I have found baseball nerd heaven, and it is a place called FanGraphs. Earlier this year, the invaluable repository for statistics unveiled its pitch-type linear weights. Do not be scared by the math jargon. … So anyway, this is what the statistical revolution has wrought: The ability to value every pitch thrown from the perspective of the pitcher and batter. A ball in a certain count has value, as does a strike and a hit and so on. Using data supplied from MLB.com’s incredible Pitch-f/x system – which records the velocity and break of every pitch and uses an algorithm to compute the type of pitch – FanGraphs breaks down the effectiveness of the pitcher and hitter on every pitch.
Mark Buehrle throws five above-average pitches.
In order of effectiveness: changeup, fastball, slider (which – hint, hint, A.J. Pierzynski – he throws only 2.8 percent of time but to 4.55 runs above per 100 thrown), curveball and cutter.
August 5, 2009
In which Jeff Passan discovers Fangraphs and looks at Mark Buehrle
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