Thursday, June 09, 2011
Pitching to zones, part three: 2011 observationsPosted by Lucas Apostoleris
My last two posts here have been dedicated to the location of pitches to different regions of the strike zone. Today, I'd like to see where some pitchers (minimum 150 pitches) are locating in 2011 (refer back to last week's post for some league averages). First, a common spot for put-away breaking balls: Low and out of the strike zone.
PITCHES BELOW THE STRIKE ZONE
|Rank||Pitcher||Pitch Type||Low OZ%|
Unsurprisingly, everything here is an offspeed or breaking pitch.
Now at the other end of the spectrum, here are the pitches that have been up and out of the strike zone the most:
PITCHES ABOVE THE STRIKE ZONE
|Rank||Pitcher||Pitch Type||High OZ%|
This group is diverse, as it gets some extremely whiff-heavy fastballs (Clippard's, Crain's) and others that induce a lot of contact (Swarzak's, Lannan's). Fastballs typically become harder to hit as they are located higher in the zone.
As for side-to-side pitches, I want to do something a little bit different. First, I want to limited this to fastballs (four-seam and two-seam sinkers), since if we included breaking and offspeed pitches, the list would be dominated by changeups away to opposite-handed batters and sliders away to same-handed batters.
With fastballs, there seems to be more variation in where different pitchers throw, though as you'll see, fastballs (especially four-seamers) are more often outside than inside.
Anyway, as a means of getting general trends, I'm going to lump all the pitches away from "middle" (Out IZ, Out OZ) into one big "out" group and all the pitches in from "middle" (In IZ, In OZ) into an "in" group, and then get the ratio of "out" pitches to "in" pitches.
OUT/IN TO LEFTIES
OUT/IN TO RIGHTIES
NOTE: Kyle Drabek's sinker was 4th on my list for out/in to lefties, but I left it out due to a clear misclassification.