Winning 300 games will require Randy Johnson-type run

No active pitcher can claim Randy Johnson’s combination of imposing height (6-foot-10) and explosive fastball (100 mph and up). But the trajectory of Johnson’s 303-win, Hall of Fame career should give hope to a number of contemporary big leaguers.

Through his age-26 season, Johnson was 24-24 with a 97 ERA+, 4.12 FIP, and 1.395 WHIP.

Last year, among all major-league pitchers in their age-26 season or younger, 22 had matched or surpassed the 24 career victories Johnson had at the same point of his career.

The full list, with assistance from Baseball-Reference.com:

PITCHER AGE WINS
Clayton Kershaw 26 98
Rick Porcello 25 76
Madison Bumgarner 24 67
Trevor Cahill 26 64
Mat Latos 26 60
Mike Leake 26 53
Chris Tillman 26 45
Chris Sale 25 44
Stephen Strasburg 25 43
Jhoulys Chacin 26 38
Mike Minor 26 38
Alex Cobb 26 35
Wily Peralta 25 30
Matt Moore 25 29
Julio Teheran 23 29
Felix Doubront 26 28
Henderson Alvarez 24 27
Brett Anderson 26 27
Vance Worley 26 27
Shelby Miller 23 26
Jose Quintana 25 24
Garrett Richards 26 24

Of that group, all but Minor and Doubront have a better ERA+ than Johnson’s 97.

As we ponder whether we’ll see another 300-game winner, it’s worth remembering this list. For all the variables involved — health, run support, bullpen performance, late-career adaptability amid diminished velocity — Kershaw, Bumgarner and the less-talked-about Porcello are off to decent starts.

Now comes the hard part: pitching like Randy Johnson did between the ages of 26 and 40.