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Articles Tagged Velocity 

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04-14

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8

Moonshot: Does April Velocity Last?
by
Robert Arthur

03-28

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0

Changing Speeds: The Velocity Gainers and Losers of Spring 2014
by
Harry Pavlidis

03-07

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9

Raising Aces: Over the Radar 2.0
by
Doug Thorburn

03-03

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17

Raising Aces: Under the Gun 2.0
by
Doug Thorburn

10-30

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16

Baseball ProGUESTus: Is Speed Enough?: A PITCHf/x Look at the Effect of Fastball Velocity and Movement
by
Jonathan Hale

04-23

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2

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 187: More About Velocity Loss/Baseball Players and Appendectomies
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

04-09

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 177: How Much Does Velocity Loss Matter?/The Astros' Runaway Strikeout Rate
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

04-01

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1

BP Unfiltered: The Velocity Gainers and Losers of Spring 2013
by
Harry Pavlidis

03-15

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6

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

03-15

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 160: The Outlooks for Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

03-08

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22

Raising Aces: Under the Gun
by
Doug Thorburn

03-01

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25

Raising Aces: Over the Radar
by
Doug Thorburn

08-30

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1

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

08-03

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4

Raising Aces: Throwdown: Zack Greinke vs. Jeremy Hellickson
by
Doug Thorburn

07-14

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5

BP Unfiltered: Francisco Liriano's Unconvincing Impression of a Minnesota Twin
by
Ben Lindbergh

07-03

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2

BP Unfiltered: Just Sayin': Oliver Perez Might Be Back
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-15

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2

The Stats Go Marching In: Reaching Back for a Little Extra, Part Two
by
Max Marchi

06-12

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19

Baseball ProGUESTus: Scouting with PITCHf/x
by
Adam Foster

05-11

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1

The Stats Go Marching In: All About Velocity
by
Max Marchi

04-21

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3

Overthinking It: Washington's Gas Policy
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-03

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35

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

10-29

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9

Checking the Numbers: Quick Change Artistry
by
Eric Seidman

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

04-23

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31

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

04-02

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26

Checking the Numbers: Rest Up
by
Eric Seidman

03-03

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17

Is Consistency Key?
by
Eric Seidman

06-22

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0

Ballad of the Fatigued
by
Eric Seidman

06-09

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0

Ballad of the Fatigued
by
Eric Seidman

05-31

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Physics on Display
by
Dan Fox

05-24

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0

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

03-16

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0

Future Shock: Taking a Step Back, Part Three
by
Kevin Goldstein

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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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August 3, 2012 7:20 am

Raising Aces: Throwdown: Zack Greinke vs. Jeremy Hellickson

4

Doug Thorburn

Earlier this week, Zack Greinke opposed Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson in his Angels debut. Doug reviews each player's approach to pitching.

The Angels showed off their new prize last Sunday, as deadline acquisition Zack Greinke made his Anaheim debut in a face-off with 2011 Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson. Greinke returns to the American League after a year and a half spent taking swings in the senior circuit, arriving via a July 27th exchange for three Angels minor leaguers, including Futures Game LVP Ariel Pena. Hellickson made a comeback of his own on Sunday with a return from his first trip to the disabled list, a 15-day hiatus to rest from shoulder fatigue. Greinke and Hellickson are advanced students of the game, and Sunday's throwdown between the two pitch-sequence savants did not disappoint.

The Duel
Sunday was a clinic for pitcher target practice. The two starters yielded just a single free pass between them, with excellent mechanics contributing to masterful pitch execution on both sides, though each player employed his own unique gameplan. The young Helix posted the superior stat line, allowing just a pair of singles while showing off his penchant for inducing weak contact. Hellickson was also the beneficiary of an opposing lineup lacking Mike Trout, who gave way to out-machine Vernon Wells in a swap that cost about 900 points of OPS


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If it doesn't look like a Twin, soft-toss like a Twin, or pitch to contact like a Twin, it's probably not a Twin.

Francisco Liriano throws hard. He misses bats. He also misses the strike zone. In other words, he's never seemed much like a Minnesota Twin. Still, we went along with his act, as long as he wore the uniform and from time to time let Ron Gardenhire tell him to pitch to contact. But on Friday night, he completely blew his cover, striking out 15 batters in a loss to the A's. Fifteen batters! That's more than Nick Blackburn strikes out in most months​. 

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Everything old is new again, including Oliver Perez' stuff.

Here are Oliver Perez’ average fastball and slider velocities in the majors from 2002-2012, according to BIS data from FanGraphs:*

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Max continues his investigation into how starters and relievers and hard throwers and soft tossers alter their velocity depending on the situation and opponent.

In my previous installment, I explored pitch speeds in several situations and discovered that pitchers can add some gas to their offerings in certain spots. Both here at Baseball Prospectus and at The Book Blog, readers made insightful comments on the subject, suggesting possible biases and ways to expand on the analysis.

This time, I’ll go over some of those points.

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The advent and adoption of the PITCHf/x system has changed the way we scout pitchers, and more advances are still to come.

