Major League Baseball (MLB) was established in 1903 and has become an integral part of American culture. It has since witnessed the rise of numerous talented sluggers who aim to take their baseball stats to the top of the charts.
While everyone loves to watch hitters score a home-run, the pitchers perhaps play the most game-changing position. A pitcher can not only dominate the game but also has immense control over a game’s intensity, pacing, and the final score.
In this article, we have rounded up the best pitchers with the most impressive baseball pitchers stats, using stats like walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP), earned run average (ERA), and many other metrics that matter.
Career Stats: 373-188, 4780.2 IP, 2.13 ERA, 4.71 K/9, 2.96 K/BB, 90.0 WAR
No matter how stat calculations have changed, Mathewson has always emerged as the No.1 pitcher. It is nothing short of amazing to show such dominance in 1905 and accomplish such a name in his 14 full and three partial years of gameplay.
In 1905, Mathewson performed really well and won over 31 games with a 1.28 ERA. However, during the year from 1907 to 1911, he took his team to win in 139 games with rock-solid stats of 1.69 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Mathewson picked up his best 12 out of 30 of his saves during this season.
He also had an average shutouts of 6.8 per season and with a K/BB ratio of 3.98, which is significantly better compared to other legends of the era.
Career Stats: 417-279, 5914.2 IP, 2.17 ERA, 5.34 K/9, 2.58 K/BB, 117.1 WAR
If you look at Walter Johnson’s career and want to pick any five-year peak stretch, you are going to be in a tight spot. During the 13 seasons he played, he matched an ERA above 1.90 twice and reached as high as 2.22.
Throughout 1919, he had a successful run by having 297 wins with record stats of 0.97 WHIP, 1.65 ERA, and 5.75 strikeouts per nine innings. Plus, the best five-year peak of his career averaged 29.4 wins per season with a 1.50 ERA.
Even at the age of 36, nothing could stop him from completing his games in the postseason and he helped Washington Senators win the 1924 World Series.
Career Stats: 303-166, 4135.1 IP, 3.29 ERA, 10.61 K/9, 3.25 K/BB, 110.6 WAR
Randy Johnson peaked in his late 30s where he was able to beat the rule and become the exception. During the five-year peak of 1998-2002, he had a 2.63 ERA with K/9 of 12.33. Johnson moved around with the Big Unit. In one such brief stop at Houston, Johnson showed his master gameplay.
He had stats as 10-1 in 11 starts, and a 1.28 ERA alongside four shutouts. He also won the Cy Young Award consecutively for four seasons while he played for the Diamondbacks. Johnson had some unreal numbers like his strikeouts where he fanned at least 329 batters in five straight seasons.
This is still now considered a huge accomplishment. Although he lost seven consecutive postseason starts, he made it up in the 2001 NLCS and World Series.
He had a record-breaking combined pitching line 33.1 innings, four earned runs, 19 hits, 0.75 WHIP, six walks, 38 strikeouts, and a 1.08 ERA. In that series, Johnson and Curt Schilling were named as the 2001 World Series co-MVPs.
Career Stats: 511-316, 7354.2 IP, 2.63 ERA, 3.43 K/9, 2.30 K/BB, 131.5 WAR
Cy Young was the most successful baseball player of his time and it is completely futile to compare his stats to today’s baseball players. During his peak five years of career from 1901-05, he pitched over 184 games with a record of 1.93 ERA. Young didn’t have a lot of chances to shine as the World Series wasn’t even a big deal until 1903.
Although, his peak WAR isn’t so high, however, he did have a WAR of at least 5.6 in 18 consecutive seasons. However, with such strong achievement, he still remains in the 4th place, due to the lack of strikeouts in his peak career. One of baseball’s most prestigious pitching awards is also named after him and tributes his effort and skills.
The Bottom Line
Obviously, with thousands of baseball players showing their skill on the mound, it would get difficult to choose the player with the most impressive stats. But, talent and greatness are easy to spot and this is our list. Let us know who your favorite pitcher is and what makes him great.