Beyond the Box Score has an interesting analysis of John Danks’ breakout this season, mostly using PITCHf/x data to tease out differences in pitch selection and velocity. I’m still not 100 percent convinced of the causality in cases like this—i.e. is he pitching better because of his pitch selection/approach, or is his approach different because he’s in better situations because his pitching is better for some reason not measured. In this case, they’ve accounted for a velocity increase, but it doesn’t rule out the possibility that, say, his command is also better. It’s also hard to determine which exactly of the changes is causing the others, or if they are all building off of each other. Not to say that this piece and others like it don’t shed additional light on the issue.
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