Andy Ferguson’s Quietly Excellent 2014 Season

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The argument that wins and losses are not an accurate measure of a pitcher’s true ability has been around for quite some time now. After all, if a pitcher goes out and gives up two runs in eight innings, but the team behind him cannot score, that loss has a different context. Likewise, a win where a pitcher gives up eight runs, but somehow lasts five innings, should have a different context. Fortunately, there are other ways of being able to evaluate those players in the current baseball era.

That makes the performance of someone like Andy Ferguson easier to quantify. His 12-11 record last season will not wow anyone, but he had a solid 3.16 ERA and a 1.167 WHiP. In his 159.1 innings of work, Ferguson 124 batters against only 44 walks.

Despite spending most of the 2014 season in the offensively charged Texas League, Ferguson posted solid numbers. His 11-10 record for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals may not stand out, but he posted a 2.93 ERA and 1.161 WHiP. Compare that to the league averages, a 3.63 ERA and a 1.360 WHiP, and Ferguson was much better than his record would have indicated.

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Andy Ferguson certainly does not have a pitching repertoire that will send scouts scurrying to their phones claiming to have found the next big thing. His fastball is in the lower 90’s, and his secondary pitches are still considered to be works in progress. However, he does a solid job of generating ground balls, with a career mark of 42%, and limits the oppositions ability to put the ball in the air.

On a lot of other teams, Ferguson would appear to be a solid back of the rotation candidate. Yet, given the pitching depth that the Royals have at both the major and minor league levels, and with top prospects like Sean Manaea, Brandon Finnegan and Kyle Zimmer, Ferguson may end up becoming a long reliever or a potential trade chip.

Chances are, the 26 year old Andy Ferguson will begin the season with the Omaha Storm Chasers. If he continues to pitch well at the AAA level, he may be a player that the Royals could use at the trade deadline to strengthen their team. However, given that pitching depth and the prospects on the rise, it seems unlikely that Ferguson will help the Kansas City Royals through his performance in the majors.

Andy Ferguson has performed well over his minor league career, and took a step forward last season. There just is not any room for him in Kansas City.

Next: Baseball America Names Four Royals Prospects in Top 100

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