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Mike Fast 

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03-15

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6

The BP Wayback Machine: Do Spring Speeds Matter?
by
Mike Fast

01-25

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35

Spinning Yarn: Last Pitch
by
Mike Fast

12-21

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36

Spinning Yarn: Hit-and-Run Success is No Accident
by
Mike Fast

11-22

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30

Spinning Yarn: How Does Quality of Contact Relate to BABIP?
by
Mike Fast

11-16

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41

Spinning Yarn: Who Controls How Hard the Ball is Hit?
by
Mike Fast

10-28

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0

BP Unfiltered: Lowe's Changeup to Freese
by
Mike Fast

10-26

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16

Spinning Yarn: Can We Predict Hot and Cold Zones for Hitters?
by
Mike Fast

10-18

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3

BP Unfiltered: New Pitch Blocking Research
by
Mike Fast

10-08

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7

BP Unfiltered: NLCS Umpire Charts and Data
by
Mike Fast

09-24

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71

Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation
by
Mike Fast

09-07

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13

Spinning Yarn: Home Plate Umpire Positioning
by
Mike Fast

08-27

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2

BP Unfiltered: Live Blog PITCHf/x Summit 2011
by
Mike Fast

08-24

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18

BP Unfiltered: Framing Ball Four to Cano
by
Mike Fast

08-22

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4

BP Unfiltered: Jerome Williams Is Back
by
Mike Fast

08-17

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11

Spinning Yarn: Why are Batters Hit by Pitches?
by
Mike Fast

08-06

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0

BP Unfiltered: Where No Counsell Is, the People Fall
by
Mike Fast

08-04

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6

Spinning Yarn: Counsell for the Defense
by
Mike Fast

07-27

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24

BP Unfiltered: Meals Money
by
Mike Fast

07-20

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14

Spinning Yarn: A Zone of Their Own
by
Mike Fast

06-16

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5

BP Unfiltered: A New Screwballer
by
Mike Fast

06-15

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10

Spinning Yarn: Vogelsong Poetry
by
Mike Fast

06-01

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6

Spinning Yarn: The Real Strike Zone, Part 2
by
Mike Fast

05-23

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17

BP Unfiltered: Catcher Interference Leaders
by
Mike Fast

05-11

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15

Spinning Yarn: Speed Traps
by
Mike Fast

04-27

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9

Spinning Yarn: A Soria Subject
by
Mike Fast

04-12

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3

BP Unfiltered: Early PITCHf/x Ballpark Speeds
by
Mike Fast

04-07

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1

BP Unfiltered: In the Beginning...
by
Mike Fast

03-30

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15

Spinning Yarn: Do Spring Speeds Matter?
by
Mike Fast

03-29

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0

BP Unfiltered: Community Playing Time Forecasts
by
Mike Fast

03-20

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4

BP Unfiltered: Pineiro Shoulder Tightness
by
Mike Fast

03-11

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1

BP Unfiltered: You Are the Weekend Links
by
Mike Fast

03-02

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12

Spinning Yarn: How Accurate is PitchTrax?
by
Mike Fast

02-26

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2

BP Unfiltered: Week Links
by
Mike Fast

02-24

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5

BP Unfiltered: Did Wainwright Drop His Arm Angle?
by
Mike Fast

02-23

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11

BP Unfiltered: Do Premier Pitchers Release Within the Zone?
by
Mike Fast

02-16

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59

Spinning Yarn: The Real Strike Zone
by
Mike Fast

02-15

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16

BP Unfiltered: Derek Low
by
Mike Fast

01-19

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3

Spinning Yarn: Rafael Soriano in King Mo's Court
by
Mike Fast

01-04

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2

BP Unfiltered: Mariners Pitcher Release Points
by
Mike Fast

01-03

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2

BP Unfiltered: Phillies Pitcher Release Points
by
Mike Fast

12-20

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0

BP Unfiltered: What does Jeremy Jeffress throw?
by
Mike Fast

12-17

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3

BP Unfiltered: What does Pettitte throw?
by
Mike Fast

12-16

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35

Spinning Yarn: Why The Yankees Need Andy Pettitte
by
Mike Fast

12-09

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16

Spinning Yarn: The Forkball
by
Mike Fast

11-11

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7

Spinning Yarn: Pitcher Release Points
by
Mike Fast

11-02

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1

BP Unfiltered: Hisashi Iwakuma PITCHf/x Scouting Report
by
Mike Fast

10-26

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15

BP Unfiltered: More Thoughts on Robo-Umps
by
Mike Fast

10-26

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8

Spinning Yarn: Interpreting Pitch Classifications
by
Mike Fast

10-23

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11

BP Unfiltered: PitchTrax Wrong, Not Ump
by
Mike Fast

10-14

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20

Spinning Yarn: The Glavine Line
by
Mike Fast

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Can velocity changes in March and April reveal whether the radar gun will be a pitcher's friend or foe throughout the season?

