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« Cain's Mark on the Postseason | Main | C.J. Wilson Protecting a Lead »

Judging Speed

Jonathan Sanchez's strength as a pitcher comes from his ability to strike out batters.  Jon is especially tough since he induces strike outs two ways.  This study examines him against RHB, since more data exists for this group.  First Jonathan uses a rising fastball:

Jonathan Sanchez, 2009-2010, strikeout pitches thrown hard.Sanchez moves the ball around, but stays in the strike zone.  Batters tend to take the strikes low or inside, and swing at the ones up and out.

Sanchez also gets batters with soft pitches.

Jonathan Sanchez, 2009-2010, strikeout pitches thrown soft.These pitches dive, and batters swing at balls out of the strike zone.  So with two strikes, a batter needs to be able to ascertain the speed of the pitch thrown.  If it's fast, swing and hope, because the ball will likely be a strike.  If it's slow, take the pitch as it's likely to fall out of the strike zone.  Given Sanchez's high K rate, this is much easier said than done.

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