Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Change of Pace

We did this a few times last year, and it seems to have fairly decent predictive qualities for future success.

We are looking at which pitchers have the largest discrepancy between their fastball and change-up average velocities.

For our sample size, we are taking all pitchers who have thrown at least 20 innings this season and thrown their change-up at least 8% of the time. Sure, that is an arbitrary number, but I feel like if someone throws 100 pitches in about 8 innings of work, they should at least throw the change-up, on average, once per inning.

According to Fangraphs, this left us with a sample of 152 pitchers.

National League
Marco Estrada, Brewers 90.6 - 76.8 = 13.8
Erik Bedard, Pirates 89.1 - 75.9 = 13.2
Craig Breslow, Diamondbacks 90.6 - 77.9 = 12.7
Tyler Clippard, Nationals 92.8 - 81.6 = 11.2
Brandon Beachy, Braves 91 - 80 = 11
Johan Santana, Mets 88.4 - 77.8 = 10.6
Chris Capuano, Dodgers 88 - 77.8 = 10.2
Edinson Volquez, Padres 93.6 - 83.4 = 10.2
Andrew Cashner, Padres 98.7 - 88.6 = 10.1
Wade Miley, Diamondbacks 91.1 - 81 = 10.1

Even after losing more than a few ticks to his fastball, Johan Santana
changes speed like a master. (Photo by Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)

***
American League
Fernando Rodney, Rays 95.2 - 81.7 = 13.5
Clay Buchholz, Red Sox 92 - 79 = 13
Kelvin Herrera, Royals 98.9 - 87.2 = 11.7
Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox 94.5 - 83.1 = 11.4
Jeremy Hellickson, Rays 90.7 - 79.4 = 11.3
Nate Jones, White Sox 97 - 85.9 = 11.1
Jarrod Parker, Athletics 91.8 - 80.7 = 11.1
David Price, Rays 94.9 - 83.9 = 11
P.J. Walters, Twins 88.9 - 78.3 = 10.6
Luis Mendoza, Royals 92.5 - 82.8 = 9.7

With a 7.19 ERA, don't expect to find Clay Buchholz on many more
statistical leaderboards. (Photo by Jim Rogash / Getty Images)












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