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Stats: Matt Harrison quietly a top AL pitcher

1/17/2013

Justin Havens at MLB Stats & Information did some digging on Matt Harrison and found that not only was he the Rangers' most consistent pitcher in 2012 but was also one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. A look at some of the numbers:

* He was the fourth-best pitcher in MLB as measured by Wins Above Replacement:

1. Justin Verlander, Tigers: 7.6

2. David Price, Rays: 6.4

3. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: 6.2

4. #Matt Harrison, Rangers: 6.2

5. Johnny Cueto, Reds: 5.8

# Previous career-best was 3.5 WAR (2011)

* Harrison has blossomed the past two seasons. He had a 5.59 ERA in his first three seasons with a -0.8 WAR in 225 1/3 innings. In his last two seasons, Harrison has a 3.39 ERA in 399 innings pitched with a 9.7 WAR.

* Harrison has focused on pounding the strike zone in his last two seasons, something that pleases manager Ron Washington. Among left-handed starters, he had the fourth-highest percentage of pitches in the strike zone. Harrison's last three seasons:

2012 -- Walk rate: #6.7 percent; Called strike rate: 34.7 percent

2011 -- Walk rate: 7.4 percent; Called strike rate: 30.2 percent

2010 -- Walk rate: 11 percent; Called strike rate: 28.8 percent

# 59 walks issued in 876 plate appearances

* Highest percentage of pitches in strike zone by left-handers last season:

Cliff Lee, Phillies: 58.1 percent

Derek Holland, Rangers: 54.2 percent

Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles: 53.7 percent

Matt Harrison, Rangers: 53.3 percent

>>League-average: 50.4 percent