Tuesday, May 01, 2012
A short story about two sinkersPosted by Harry Pavlidis
Jason Hammel picked-up (and/or emphasized) a two-seam sinker this year for the Orioles. Across the continent, Brandon McCarthy—as we all know—likes sinkers, too.
While Hammel's has flown under the radar, it shouldn't for much longer. And perhaps McCarthy should look into the SI cover effect.
In 2012, there are 54 pitchers with 110 or more sinkers/two-seam fastballs thrown. That's 8437 total pitches, with a collective ground ball percentage of 55% and a whiff rate of .11 (that's misses divided by swings). We all understand that this a pitch a starter will often throw to contact, hence the low whiff rate, and the ball usually has some "sink" (hence the name) and thereby more grounders.
Hammel ranks 10th in whiff rate. Hammel's ground ball rate on his sinker is an impressive 69%, good enough for 6th place. Good job, Jason. There's a little bit of consternation to be found in Brandon's numbers. His ground ball percentage is just 37% and his whiff rate .05. Those put the SI feature subject 49th and 47th in these ranking, respectively. Combined, using these two metrics, you can put Hammel in the top five and McCarthy in the bottom five. Who had that picked before the season started?
Here are the full rankings. All pitch classifications are by the author and are shown on the Brooksbaseball.net Player Cards.
Harry Pavlidis admits he has a baseball problem. He is the founder of Pitch Info LLC, His pitch classifications power the player cards at Brooksbaseball.net. Feedback, questions and comments are appreciated - Email firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @harrypav