Since the conclusion of the steroid era, every year seems to be the new year of the pitcher. The 2012 season is no different, as Philip Humber and Matt Cain have already thrown perfect games, and a slew of pitchers seem to be capable of coming close every time out on the mound.
I didn’t solely focus on the ’12 season for the pitchers on this list. If that were the case, you wouldn’t see Cliff Lee or Tim Lincecum, but I’m not going to completely withhold them simply because they have struggled so far in half a season. But I did factor this year heavily into the discussion, along with what the pitchers have done in recent years.
I focused primarily on the statistics of earned run average, WHIP and strikeout-to-walk ratio. I tried to all but ignore wins since they are much more derived from the team’s overall performance, but I did focus intensively on sabermetrics like batting average on balls in play and wins above replacement.