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.

Are velocity readings trustworthy this early in the year, or should we wait until Opening Day to start putting any stock in the speed of a pitcher's stuff? Mike examined the issue in the piece reprinted below, which originally published as a "Spinning Yarn" column on March 30, 2011.
 


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January 25, 2012 3:00 am

Spinning Yarn: Last Pitch

35

Mike Fast

One of our finest analytical minds says farewell and rides off into the sabermetric sunset to join an MLB team, introducing our newest addition in the process.

I have greatly enjoyed the last 15 months here at Baseball Prospectus. It has been a better time than I could have imagined, in many ways. It has been a privilege to share my thoughts and the results of my research. The conversations that resulted, whether in the comments here or on Twitter or at other sites, are among the things I value most. Baseball is a great game, full of interesting nooks and crannies, and it has been a lot of fun to explore them with you.

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The hit-and-run is much maligned as a small-ball tactic, but it's a surprisingly successful strategy.

In this game you never know enough.”—Dale Mitchell

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Mike continues his investigation of HITf/x data to glean more insights into whether pitchers can prevent hits on balls in play.

In the first part of this study, I used detailed batted ball speed information from HITf/x to examine the degree of skill that batters and pitchers had in quality of contact made or allowed. Here, I will look deeper into the question of why some batted balls fall for hits and others do not.

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When a batter and pitch face off, which has a greater effect on how hard the ball is hit, and what can that tell us about pitcher BABIP?

The last decade has seen much discussion and evolution in sabermetric thought around the relative abilities of batters, pitchers, fielders, and Lady Luck to control the outcome of batted balls. Data collected by Sportvision and MLBAM sheds new light on this question, but before we tackle that data, let’s review some of the history of how we came to our current state of knowledge.

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A short investigation of Lowe's changeup thrown to Freese to end Game 6 in the 11th inning

There were a number of questionable decisions and failures of execution during Game 6 of the World Series last night, many of which have been well-covered by Jay Jaffe and others. One of them, however, particularly grabbed my interest. Why did Mark Lowe choose to throw a 3-2 changeup to David Freese in the 11th inning? Freese drove the ball over the center-field wall to end the game. (If he had not done that, I doubt I would have taken any notice of the pitch selection.)

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When is hot truly hot, and when is it not?

A few weeks ago, during the division series, Brandon McCarthy remarked on Twitter that it would be more interesting for TBS to show a diagram of the batter hot and cold zones for every batter than to show the PitchTrax strike zone and pitch location graphic. He argued that knowledge of the hot and cold zones would give viewers additional insight into the battle between the pitcher and the batter.

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Link to article on catcher pitch blocking by Bojan Koprivica

This morning the Hardball Times published a fabulous piece of research by Bojan Koprivica on catchers blocking pitches.

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2010-2011 umpire data and ball/strike charts for the umpire crew for the 2011 NL Championship Series

I worked up some umpire data for Mike Ferrin and the MLB Network Radio show for the National League Championship Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals, and I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the data.

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In case you missed Mike Fast's extraordinary research into quantifying the heretofore hidden contributions of catchers, we're moving it back to the top of the list for the weekend.

I Was Framed
Catchers play a central role in the game of baseball through their involvement with every pitch that their pitchers throw. One of their key tasks is receiving borderline pitches without discouraging the umpire from calling strikes.


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Does the way an umpire positions himself behind home plate affect the boundaries of his strike zone?

We have known for several years that right-handed and left-handed batters do not see the same strike zone in the major leagues. The strike zone for left-handed batters shifts about two inches toward the outside. This observation goes back at least to Dr. John Walsh’s analysis of PITCHf/x strike zone data in 2007.

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A live blog from the Sportvision 2011 PITCHf/x Summit, held in San Francisco

Mike Fast here. The summit has started. The webcast is available here for those who want to follow along online like I am.

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