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NPF's New Pitching Elite

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For many years the NPF had three elite pitchers: Jennie Finch, Cat Osterman, and Monica Abbott.  Now that Finch and Osterman have retired and only Monica Abbott remains, it is time to reassess who are the NPF's new elite pitchers.  Here is my list:


1. Monica Abbott - 2016 stats: 19-3 record, 0.98 ERA, 142 innings pitched, 185 strikeouts, 1.30 strikeout-per-inning ratio.

Abbott is still the class of the NPF.  She led the league in innings, wins, strikeouts, and games started.  She ranked 2nd in ERA behind only the USSSA Pride's Jordan Taylor.  Monica Abbott signed a $1 million contract last season and so far is earning every penny with her performance on the field—even if so far it is only during the regular season.  Even though Abbott had a great season last year, she still disappointed in the playoffs and led the Dawgs to an early postseason exit.  But there is no reason to think Abbott won't pick it up next season and try to lead the Scrapyard Dawgs on another title run.


2. Jordan Taylor - 2016 stats: 3-0 record, 0.70 ERA, 40 innings pitched, 54 strikeouts, 1.35 strikeout-per-inning ratio.

Jordan Taylor is, statistically, the 2nd best pitcher in the NPF.  Taylor had a great 2016 season for the Pride, but I'm sure the team wished it saw more of her.  I'm sure the fans thought the same—especially in the postseason!  Taylor pitched brilliantly in 2016, but she only pitched 40 innings—not even enough for six complete games.  I hope that in 2017 Taylor gets an opportunity to pitch more innings and show just how good she can be.  Taylor could prove herself to be an all-time great if she started to pitch in the NPF full-time.


3. Lauren Haegar - 2016 stats: 10-7 record, 3.01 ERA, 111 innings pitched, 100 strikeouts, 0.90 strikeout-per-inning ratio.

Lauren Haegar is my pick for the 3rd most elite pitcher in the NPF.  Haegar had a great season in 2016, and what makes it more impressive is that she did it for the 2nd-worst team in the NPF: the Dallas Charge.  Even on a poor team, Haegar tired for 2nd in the NPF in wins at 10.  She also ranked #2 in the league in strikeouts and innings pitched behind only Monica Abbott.  Haegar performed exceptionally well in her 2nd NPF season, and hopefully she can continue to improve and cement herself into the NPF's most elite pitchers.


There you have it!  Any members of the NPF elite pitchers that I missed?



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Alright, here are a few pitchers to add to your list:


Henderson, Jolene (FL) - 2016 stats: 10-4 record, 2.07 era, 71 ip, 54 strikeouts.            

Like what I see in her. Needs more innings. Just might put her into 3rd on that list?  Never understand why the Charge traded her?


Ricketts, Keilani (FL) - 2016 stats: 8-5 record, 2.37 era, 91.2 ip, 85 strikesouts.   

Would be very good stats if she pitched for another team. Still think she is one of the best in the league. What I call a "hard luck pitcher", her team just doesn't seem to back her up enough when she is pitching! I feel they rely on her too much when she is pitching and don't give the extra effort! 


Escobedo, Dallas (PA) - 2016 stats: 4-8 record, 2.62 era, 82.2 ip, 86 strikeouts.

Impressive in fact she pitches for the Rebellion! Has grown every year as a pitcher and a person. Send her to the Dawgs or Pride and watch her go!


Nunley, Kelsey, (FL) - 2016 stats: 6-1 record, 2.82 era, 54.2 ip, 60 strikeouts.                 

Has to be in the conversation. Her record and Innings pitched, impressive! Don't hear enough to know enough about her.


Thomas, Chelsea, (FL) - 2016 stats: 7-2 record, 2.98 era, 65.2 ip, 46 strikeouts.      

Another member of the Pride. Another that doesn't get enough innings to show what she can do. But 7-2, very good!  They don't have enough softballs to go around.


Melloh, Morgan, (DA) - 2016 stats: 4-8 record, 3.04 era, 78.1 ip, 79 strikeouts.                

Poor record, but look who she played for and look for her to rebound now that she is with the Dawgs. 


With all the pitchers Florida has they just don't get enough innings! Most of the better pitchers need innings. I would like to see all the top pitchers get close to 100 innings spread out over the season! Plus, the fans go to see those star pitchers. 


The biggest thing I notice about these ladies is that they don't get enough promotion! I notice that the Charge is now promoting Haeger! That's a good sign! But I still don't see the NPF promoting its individual players. The NPF had this GIFT in the form of AJ Andrews handed to them on a silver platter and it still hasn't run with it like it should have!



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From the stats I see it looks like the only real elite pitcher is Monica Abbott.  Abbott has all the top numbers and no one else is in her same neighborhood.  Jordan Taylor has numbers similar to Abbott but she barely pitched in 2016.  It is SO MUCH HARDER to maintain those stellar numbers over 142 innings than it is to do it over 40 innings.  So I lump Jordan Taylor in the very deep 2nd tier of pitchers along with all the others mentioned above by Spartan and KCSoftball.  But only Abbott is in the elite top tier of elite NPF pitchers. 


And I also discount all USSSA Pride pitchers stats a bit because its offense and defense is so good it is so easy for the pitchers to put up big numbers.  I am much more impressed with the numbers for pitchers like Lauren Haegar, Dallas Escobedo and Morgah Melloh who earned their top numbers despite being long-losing teams. 


To change the subject, It is really cool to see Keilani Ricketts finally being mentioned among the NPF elite after her rough rookie and sophomore seasons.

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