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Articles Tagged Best Pitches 

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07-20

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4

Pebble Hunting: The Best Pitches Thrown This Week
by
Sam Miller

02-10

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14

The Stats Go Marching In: What Are the Rays Expecting from Jose Molina?
by
Max Marchi

10-19

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23

World Series Prospectus: The Midwest Showdown
by
Baseball Prospectus

09-30

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21

Baseball ProGUESTus: A New Take on Plate Discipline--Redefining the Zone
by
Matt Lentzner

09-24

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71

Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation
by
Mike Fast

08-04

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1

The Asian Equation: Finding Relief from NPB
by
Michael Street

07-20

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14

Spinning Yarn: A Zone of Their Own
by
Mike Fast

02-18

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68

Future Shock: New York Yankees Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

02-16

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38

Future Shock: Minnesota Twins Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

02-08

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44

Future Shock: Atlanta Braves Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

02-03

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39

Future Shock: Texas Rangers Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

01-28

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57

Future Shock: Red Sox Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

11-19

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62

Future Shock: Kansas City Royals Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

06-06

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31

Future Shock: Draft Class '09 Top 50
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-16

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Six
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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0

Future Shock: Where Did the Tigers and the Athletics Come From?
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-14

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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0

Playoff Prospectus: The Best and Worst of Mets and Cardinals Postseason Pitching
by
Jim Baker

10-13

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Three
by
Joe Sheehan

10-12

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0

Prospectus Today: The Games Go On
by
Joe Sheehan

10-11

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day One
by
Joe Sheehan

10-09

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0

Completely Random Statistical Trivia
by
Keith Woolner

10-09

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0

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Six
by
Joe Sheehan

10-07

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0

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

10-06

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0

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Three
by
Joe Sheehan

10-06

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0

Prospectus Matchups: October Musings
by
Jim Baker

10-05

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0

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Two
by
Joe Sheehan

04-05

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Juan Marichal
by
Carlos J. Lugo

07-14

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0

Mid-Season Baseball Awards
by
Ryan Wilkins

06-05

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0

Aim For The Head: PAP^3 FAQ
by
Keith Woolner

05-21

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0

Prospectus Feature: Analyzing PAP (Part One)
by
Keith Woolner

05-21

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0

Analyzing PAP (Part One)
by
Keith Woolner

03-11

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0

The Marlin in Charge
by
Joe Sheehan

06-19

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0

Pitcher Abuse Points
by
Rany Jazayerli

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Three players tell Sam about the toughest pitches they've seen this season. They weren't the ones you'd expect.

Since the very first Best Pitches Thrown This Week, we’ve bumped up against the limits of what we can really conclude about a pitch. The pitch is not meant to impress us; it is meant to impress the batter, and we are not the batter, so our conclusions are answering the wrong question. So this week I asked some baseball players to name the nastiest pitch they have seen this year. These are their answers, which are interesting to me because these are absolutely not the answers I would have given for them. None of these guys even fell over! Batter falling over is 90 percent of my typical assessment. But they know. I don’t know. They know. Here we go.

3. Freddy Garcia’s splitter to Peter Bourjos.

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A comprehensive look at catcher defense by BP's latest addition reveals that the Rays may be getting plenty of bang for their buck from their new backstop.

For more about Max, see his introductory post here.


At the end of the 2011 season, the Tampa Bay Rays declined catcher Kelly Shoppach’s $3.2 million option for 2012, setting him free to explore the market for his services. On November 28th, they signed Jose Molina as his replacement for one year and $1.8 million.


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Sizing up every facet of each contender in this season's Fall Classic.

The Breakdown

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Is the traditional strike-ball dichotomy too simplistic?

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Matt Lentzner has carved out a (very) small niche in the baseball analysis world by examining the intersection of physics and biomechanics. He has presented at the PITCHf/x conference in each of the last two years and has written articles for The Hardball Times, as well as a previous article for Baseball Prospectus. When he’s not writing, Matt works on his physics-based baseball simulator, which is so awesome and all-encompassing that it will likely never actually be finished, though it does provide the inspiration for most of his articles and presentations. In real life, he’s an IT Director at a small financial consulting company in the Silicon Valley and also runs a physical training gym in his backyard on the weekends.

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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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August 4, 2011 12:17 am

The Asian Equation: Finding Relief from NPB

1

Michael Street

In his fifth Asian Equation column, Michael looks at the relievers who have enjoyed modest success--and failure--making the move from Japan to America.

The last group in my analysis of the player’s who have migrated to MLB from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) are the relievers, the least appreciated members of a successful baseball team. Yet, of all NPB imports, they have been the most numerous (explaining the length of this article, for which I apologize in advance) and the cheapest. Diminished quality is the most obvious reason for these extremes, since starters who don’t meet MLB standards get shifted to the bullpen, and lesser talents also keep salaries down. Additionally, the typical NPB pitcher’s arsenal matches well with an MLB reliever’s skillset.

As I discussed in my last Asian Equation article, NPB is a breaking ball league, which translates better to relief than starting. A good breaking ball might fool major league hitters the first or second time they see it in a game, but it probably won’t the third or fourth time. As an illustration, here’s how batter OPS rises against two of the biggest NPB starting-pitcher busts as compared with three current MLB pitchers: the best, the most mediocre, and an old junkballer. While MLB batters’ performance improves against each pitcher the more times they see him in a game, the change is far more dramatic with Matsuzaka and Kawakami.

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

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As Jose Bautista can attest, the percentage of pitches a batter sees in the strike zone tells us a good deal about his capabilities.

The pitcher begins each confrontation with a batter with the initiative. He alone controls when the baseball is thrown, how it moves, and where it is located. Thus, the batter is by nature placed in a reactive position. However, the batter, too, has a measure of control over how the plate appearance proceeds. He stands at the plate with a club, and it is within his discretion to swing his weapon or not.

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February 18, 2011 9:30 am

Future Shock: New York Yankees Top 11 Prospects

68

Kevin Goldstein

With a quartet of five-star prospects and a wealth of pitching overall, no system in baseball took a bigger step forward last year.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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February 16, 2011 9:46 am

Future Shock: Minnesota Twins Top 11 Prospects

38

Kevin Goldstein

The Twins know how to scout, so they keep churning out talent.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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The Braves are consistently among the best systems, and are again thanks to the game's most impressive collection of Latin American pitching talent.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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February 3, 2011 10:22 am

Future Shock: Texas Rangers Top 11 Prospects

39

Kevin Goldstein

One of the best systems in the game has dropped due to a combination of graduations, trades, and disappointments, but there's still plenty of young talent to dream on.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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January 28, 2011 12:00 pm

Future Shock: Red Sox Top 11 Prospects

57

Kevin Goldstein

The Adrian Gonzalez trade depleted the best of the Red Sox' already emptying farm system.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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