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.

Adam is the founder of Project Prospect, a scouting and statistical analysis website. He has been writing about baseball since 2006, when he began covering college baseball and conducting quantitative analysis of  minor-league prospects.
 


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Max examines all the factors that influence pitch velocity, lays out his simple and complex approaches to making PITCHf/x information more accurate, and determines how hard the Nationals are really throwing.

Cooling off the radar guns
No more calling Strasburg's 91 mph pitch a 'changeup'. It's disheartening to like 98% of the rest of us for whom 91 is a 'fastball'.—@BMcCarthy32

Everyone likes looking at radar guns.


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April 21, 2012 9:23 am

Overthinking It: Washington's Gas Policy

3

Ben Lindbergh

The Nationals rotation throws harder than any staff in baseball has over the past few seasons, and that just might win them the NL East.

The Washington Nationals haven’t hit very well this season: their .252 TAv ranks ninth in the National League. They haven’t run very well, either: they rank third from last in the big leagues in Baserunning Runs (-2.2). Nonetheless, the Nats have an 11-4 record, good for first place in the National League East and the third-best record in baseball, behind only the 11-2 Rangers and the 11-3 Dodgers. In a tight division like the NL East, a quick start can improve a team’s playoff odds significantly. The Nats’ chances of making the playoffs have risen from 7.9 percent before their first game to 19.2 percent today.

How have the Nats succeeded, if not by outslugging their opponents or regularly taking the extra base? The source of the team’s success has been defense and pitching—starting pitching, in particular. Before Edwin Jackson allowed five runs in five innings against the Astros on Thursday night, no Nats starter had allowed more than four runs in an outing. Through the team’s first 13 games, the starting rotation produced nine quality starts with a 1.65 ERA and a 2.20 RA, by far the best marks in baseball.

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We hear terms like "projectability" and "60-grade velocity" bandied about, but what do they actually mean? Here's a glimpse at what goes into scouting a pitcher.

If you have ever listened to the BP podcast, you have no doubt heard the always-fedora’d Kevin Goldstein and me identify what we look for in a prospect. Every player is unique, but there are certain attributes that tickle the scouting fancy more than others, whether physical or psychological. While we are recidivistic in our velocity whoring, other factors are at play when evaluating a pitcher, just like evaluating hitters is more complex than watching batting practice power displays. In this long-winded series, I’ll identity what I look for when scouting players on the mound, in the field, and in the box.

Not to get overly existential here, but scouting is a profound philosophical pursuit: Are we looking for enlightenment through the physical exceptionalism of athletes? Is it possible to separate our own deficiencies and insecurities from the process? Does the fact that I used to be quite fast influence my ability to appreciate speed in a lower-level prospect? Does the fact that I once had dreams of being a ballplayer heighten my ability to recognize those who are athletically superior to me, or does my failure create a form of subjective justice that I wield upon those that get to play out my fantasy for a paycheck?

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October 29, 2009 12:00 pm

Checking the Numbers: Quick Change Artistry

9

Eric Seidman

Trying to determine the best way to utilize a fastball/changeup combination in a pitching sequence.

Were you to take a web journey to a search engine and query the terms "fastball, changeup, sequence," a slew of sites would surface, many of which include in their brief synopses that a sequence of this sort helps keep hitters off balance. Conventional wisdom dictates that these two pitches, when thrown one after the other, can fool a hitter based on their similar movement and vast velocity gap.

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October 22, 2009 2:00 pm

Checking the Numbers: Crossing Over

9

Eric Seidman

The challenge of changing speeds while integrating perceived velocity into the mix.

When a pitch begins its flight towards home plate, the radar gun registers a specific velocity-one that correlates quite strongly to the start speed component of PITCHf/x-which unfortunately becomes the gospel as to how hard the pitch was thrown. Various factors, like the natural loss of velocity as the pitch reaches home plate, the true distance of the release, the actual flight time, the location, when the batter picks the ball up, and what pitch the batter initially anticipated all work together to alter a hitter's perception of velocity.

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October 5, 2009 2:39 pm

Checking the Numbers: Location and Perception

9

Eric Seidman

Changing speeds can depends as much upon where you throw as how hard you're throwing.

The velocity recorded by the radar gun and what the batter perceives do not always match. As discussed previously, several factors can cause a pitch to appear faster or slower to hitters. One such factor is the flight time from the point of release to when the ball crosses home plate relative to the flight time the PITCHf/x system projects at 55 feet away. Pitches released any closer than this predetermined distance result in a higher perceived velocity with the inverse true of pitches let go from distances greater than the default. During our initial look it was observed that a few pitchers generated perceived velocities dissimilar to their recorded velocity, a proof of concept that was much more important than the velocity discrepancies themselves. Johnny Cueto, for example, averaged 92.9 mph with a perceived 90.8 mph, while Ian Snell found himself perceived to throw just 87.6 mph in spite of the reported 91.7 mph. But where Snell threw these pitches must also enter the equation, since the location of a pitch works in conjunction to the flight time to add or subtract perceived miles per hour.

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