are not tied to .500 separately but are instead tied to .500 jointly. Williams's combined Component 3-4 winning percentage of 0.487 is, hence, a bit below average.
Williams's strengths were in somewhat more hidden components. He was very good at preventing basestealers and avoiding wild pitches. He was also very good at having balls in play converted into outs more often than expected, given the type of hit and who it was hit to.
The last of these, what I call Component 5
, has been the topic of quite a bit of controversy in sabermetric circles. Specifically, there is a strong school of thought that says that pitchers have (virtually) no impact on balls in play. My research suggests that pitchers do have some impact on this, so that they are given around one-third of the credit for Component 5
As an example, Woody Williams in his career pitched for four different teams in two different leagues over a 15-year period. According to the pitching statistics at Baseball-Reference.com
, Williams allowed line drives on 21% of the balls-in-play he allowed, a number that was exactly league average for his career. Yet, for his career, he allowed a batting average on balls-in-play (BaBIP) of .280 vs. a league average of .296. His BaBIP was below .296 in 12 of his 15 seasons (and exactly .296 once) and he accomplished this feat at least once with all four teams for whom he played. From 1997 - 2004, his BaBIP was below .296 every season even as Williams changed leagues once and teams twice. The fact that William got more outs on balls-in-play than other pitchers persisted
throughout his career.
In fact, Woody Williams's net Component 5 pitching wins are among the top 50 career totals for pitchers for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.