Prospect Lookback: Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux was voted into the Hall of Fame Wednesday by the BBWAA as part of  three-member 2014 class, including longtime teammate Tom Glavine and 1B/DH Frank Thomas.

Maddux won 355 games in 23 seasons as a member of four teams, primarily the Cubs and Braves. He won four Cy Young awards, and perhaps most importantly to his teams, pitched at least 190 innings 21 of his 23 years.

501-94-Glavine-Smoltz-Maddux

The righthander succeeded with precision control, especially as his velocity faded, and was the best-fielding pitcher at least since Jim Kaat, if not of all time. Maddux won every National League Gold Glove from 1991-2008, save for 2003. His 18 Gold Gloves broke the record of 16 shared by Kaat and Brooks Robinson for the most at any position. There are only 31 players in history with a WAR of 100 or more. Maddux is 26th at 106.8.

Even if you want to look past his 355 wins as a product of some good Braves teams—which of course were so good in part because Maddux was their ace—take a look at his other numbers. He kept his walks to a minimum (1.8 per 9) and home runs were a rarity (0.6/9). His career WHIP was 1.143 and his ERA+ was 132. He led the league in ERA+ four times and twice topped 200, with the league average at 100.


See also: The Scouting of Greg Maddux

See also: Maddux’s 1985 scouting report

See also: Maddux’s 1986 scouting report


He won four consecutive Cy Young awards and finished in the top five five other times.

During his prime—age 26 to 32—he had an average WHIP below 1.00, an ERA that did not top 2.72 and his BB/K ratio hit 8.85 in 1997.

Maddux was a second-round pick of the Cubs in 1984, after players such as Jeff Pries (Yankees), Dennis Livingston (Dodgers), Thomas Hartley (White Sox), Lorenzo Sisney (Mets) and Mike Christ (Mariners).

He wasn’t the Cubs’ first pick, as Chicago went for Morehead State lefty Drew Hall. His future success wasn’t immediately apparent. In the Appalachian League in 1984, he was 6-2, 2.63 but his trademark control wasn’t yet a part of his arsenal as he walked 4.3/9. In fact, while his control improved, his career minor league BB/K ratio was just 2.07.


He first popped on to Baseball America’s radar late in 1986 as he was chosen for the Triple-A American Association’s top 10. He was No. 6, behind Ruben Sierra, Barry Larkin, Dave Martinez, Daryl Boston and Joe Magrane.

Here’s what George Rorrer wrote:
At age 20, the wiry 6-foot, 150-pound Las Vegas native came up early in the season and pitched brilliantly. In mid-August, Maddux had an 8-1 record that could easily have been 11-1. He departed from three of his August starts with comfortable leads only to watch the Iowa bullpen let them get away. Said Iowa manager Larry Cox: “He changes speeds well. He has a good fastball and a good curve, but the best thing he’s got going for him is his competitiveness.”


Year Club Class W L ERA G GS CG IP H HR BB SO BB/9 SO/9 WHIP
1984 Pikeville R 6 2 2.63 14 12 2 85.2 63 2 41 62 4.31 6.51 1.21
1985 Peoria A 13 9 3.19 27 27 6 186.0 176 9 52 125 2.52 6.05 1.23
1986 Pittsfield AA 4 3 2.69 8 8 4 63.2 49 1 15 35 2.12 4.95 1.01
1986 Iowa AAA 10 1 3.02 18 18 5 128.1 127 3 30 65 2.10 4.56 1.22
1986 Chicago MAJ 2 4 5.52 6 5 1 31.0 44 3 11 20 3.19 5.81 1.77
1987 Iowa AAA 3 0 0.98 4 4 2 27.2 17 1 12 22 3.90 7.16 1.05
1987 Chicago MAJ 6 14 5.61 30 27 1 155.2 181 17 74 101 4.28 5.84 1.64
1988 Chicago MAJ 18 8 3.18 34 34 9 249.0 230 13 81 140 2.93 5.06 1.25
1989 Chicago MAJ 19 12 2.95 35 35 7 238.1 222 13 82 135 3.10 5.10 1.28
1990 Chicago MAJ 15 15 3.46 35 35 8 237.0 242 11 71 144 2.70 5.47 1.32
1991 Chicago MAJ 15 11 3.35 37 37 7 263.0 232 18 66 198 2.26 6.78 1.13
1992 Chicago MAJ 20 11 2.18 35 35 9 268.0 201 7 70 199 2.35 6.68 1.01
1993 Atlanta MAJ 20 10 2.36 36 36 8 267.0 228 14 52 197 1.75 6.64 1.05
1994 Atlanta MAJ 16 6 1.56 25 25 10 202.0 150 4 31 156 1.38 6.95 0.90
1995 Atlanta MAJ 19 2 1.63 28 28 10 209.2 147 8 23 181 0.99 7.77 0.81
1996 Atlanta MAJ 15 11 2.72 35 35 5 245.0 225 11 28 172 1.03 6.32 1.03
1997 Atlanta MAJ 19 4 2.20 33 33 5 232.2 200 9 20 177 0.77 6.85 0.95
1998 Atlanta MAJ 18 9 2.22 34 34 9 251.0 201 13 45 204 1.61 7.31 0.98
1999 Atlanta MAJ 19 9 3.57 33 33 4 219.1 258 16 37 136 1.52 5.58 1.34
2000 Atlanta MAJ 19 9 3.00 35 35 6 249.1 225 19 42 190 1.52 6.86 1.07
2001 Atlanta MAJ 17 11 3.05 34 34 3 233.0 220 20 27 173 1.04 6.68 1.06
2002 Atlanta MAJ 16 6 2.62 34 34 0 199.1 194 14 45 118 2.03 5.33 1.20
2003 Atlanta MAJ 16 11 3.96 36 36 1 218.1 225 24 33 124 1.36 5.11 1.18
2004 Chicago MAJ 16 11 4.02 33 33 2 212.2 218 35 33 151 1.40 6.39 1.18
2005 Chicago MAJ 13 15 4.24 35 35 3 225.0 239 29 36 136 1.44 5.44 1.22
2006 Chicago MAJ 9 11 4.69 22 22 0 136.1 153 14 23 81 1.52 5.35 1.29
2006 Los Angeles MAJ 6 3 3.30 12 12 0 73.2 66 6 14 36 1.71 4.40 1.09
2007 San Diego MAJ 14 11 4.14 34 34 1 198.0 221 14 25 104 1.14 4.73 1.24
2008 San Diego MAJ 6 9 3.99 26 26 0 153.1 161 16 26 80 1.53 4.70 1.22
2008 Los Angeles MAJ 2 4 5.09 7 7 0 40.2 43 5 4 18 0.89 3.98 1.16
Major League Totals 355 227 3.16 744 740 109 5008.1 4726 353 999 3371 1.80 6.06 1.14
Minor League Totals 36 15 2.86 71 69 19 491.1 432 16 150 309 2.75 5.66 1.18

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