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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.

Monday
Feb072011

Cain's Home/Road FB Splits

Dave Cameron posted a discussion he had with Rory Paap over at FanGraphs regarding Matt Cain's HR/FB rate. Park factor came up in their discussion and I was curious to see if there was any major difference in fly ball distance in his home/road splits.

In the last 3 seasons, fly balls hit off Cain's fastball averaged 320 feet of distance at AT&T park, compared to 313 feet on the road. Not a tremendous difference. Although it was interesting that fly ball HRs off of Cain fastballs traveled an average of 410 feet at home, while traveling 424 feet in away parks.

Monday
Feb072011

Changing Bruce's Pattern

In his three years in the majors the young Jay Bruce shows signs of growing into a good power hitter for the Reds.  In that time, opposing pitchers chose to attack him low and away:

Jay Bruce pitch frequence, 2008-2010, including the post season.The reason for this pattern seems to be that Jay does most of his damage outside but high.

Jay Bruce, batting average on balls in play, 2008-2010Note that he does well on balls concentrate in the area pitchers like to work him, he's just not as productive as when the ball is on the high, outside corner.  Note the hole, however, high and inside.  That's something that more pitchers might try to exploit, since it leads to favorable results.

Jay Bruce, pop ups, 2008-2010That high, inside area is where Jay delivers pop ups, and pop ups are one of the most desirable batted balls.  A pop up is almost a sure out.  A pop up will hold a runner at third with less than two out.  A pop up can invoke the infield fly rule, guaranteeing an out.

Bruce showed much progress in 2010.  While he always showed power, he was a bit of an out machine his first two seasons, with a .309 OBP.  That went up to .353 in 2010.  With Jay becoming a tougher out, pitchers will need to do more than pitch him away.  It looks like up and in is the place to start.