Get to Know: Pitch Types

Pitch Type Abbreviations:

FB – fastball
SL – slider
CT – cutter
CB – curveball
CH – changeup
SF – split-fingered
KN – knuckleball
XX – unidentified
PO – pitch out

About split-fingered pitches: Split fingered pitches include splitters and forkballs.

About the percentages: All pitch type percentages for identified pitches are calculated as a percentage of only identifiable pitches. Unidentified pitches are calculated as a percentage of all pitches.

About the velocity: Next to the percentage in parentheses is the average velocity for the pitch type. If it reads 00.0, it means there is not enough data to calculate the average velocity.

About the leaderboards: On the leaderboards, pitch type percentage and pitch type velocity are broken out into two separate columns for each pitch. The percentage columns are labeled “%” and the velocity columns are labeled “v”.

About the data: All pitch type data is collected and provided by Baseball Info Solutions.

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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.

8 Responses to “Get to Know: Pitch Types”

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  1. Roman says:

    I am pretty sure sinkers are considered fastballs in the baseball world, not sure how BIS categorizes them though.

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  2. In the Baseball Info Solutions data there is actually a Sinker classification, but it is very rarely used as in less than 0.1% of the time. I’ve grouped these into the SF bucket as a non traditional fastball.

    But you’re right in that I believe that most sinkers are classified as fastballs by BIS, especially in say Webb or Wang’s case.

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  3. I’m actually going to remove sinkers from the split-fingered bucket and just put them in the regular fastball bucket just for consistency sake, but all the numbers should stay the same since we’re talking single digit pitches classified as sinkers.

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  4. dan says:

    seems like an odd time for this post…haven’t these been up for a few months?

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  5. Yeah, but it was never put in the glossary and I frequently get e-mails about what certain abbreviations mean. I’ll probably be doing a get to know the plate discipline stats soon too.

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  6. Eric Cioe says:

    I just wanted to note that after having looked at a good number of pitchers, I’d say that pitch f/x or any other system has a really hard time differentiating between split fingers and changeups. Tim Lincecum throws his “change” with a split fingered grip, for example, and there is no mention of his throwing one of these. It gets some obvious examples right, such as Dan Haren, whose splitter movement is very traditionally “splitter” material. But for others, who like Lincecum basically use the split as their changeup, I think the system has a hard time telling the difference.

    It’s really not a big deal at all, and only applies to a few guys, but it’s worth noting.

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  7. j reed says:

    In the movement portion of the f/x pitch data their is a heading that says vertical movement. How does a ball thrown downhill subjected to gravity move up? Since “the (fast) ball is thrown such that its axis of rotation, as seen by the hitter, points downwards and tilts to the left. Note that the pitch falls an unusually small distance. This is partly because the ball takes less time than normal to reach the hitter, but partly also because the Magnus force has a substantial upward component (thereby slowing the ball’s rate of fall). This type of pitch is often called a “rising fastball,” because hitters often claim that the ball rises as it moves towards them. Actually, this is an optical illusion created by the ball’s smaller than expected rate of fall.” So is this vertical movement the difference between the ball rate of fall and the expected rate of fall? Please explain if possible.

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  8. If a pitcher masters his 2-seam and 4-seam fastball he will be a real threat, in any situation.

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