 156 4.11 1.310
                   
Year 3 W L IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Weaver 11 10 176.2 173 85 54 152 4.33 1.285
Peavy 15 6 166.1 146 42 53 173 2.27 1.196
                   
Total W L IP H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
Weaver 35 19 460.2 445 190 132 372 3.71 1.252
Peavy 33 24 458.2 425 180 168 419 3.53 1.293


That looks really close.  The edge in strike outs goes to Peavy, while Weaver showed better control.  Peavy had his "break out" year during his third season and has gone on to have four excellent years out of the last five.  Could 2009 be Weaver's big year?  I would like to think so, but he'll have to pitch better with guys on base.  I have to agree with David's comment, unless Weaver is able to take his game to the next level and do better in pressure situations, he's not going to be as good as Peavy, but as of right now, I think it's a lot closer than David realizes.

Daily Notes:

  • If you haven't already heard (I'm sure you have), Francisco Rodriguez signed with the New York Mets.  Reportedly K-Rod will get $37M over three years, slightly more than what the Angels had offered earlier this year.  I can't say I'm disappointed in seeing him go.  If you've been following my comments on Frankie over last season, you'd know I thought he was just an average closer who was in a unique situation as far as his number of opportunities resulting in his record-breaking save total.  Who's going to close for the Halo's next season?  I'm curious as to why the Angels haven't looked at Kerry Wood who is rumored to be close to signing with Cleveland.  From everything I've read the last week or so, he's available at a decent salary and willing to sign for just 2 years.  Yeah, he's been inury-prone his entire career, but last year was his first season he was used in relief and he did a good job closing out games for the Cubs.  Another plus, the Angels wouldn't lose a draft pick by signing him as the Cubs didn't offer him arbitration.  I heard a little talk regarding Brian Fuentes possibly coming to Anaheim, however, he'd cost the Angels just slightly less than what Rodriguez signed with the Mets.
  • I have read that Randy Johnson is a possible free agent signing.  As I've written before, I think he'd be a great addition to the Halo rotation.  Plus it'd be fun to see him get his 300th win as an Angel.
  • The longer it takes, the less I think Mark Teixeira is going to return to the Angels.  I might just be impatient, but I'm starting to read more about him going to Boston.  Add that to the rumor I read this morning that Sabathia has agreed to sign with the Yankees, means the Angels could be shutout of signing one of the two best free agents available.  I don't think it's a big deal as there are other players out there (at less money) who could be very useful, but it could be a big blow to the casual Halo fans who want to see the high-dollar names.

2 Replies

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  • Jim:

    You definitely did your homework in regard to the comparison between both pitchers. Nice work! OK...straight fastball aside, you've influenced me to put my jury back into deliberation regarding Weaver. You're right, he does have comparable stats to Peavy, so we'll see how this season goes.

    Unfortunately, I think you're right about Teixiera...I fear he's not coming back and we didn't get much back at all for Kotchman. On the bright side, first base might arguably be the deepest position in all of baseball...there are sluggers at that particular position more than any other...Fielder, Dunn, Youkilis, Carlos Pena, Berkman, Derek Lee, Ryan Howard, Morneau, Giambi, etc. With that said, I wouldn't mind paying the "measly sum" of 12 mil. a year or less for a decent one instead of 20-23 mil. Tex is a gem, but an extra 10 mil. for a 30 homer/.300 average guy when you'd have Dunn for far, far less?


    Some small side notes:

    -- I agree with you as I am also not upset about K-Rod leaving. The Angels have been very fortunate to spawn some high quality relievers from their system...Jenks, Percival, Arrendondo, and Shields besides Francisco. Not a bad track record. I bet they could do it again without losing much, if at all.

    -- I think the Big Unit as a Halo would be a fabulous one year deal as insurance on Kelvim and Garland. But I also think Darren Oliver could provide many quality starts.

    -- I like Manny at 2 years for 24 mil each, or 3 years for 23 mil each, but not if Vlad's knee is still balky. Manny's defensive skills are just alright, though he may be the most dangerous right-handed hitter in baseball.

    -- I think Figgins needs to go after this season...yes, I said it. Age affects speed greatly and to use speed you have to get on base. If Chone hits below .270 again that is too much to waste on a position that usually produces power. When Cabrera was traded it was an extremely unpopular move, though it did work out overall since we now see some potential productivity in Aybar. Now if we can just see that in Brandon Wood as well (glimpses late last year), I'd be happy as well. My 2 cents in regard to trading while the player still has value (while we may have a competent heir in the background). Maybe a package deal to secure Peavy before the Cubs do?

  • I agree with the last commenter regarding Texeira. He's a darn good player,in fact I rather have him than Alex Rodriguez, he has superior OBP. However, if he's demanding $20-$24 million a year, we can possibly get two players for that amount. I would like the Angels go after Dunn and he can be a LF/1B/DH option and perhaps another player from the group of Abreu, Ibanez and Burrell. You can have Dunn split time with Guerrero at DH and Morales at 1B/LF. Texeira is darn good though, which brings me to another thought. Hunter is a great guy and a decent player, but is he really worth $18 million a year? I rather have Gary Mattthews Jr./Willits in center and have Texeira playing 1B and pay that extra $2-4 million. Hunter did do well in last year's playoffs, but I don't think he's worth that amount. $10-$12 million maybe, plus he's not that much better than Matthews in Center.

    I really like this site, it's good for us hardcore fans!

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