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Marcus Stroman and Chris Young might find this interesting: Why is there a perceived relationship between tallness and being an MLB pitcher?

“Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends.”
—Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

The question of short starting pitchers is one that has always interested me, ever since Kevin Goldstein (#RIP) asked about it broadly on these pages way back in 2008. Does a pitcher’s height really matter in regard to his ability to get hitters out, particularly through multiple turns of a lineup? Is being tall an evolutionary predisposition for successful starting pitching?


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September 5, 2013 6:30 am

Skewed Left: The Literal Rise of the Shortstops

3

Zachary Levine

Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, and Carlos Correa could spearhead another growth spurt at a position where the players keep getting bigger.

If your Creator or your chromosomes or whatever combination of the two you deem responsible for such things didn’t make you short enough to play shortstop, then you just have to get that short yourself.

That’s Xander Bogaerts’ key to being a tall shortstop. The superb Red Sox prospect and rookie big leaguer is listed at 6’ 3”, claims 6’ 2”, and realizes that when he’s at the position, he has to act like he’s 5’ 9”.

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How does catcher height affect framing? Plus the best missed and stolen strikes of the week.

Each week, before we get to the rankings of the best and worse frames and the GIFs that go with them, I want to talk briefly about some general-interest aspect of framing. In the first installment of this series, I mentioned, just as an aside, that “catchers differ in their ability to get calls in certain sections of the zone in a way that persists from year to year.” Let’s look into that a little more.

We classified pitches within two inches above the strike zone as “high,” within two inches below the strike zone as “low,” and within two inches to either side of the strike zone as “side.” Then we looked at how each catcher did at getting called strikes in each area from 2010-2013. Here are the baseline called strike rates for each section:

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