CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

World Series time! Enjoy Premium-level access to most features through the end of the Series!

<< Previous Article
Transaction Analysis: ... (12/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (11/22)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (12/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Fixing ... (12/06)

December 6, 2013

Raising Aces

Diff'rent Strikes

by Doug Thorburn


The Minnesota Twins have earned a reputation over the years for their general preference toward “strike-throwing” pitchers who are adept at avoiding free passes, and the recent signings of Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes only reinforce that idea. Nolasco has maintained a walk rate between 4.8 and 5.7 percent in each of the past six seasons, and Hughes has kept his at six percent over the past two seasons combined. Both pitchers have been vulnerable to hard contact, manifested in higher-than-average rates of hits and homers allowed, and the combination of box-score stats paints the picture that they spend a lot of time within the strike zone. But does the PITCHf/x data support that notion?

It might surprise some readers to learn that both Nolasco and Hughes throw the majority of their pitches outside the strike zone. Just 42.6 percent of the pitches that Hughes has thrown over the past two seasons have crossed the plate within the confines of the zone, a number that might feel intuitively low but is actually above the league average. Nolasco's in-zone rate is even lower, and sunk to a career-low of 38.2 percent in 2013.

When comparing walk rates to these ratios of pitches within the strike zone, certain caveats emerge with respect to command versus control as well as the fact that a decent chunk of pitches are targeted outside the zone, particularly in the case of secondary offerings that are designed to be buried below the hard deck. That said, there are some trends that emerge when one digs deeper into the PITCHf/x data, with the prevailing theme that all strikes are not created equal.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Pitching,  Strike Zone,  Strikes,  Whiffs

2 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Transaction Analysis: ... (12/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (11/22)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (12/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Fixing ... (12/06)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Brando...
The Lineup Card: Nine Unlikely Postseason He...
Daisy Cutter: Cain's Overlooked Arrival
Playoff Prospectus: Royals Spit Hot Fire: Wo...
Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the ...
Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game 3 P...
Playoff Prospectus: A Decade of Planning an ...

MORE FROM DECEMBER 6, 2013
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Fascinating Mu Thing
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Fixing a Hole
Transaction Analysis: Royals Make Trade That...
Transaction Analysis: Rip Van Wilson
Baseball ProGUESTus: Explaining Mistake Spli...
Premium Article Minor League Update: International Winter Le...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

MORE BY DOUG THORBURN
2013-12-27 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Examining Masahiro Tanaka's Me...
2013-12-20 - Raising Aces: Bush League: Julio Urias
2013-12-13 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Jameson Taillon
2013-12-06 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Diff'rent Strikes
2013-11-22 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Robert Stephenson
2013-11-15 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Noah Syndergaard
2013-11-08 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Great Pitchers, Flawed Mechani...
More...

MORE RAISING ACES
2013-12-27 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Examining Masahiro Tanaka's Me...
2013-12-20 - Raising Aces: Bush League: Julio Urias
2013-12-13 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Jameson Taillon
2013-12-06 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Diff'rent Strikes
2013-11-22 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Robert Stephenson
2013-11-15 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Noah Syndergaard
2013-11-08 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Great Pitchers, Flawed Mechani...
More...