I believe it is never too early to start making proclamations about who is the best this or that in baseball. So, with that in mind, I am going to come right out and state, without reservation, that the Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Cueto is, in fact, the best pitcher in the National League.
Now, I know what you are thinking, and maybe even typing to refute my claim, “there is no way in the this world or any other that Johnny Cueto is the best pitcher in the National League.” But before you send me a scathing response or call me insane, listen to my reasoning, then you can judge me.
Before, I get started, it’s full disclosure time. I am a big Johnny Cueto fan – BIG fan. He is, second only to Bronson Arroyo, my favorite Red. So biased, yeah, I’m sure you can claim that and I would be guilty as charged. That does not, however, change the facts. They are stubborn things.
Let’s start out that Johnny Cueto has a record of 4-0 in 6 appearances and is ranked 3rd in the league in that category. He has an ERA of 1.31 and ranked 1st in the league. He has 1 complete game, which ranks him first. He has worked 41 innings. That puts him 5th. He has only allowed 2 homeruns, 7 base-on-balls, struck out 26 and has a WHIP of .992 that ranks him 10th in the league.
Again, be patient with me. I know the above does not automatically qualify Johnny Cueto as the best pitcher in the league. I want you to consider where he does his pitching. Look at his stats that are considered Adjusted Pitching stats based on him pitching mostly in GABP.
With that category in mind, Johnny Cueto is the best pitcher. He ranks 1st in runs allowed, 1st in wins and 1st in ERA. I think the wins pretty much ends the argument, but to consider the ERA and he pitches in GABP; it’s a no-brainer. In addition to the Adjusted stats, you can also make the case when you see that Johnny Cueto ranks 1st in Base-Out Runs Saved category with an 11.42. In that category, 0.00 is considered average and the further away on the positive side you are the better.
So in conclusion, sure Johnny Cueto doesn’t pitch on a glamour team. He’s not in a glamour market. He doesn’t call attention to himself. He just goes out there every five days and shuts down the opposition. This is why he is the best pitcher in the National League.
Now you can call me insane and question my lineage.