There were 52 pitchers who are 22 years old and younger (32 were 22 YO) who pitched at least 25 IP. They pitched 36% of the IP in the California League. As noted in the previous post, 22 YOs are young relative to the majority of players in the league, Lincecum was mainly facing hitters who are older and more experienced with pro ball than he was.
Lincecum only pitched 27.2 innings, so obviously there is the small sample effect, but he has clearly been a dominating pitcher everywhere he has gone, so I don't think that many batters would have learned enough to bring that performance down. Plus he clearly is a learner, having added a pitch last season to help his repertoire, so who is to say that he won't learn fast enough to counteract that. Just look at how he has improved from his freshman year to his junior year in college.
Lincecum Versus 22 YOs and Younger
- ERA: He was tied for 5th out of 52 with an ERA of 1.95, and the group's mean ERA was 4.64. His ERA was 1.59 standard deviations away below the mean.
- H/9: He led the group with a very low 4.23 H/9, almost a hit less than the second lowest, which was 5.20 H/9. The group's mean H/9 was 9.55 and his ERA was 2.41 standard deviations below the mean.
- HR/9: He was just under the middle, tied for 35th of 52, with a 0.98 HR/9, so he did not do so well here. But the group's mean HR/9 was 0.80, and his HR/9 is only 0.40 standard deviations higher than the mean.
- BB/9: Again, he didn't do so well here, though better, 18th with 3.90 BB/9. The group mean BB/9 was 3.58, and his BB/9 is only 0.24 standard deviations higher than the mean.
- K/9: Here is where Lincecum shines brightly, leading with a 15.6 K/9, far outdistancing his second place finisher, who had only a 12.6 K/9. Admittedly, small sampling because he only pitched 27.2 innings, but still pretty good nonetheless. The group mean was 7.81 K/9 and thus his K/9 was 3.47 standard deviations higher than the mean.
- WHIP: With his very low H/9 helping greatly, he was 2nd here, with 0.90 WHIP (first was 0.72) and the group mean was 1.46 WHIP. His WHIP was 1.87 standard deviations lower than the mean.
- K/BB: His stellar K/9 made up for his average BB/9, resulting in the 7th best K/BB among the 22 and younger crowd. His K/BB was 4.00 and the mean K/BB for the group was 2.18. His K/BB was 1.02 standard deviations higher than the mean.
Adding the 20 younger pitchers didn't do much to change any of the results of the ranking. Tim Lincecum led by so much in those areas that there were no younger players who could match up either. His rank relative to the group appeared to hold steady with this enlarged comparison group, as did his standard deviations away from the mean. Nothing greatly changed.
Lastly, I will examine how Tim Lincecum did in the California League against all pitchers, both old and young alike, and again with 25 or more IP. I think you can guess what happens there as well, but I will finish up this series anyhow.