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« Feliz to Start | Main | Cain's Home/Road FB Splits »
Tuesday
Feb082011

Top Changeups

A while back I posted the top 15 NL changeup pitchers from 2010 by wOBA.  Here's a look at the top 20 in all of MLB.

2010 Top 20 MLB Changeups (min. 100 PA)I was curious how many pitchers from the above list ranked in the top 20 in changeup movement.

2010 Top 20 MLB Changeups by PVZ (min. 100 PA)PVZ is the difference in feet per second of vertical movement on a pitch compared to league average (13 ft/s).  Since we're dealing with changeups, each PVZ value above indicates how many additional ft/s over league average the pitch dropped.

Interestingly enough, only seven pitchers that made the top 20 in changeup vertical movement ended up placing in the top 20 in wOBA.  This is likely an indication that while movement certainly contributes to the success of the pitch, it can't make up for a pitcher's inability to locate.  How well a pitcher disguises his change and the deviation in velocity from his fastball are also big factors.

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Reader Comments (3)

Lincecum really did not make the grade huh? I feel like something must be off if he misses this list, any ideas?

February 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike Ketchen

Lincecum's change fell just outside the Top 20 in this list. Part of the problem is that judging the value of a pitch by wOBA only factors in plate appearances in which the pitch decided the outcome. Expected OBP, SLG, wOBA would probably be a more accurate judge of value. And since Lincecum throws so many changeups, he's hurt a bit by the current ranking system up there.

Also, If I were instead to set up the vertical movement rankings based on volume of changeups thrown (Lincecum threw about 856 last season) and set a cutoff that pretty much included only starting pitchers that threw changeups regularly, Lincecum would leapfrog into the top 20. And we're talking about a difference of a few inches per second of movement, mostly. Lincecum's change averaged 15.9 feet per second of drop. That's only a few inches off the average of the top 20 in the list.

February 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterJonathan Scippa

Thanks for the clairification.

February 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike Ketchen

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