Why ERC?

ERC is shorthand for a pitcher’s “Component ERA”, a concept created by Bill James in his book “Win Shares”. James describes it as:

The ERA which we would expect a pitcher to have, given his walks, hits, hit batsmen, and home runs allowed per nine innings.

James calls it a “second look” at a pitcher’s ERA. It essentially creates a “runs created against” for the pitcher based on the above events, then neutralizes the order in which the events occur.

For example, say a pitcher makes two 6-inning starts, allowing all his runs in one inning of those starts.

The run scoring inning in his first start goes like this: two walks, a home run, a strikeout, and two ground ball outs. He will have allowed 3 ER in that inning, and posted an ERA of 4.50 in his 6-inning start for that game.

The run scoring inning in his second start goes like this: home run, two walks, a strikeout, and two ground ball outs. He will have allowed 1 ER in that inning, and posted an ERA of 1.50 in his 6-inning start for that game.

But the events he allowed in each inning were the exact same! The order of the events has a severe impact on his ultimate ERA. ERC neutralizes the order of events.

The Leaderboard

Included in this leaderboard are all the FanGraphs ‘qualified’ starters for full season minor league ball in 2019, separated by level. Pitchers that appeared for multiple orgs will have ‘- – -‘ listed for their team. Then it will list the pitcher’s ERC, ERA, and Delta between the two.

For example, Chris Vallimont pitched in A+ ball for both the Marlins and Twins orgs in 2019. He posted a combined ERA of 3.24 in A+ last year. However his ERC for those same innings was 2.07, giving him a difference of 1.18 runs between his ERA and ERC last year. This “second look” suggests that Vallimont was probably unlucky in the order of damaging events against him in 2019. He limited damage like a pitcher sporting a 2.00 ERA as opposed to a pitcher sporting a 3.50 ERA.

2019 MiLB ERC Leaderboard

wdt_ID Name Team Age ERC ERA ERA to ERC Delta
1 Alex Valdez - - - 19 3.24 5.43 2.19
2 Maiker Manuel Reds (R) 20 4.96 6.53 1.57
3 Ryley Widell Twins (R) 22 5.10 6.50 1.40
4 Kyle Johnston - - - 22 3.71 4.98 1.27
5 Andres Falcon Reds (R) 21 2.51 3.75 1.25
6 Tim Brennan - - - 22 2.59 3.84 1.25
7 Sean Thompson White Sox (R) 23 4.84 6.08 1.24
8 Emilker Guzman Angels (R) 20 3.59 4.82 1.22
9 Chris Vallimont - - - 22 2.07 3.24 1.18
10 Anthony Escobar Twins (R) 18 2.67 3.83 1.16
Name Team Age ERC ERA ERA to ERC Delta