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Which hitters have the quickest and slowest bats, according to PITCHf/x?

A few weeks ago, I set out to delve into PITCHf/x data in order to identify the league’s quickest and slowest bats. We typically think of “slow bats” as those belonging to hitters who have long swings and have trouble catching up to hard fastballs. Timing is a vitally important aspect of hitting, and the few miles per hour that set major leaguers apart from lower-level professional players can be the difference between solid contact and a swing-and-miss.

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May 16, 2014 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: The Meaning of 3-0 Green Lights

4

Sam Miller

Is swinging on 3-0 counts a stathead philosophy or an old-school staple?

On Sunday, in the first inning, Derek Norris homered on a 3-0 pitch from Gio Gonzalez. Then in the second inning, the same guy did the same thing on the same count against the same guy. “They've given me the green light a few times this year,” Norris said afterward, which is interesting. The A’s haven’t generally given their hitters many green lights on 3-0. Assistant GM David Forst once said that “we typically don’t allow guys to swing 3-0. When one of our guys does it, it’s a big deal. It happens only three or four times a year.”

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The times when Pablo Sandoval swung, and never stopped swinging.

On Sunday, Eric Stults faced Pablo Sandoval with two outs and a runner on third base. These are the pitches he threw:

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