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« Breaking Down Team Ortiz's Dingers | Main | Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies Rocket Launcher »
Sunday
Jul102011

Weaver's Devastating Fastball

Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and starting pitcher for the American League All-Stars owns the most devastating fastball in the majors this season.  In plate appearances ending on a Weaver fastball, he recorded the lowest weight on-base average (wOBA) of any pitcher (min 200 PA on fastballs):

 

PitcherTeamFastball PAwOBA
Jered Weaver LAA 242 0.225
Erik Bedard SEA 201 0.243
Jair Jurrjens ATL 223 0.255
Cliff Lee PHI 270 0.259
Jordan Zimmermann WSH 246 0.262
David Price TB 350 0.270
Ryan Vogelsong SF 228 0.270
Matt Cain SF 271 0.272
Justin Verlander DET 292 0.274
Bartolo Colon NYY 296 0.274

 

Weaver manages to keep his fastball away from both lefties and righties.  The following graph shows his pitch loationa and movement against left-handed batters:

Jered Weaver, fastball vs. LHB, 2011. Location on the left, movement on the right.Note the great movement toward the left-handed batter.  Weaver can start this pitch outside, and the break brings it back over the outside corner.  Even when he misses, batters sometimes go after the pitch, resulting in a swing and miss.  His wOBA against lefties on his fastball is .224.

Against right-handed batters, he works the other side of the plate.

Jered Weaver, fastball vs. RHB, 2011. Location on the left, movement on the right.Note that Weaver gets even more lateral movement with his fastball against right-handed batters.  He starts the ball inside, and then it breaks over the outside part of the plate.  Batters see a pitch they can pull, but it ends up a pitch they should be driving the other way.  Instead of getting good wood on the ball batters get weak ground balls or flies bunched in the middle of the outfield.  That helps him to a .226 wOBA against righties.

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