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Articles Tagged Pitch Speed 

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08-30

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1

BP Unfiltered: Is Stephen Strasburg Wearing Down?
by
Dan Brooks

10-19

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23

World Series Prospectus: The Midwest Showdown
by
Baseball Prospectus

08-26

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4

Baseball ProGUESTus: Do Pitchers Really Trade Speed for Command?
by
Graham Goldbeck

08-17

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11

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

05-10

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11

Prospects Will Break Your Heart: U Got the Look: Pitchers, Part II
by
Jason Parks

04-27

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9

Spinning Yarn: A Soria Subject
by
Mike Fast

04-26

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3

Painting the Black: Pitching Backward
by
R.J. Anderson

04-25

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11

Spitballing: Cracking the Scouting Code
by
Jeremy Greenhouse

03-30

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15

Spinning Yarn: Do Spring Speeds Matter?
by
Mike Fast

01-04

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43

Future Shock: Los Angeles Dodgers Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

12-09

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16

Spinning Yarn: The Forkball
by
Mike Fast

10-26

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8

Spinning Yarn: Interpreting Pitch Classifications
by
Mike Fast

08-29

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2

Between The Numbers: The PITCHf/x Summit Quasi-Liveblog
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-09

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27

Manufactured Runs: What Strasburg Threw
by
Colin Wyers

05-07

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7

Prospectus Q&A: Dave Baldwin
by
David Laurila

10-22

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9

Checking the Numbers: Crossing Over
by
Eric Seidman

10-05

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9

Checking the Numbers: Location and Perception
by
Eric Seidman

09-22

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35

Checking the Numbers: Perceived Velocity
by
Eric Seidman

05-06

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11

Zumaya's Zooming
by
Ben Lindbergh

04-23

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31

Checking the Numbers: Inside Pitch-f/x
by
Eric Seidman

10-28

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Curt Young
by
David Laurila

06-14

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: The Science and Art of Building a Better Pitcher Profile
by
Dan Fox

05-24

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Batter Versus Pitcher, Gameday Style
by
Dan Fox

05-10

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Phil Hughes, Pitch by Pitch
by
Dan Fox

10-14

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

10-13

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Three
by
Joe Sheehan

10-12

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0

Player Profile
by
Marc Normandin

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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Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

10-06

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Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Three
by
Joe Sheehan

10-05

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Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Two
by
Joe Sheehan

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Was Stephen Strasburg's velocity loss during his last start atypical? And if so, should we be worried?

ESPN Stats and Information published an article about Stephen Strasburg’s less-than-successful start on Tuesday that noted, “Strasburg’s velocity declined as his start went on. His heater averaged 96.6 MPH in the first two innings and 94.8 MPH after. “

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

The Breakdown

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Taking an old piece of baseball advice to task with Sportvision's new COMMANDf/x system for tracking the catcher's glove.

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.

Graham Goldbeck is a data analyst at Sportvision, the company behind PITCHf/x, HITf/x, COMMANDf/x, and FIELDf/x. In the past, Graham was a writer for the website Beyond the Boxscore and worked as a baseball operations intern for the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays.

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What factors determine how often hitters take one for the team?

Every season major league pitchers throw tens of thousands of pitches inside off the plate, yet they hit batters “only” about 1500-1800 times in a season. Why do some inside pitches hit the batter, while others do not?

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How much does a pitcher's secondary arsenal, mound presence, and poise play into a scout's evaluation?

In part one, I blathered on about fastball evaluation and the three main components of the overall pitcher grade: command, velocity, and movement. About 2,000 words later (200 to set the mood, 200 to make the point, and 1,600 to expose my weaknesses as a writer), I hope that the reader formed a closer bond with my process, though it sometimes seemed like I cared more about the beef industry than scouting. I’m not going to apologize for that. I care about beef. I’m from Texas. I also ride a horse to work and wear a duster. Moving on.

It’s time to shift our attention to what I look for when evaluating a pitcher’s secondary arsenal [read: complementary pitches, e.g., slider, curveball, changeup, etc.], mound presence/poise, and pitchability. While a good fastball can carry the majority of the load and is therefore set up to receive most of the accolades, the secondary and tertiary components of the arsenal will ultimately define the attainable range of success. Outliers always exist, so you might run across arsenals that aren’t built with the bones of a fastball, or arsenals that consist of one super-wizard pitch (Mariano Rivera’s cutter), but for this evaluation, let’s just assume we are scouting a human, and not a knuckleballer or a Panamanian relief wizard.

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Do his early-season struggles suggest that Royals closer Joakim Soria's best days lie behind him, or can he succeed with a different style?

Joakim Soria has been one of the best relief pitchers in baseball over the past four years. From 2007 to 2010, he put up a 2.01 ERA with 281 strikeouts against only 70 walks and 182 hits in 255 innings. Over that period, he held the opposition scoreless in 82 percent of the games he entered, and he allowed multiple runs only five percent of the time. For comparison, Mariano Rivera had a 2.05 ERA over those four years, held the opposition scoreless 83 percent of the time, and allowed multiple runs five percent of the time. Even while fighting (and usually failing) to avoid the basement in the AL Central, the Royals could claim a truly elite closer in Soria, the rare All-Star on a perennial cellar dweller.

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Which pitchers succeed by leading with their off-speed stuff and saving their heaters for later?

“Too many guys pitch backward. They throw their breaking ball so much that it’s almost like their fastball is their off-speed pitch.”—Tom Glavine

On a spring day in 1984, Jim Palmer began talking to Jay Howell. The conversation likely started with pleasantries—a comment about the Florida weather, or a crude remark directed toward a female in the stands—but it developed into a dissection of Howell’s approach on the mound. Palmer, the aging Oriole, instructed Howell, then a 28-year-old Yankee, to take advantage of his fastball velocity (90-to-92 miles per hour) and establish the pitch before using his breaking stuff against batters. 

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The mysterious art of scouting needn't defy analysis, as long as ratings are applied consistently.

Consistency: the word itself a food metaphor, irony dripping from it like ice cream from a half-melted cone. Despite the rhetoric, consistency doesn’t matter much in baseball. What matters is being good. In the process of evaluating ballplayers, however, consistency is all that matters.

Scouts grade prospects based on a 20-80 scale where 50 is average, and, according to one scout*, “one grade is a standard deviation. Think of it as a bell curve.”

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Mike examines whether velocity changes in March and April can reveal whether the radar gun will be a pitcher's friend or foe throughout the season.

Fastball speed in the major leagues is an important and oft-researched topic. As the 2011 season begins, the trickle of reports on pitchers’ fastball speeds that came out of spring training will turn into a flood of data. Some pitchers will be throwing a little faster than they were last year, while others will have lost a notch on their hard stuff.

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January 4, 2011 9:00 am

Future Shock: Los Angeles Dodgers Top 11 Prospects

43

Kevin Goldstein

Despite some prospects falling short in 2010, a surprise draft signing helps give the system a boost.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

December 9, 2010 9:00 am

Spinning Yarn: The Forkball

16

Mike Fast

What are some of the distinguishing characters of one of baseball's most unknown pitches?

Forkball pitchers are a rare breed, perhaps even rarer than the elusive knuckleballer.

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A closer look at what the various pitch types mean and how to approach pitch classification.

Several of the leading pitchers in this year’s postseason make their living with a cut fastball, most notably Roy Halladay and Mariano Rivera. The list of playoff pitchers who have the cutter as an important pitch in their arsenal, though, is long. It includes Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson, and Tommy Hunter on the Rangers; Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes on the Yankees; and Cole Hamels on the Phillies.

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