The Odd Company Josh Collmenter Keeps

One of the more surprising stories in baseball this year was the rise of Arizona's Josh Collmenter, who will start Game 3 of the NLDS and attempt to keep the Diamondbacks alive. Collmenter wasn't a heralded prospect before the season started -- he couldn't even crack Baseball America's list of the 30 best Diamondbacks prospects -- but he came up and threw strike after strike. His career BB/9 in the minors is 3.1. In the majors he lopped off more than a walk per nine innings.

That control put him in some rare company. There aren't a lot of rookies in baseball history who came up and threw more than 150 innings without walking more than two batters per nine innings. But though it's rare company ... it's also oddly nondescript company:

Player Year BB/9 IP Age Tm
Josh Collmenter 2011 1.63 154.1 25 ARI
Rene Arocha 1993 1.48 188.0 27 STL
Donovan Osborne 1992 1.91 179.0 23 STL
Derek Lilliquist 1989 1.85 165.2 23 ATL
Dave Rozema 1977 1.40 218.1 20 DET
Mark Fidrych 1976 1.91 250.1 21 DET
Joe Niekro 1967 1.70 169.2 22 CHC
Fritz Peterson 1966 1.67 215.0 24 NYY
Jim Turner 1937 1.82 256.2 33 BSN
Cliff Melton 1937 2.00 248.0 25 NYG
Curt Davis 1934 1.97 274.1 30 PHI
Bill Swift 1932 1.09 214.1 24 PIT
Ray Kremer 1924 1.77 259.1 31 PIT
Sloppy Thurston 1923 1.75 195.2 24 TOT
Mike Regan 1917 1.71 216.0 29 CIN
Harry Gaspar 1909 1.97 260.0 26 CIN
Bill Burns 1908 0.99 164.0 28 WSH
Ed Summers 1908 1.64 301.0 23 DET
Irv Young 1905 1.69 378.0 27 BSN
Watty Lee 1901 1.55 262.0 21 WSH
Roy Patterson 1901 1.79 312.1 24 CHW
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/4/2011.


There are a couple of Hall-of-Gooders there, I suppose. Joe Niekro had a long career, and Mark Fidrych was a sensation before blowing his arm out. You can swap Fritz Peterson onto the list of Hall-of-Gooders if you're feeling frisky. And Sloppy Thurston deserves a mention here because his name was Sloppy Thurston.

But it's not the kind of list you'd expect from guys with historically unique control as rookies. This isn't to say anything poignant about Collmenter -- just noting the odd company he keeps. 

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