My previous post on the 1893 adoption of the 60 foot 6 inch pitching distance focused on the impact to pitchers. This follow-up post looks at batters and how their offensive stats were affected by the longer pitching distance. More after the jump.
This season marks 125 years since pitchers first launched their offerings from the current distance of 60½ feet from home plate. That’s 10½ feet or more than 20% further than before the 1893 season, a massive change that launched the 1890s “ultra-live ball” era but also introduced the more lasting change of pitchers who were used fairly frequently in relief roles. More after the jump. Continue reading
As you’re probably aware, more home runs were hit during the 2017 season than in any prior year. A lot more, actually, as the 2017 total of 6105 round-trippers was a whopping 415 more than the previous record season in 2000.
More after the jump on the season of the long ball. Continue reading
As football season gets underway, here’s a look at baseball’s version of the takeaway/giveaway margin. On the gridiron, the unit of measurement is turnovers and winning teams usually need to show a positive margin between turnovers forced (takeaways) and turnovers surrendered (giveaways). In baseball, the metric is more like points off of turnovers, as this post will consider unearned runs scored vs. unearned runs allowed, those runs being the “points” arising from errors forced and errors committed, More after the jump.
Big Riz did it a couple of times in spring training, and on one occasion he went out there and ambushed the first pitch and hit a home run.
Two pitches into the regular season version of this experiment Rizzo hit a leadoff home run. The next evening Rizzo, still batting in the No.1 spot, made an impact one pitch sooner by hitting the first offering of the game over the outfield fence.
The schedule passed the first quarter point last week. So, seems like an appropriate time to compare this season to last, both what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. More after the jump.
Not every player enjoys the good fortune of playing on good teams. Position players, even on bad teams, can attract attention with stellar counting or rate stats. But, it isn’t so easy for pitchers who, even today, can still be overlooked without an attention-grabbing W-L record.
This post is looking at pitchers who sported bad W-L records for bad teams, but who nonetheless turned in creditable if under-appreciated seasons.
That’s pitches, not pitchers! In the never-ending cat-and-mouse game between pitcher and hitter, the pitcher’s biggest advantage is choosing the type of pitch to throw to different batters in different situations. Fangraphs provides summary data from PitchFX, the system employed by MLB to track every pitch thrown in every game. Included are data on the success of each hitter against different types of pitches. Those data for the 2016 season are after the jump.
In their 2007 work “The Book” (as in “Managing by …”), Tango, Lichtman and Dolphin used hard statistical analysis to debunk any number of notional ideas about baseball players and teams, among them that certain players are “clutch” performers. Their analysis indicated that whatever clutch tendencies players might exhibit in a given season would “correct” over time such that performance levels over a career would be much the same in “clutch” situations as in any other.
But, that doesn’t stop us from looking at those one-season tendencies, which I’ll explore next in looking at the players (like the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado to the left) who were best in the clutch in the 2016 season. Continue reading
Followers of the game will be aware that baseball today is awash in young talent, including the group below, showing their career totals through their age 22 seasons.
In fact, the players above all compiled 10 or more WAR by age 22. What may surprise you to learn, though, is that these 7 players from just the current decade represent fully one-sixth of all such everyday players since 1901. But, will they continue to produce handsome WAR dividends for their teams as their careers progress? To answer in a few words, for most of them, it’s very, very likely.
After the jump, more on being very good when very young, and projecting that success over a career.