Todd Vernon Stottlemyre | SP | 1988-1994 | Career Stats
Top 10 Toronto Blue Jays Pitching Ranks (min. 500 IP):
Armed with above average stuff and good baseball pedigree, Todd Stottlemyre was a highly-touted prospect who was drafted by three different organizations: the Yankees, Cardinals, and Blue Jays. He ultimately signed with the Blue Jays, after they selected him 3rd overall in the 1985 amateur entry draft (June secondary phase). Now, more than twenty years later, it's safe to say that he easily had the best career of those who were also drafted in the first round that year. Other than Stottlemyre, only Eric Hetzel, Tommy Hinzo, Jim Hunter, and Craig Worthington ever appeared in the majors. Only Worthington played in more than two seasons, but he was a utility player who annually split time between the majors and the minors.
With that said, during his time with the Blue Jays, Stottlemyre never amounted to anything more than, at best, a league average starter. None of his statistics immediately jump out as noteworthy, other than perhaps his hit batsmen totals, which is a rather unnoteworthy stat itself. However, a starter who can throw roughly 175-200 innings a season is still a valuable asset to any organization.
His best season came in 1991, when he posted a 15-8 won-lost record, 3.78 ERA, and a 1.228 WHIP in 219 IP. He was rather fortunate to post a .652 winning percentage, considering his peripheral numbers. Among the 1991 Blue Jays' starting five, only Juan Guzman (.769) had a higher winning percentage, but Guzman (142 ERA+), Tom Candiotti (142), Jimmy Key (138), and David Wells (114) all posted higher ERA+ totals than Stottlemyre (112). Yet another example of why won-lost records are essentially meaningless for pitchers.
Since the Blue Jays of the early '90s possessed deep, talented pitching staffs, Stottlemyre wasn't utilized much during the playoffs. However, it's not as if his postseason performance merited it, either; in 24 postseason IP with the Blue Jays, Stottlemyre posted an ERA of 7.50.
His best game as a Blue Jay, without a doubt, took place on August 26, 1992 against the Chicago White Sox. Against a lineup that featured Tim Raines, Frank Thomas, George Bell, and Carlton Fisk, Stottlemyre allowed only one hit and one walk on his way to tossing a complete game shutout. He had a no-hitter heading into the 8th inning, when light-hitting right fielder Len Pasqua hit a double to end his bid. Pasqua's hitting line that season was an awful -- especially for a corner outfielder -- .211/.305/.347.
After serving his pre-free agent seasons with the Blue Jays, Stottlemyre signed with the Oakland Athletics. He would go on to play for three more teams during his career: St. Louis, Texas, and Arizona. Interestingly, his strikeout totals increased significantly relative to the totals he amassed with Toronto. He went from averaging close to five K/9 to averaging close to eight K/9, a rather substantial increase. Suprisingly, it's not an uncommon occurrence. For instance, one of the game's better pitchers at the moment, Doug Davis, saw his K/9 totals spike with Milwaukee.
Despite his average pitching totals, Stottlemyre made an awful lot of money throughout his career, especially considering all of his contracts were signed prior to the 2000/2001 offseason league-wide spending spree. In the end, he made $53,558,500, or $465,726 per win share, the twenty-third highest total of all time.
Stottlemyre was by no means a great pitcher during his days with the Blue Jays. But he was a durable, league average starter whose contributions are often overlooked. It's partially due to the fact that he had no defining or considerably memorable accomplishments; he was consistently average and workmanlike. It's especially fitting that his page on BaseballLibrary.com does not include a written profile, only his career stats.