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August 5, 2009

In which Jeff Passan discovers Fangraphs and looks at Mark Buehrle

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ August 5, 2009 3:18 pm
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Jeff Passan:

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.

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