During the 2002 season when Oakland was using the famous "Moneyball" strategy, they largely looked to on-base-percentage when measuring player value, but this only seems to address how to look for offensive help rather than pitching. How did they discover pitchers like Chad Bradford? Did they use OBP against? WHIP?

1 Answer 1


Looking at Chad Bradford's statistics on Baseball-Reference dot com, his last season with the White Sox before being picked up by Oakland indicated that he would be a top performer. Having faced 52 batters that year:

  • 0 home runs surrendered
  • 17% strikeout rate
  • an incredible 2.82 groundball-to-flyball ratio
  • and a healthy 29% double-play on ground balls

Factor these stats in considering they got him on the cheap. Also he had a sidearm release point, something making it hard for batters to hit, especially relievers.

  • Interesting, but too speculative, I think, to be a proper answer.
    – chepner
    Dec 5, 2019 at 16:12
  • Speculative perhaps. I'd be surprised if there were many other statistics than these that made him attractive to the A's. Dec 5, 2019 at 16:49
  • 1
    Not really speculative because it was supported by the "Moneyball" narrative. Strange as it may seem today, teams didn't understand the value of ground balls in preventing home runs in 2002. The White Sox were fixated on Bradford's 84 mph fastball, not realizing that his "submarine" release point made up for it.
    – Tom Au
    Apr 27, 2020 at 4:41

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