Offseason Notes, With a Table re: Velocity and xFIP


Even without his excellent secondary pitchers, Stephen Strasburg would probably be decent.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Table: Starting Pitcher xFIP by Fastball Velocity, 2002-11
2. Projecting: ZiPS for Miami
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Seattle Television

Table: Starting Pitcher xFIP by Fastball Velocity, 2002-11
Over the last couple days, I published a two-part piece looking both at (a) the accomplishment that is Michael Pineda‘s combination of fastball velocity and control and (b) which pitchers from the high minors last season were capable of at least approximating Pineda’s 2010 in Double- and Triple-A.

As part of the second piece, I included a table that looked at xFIP by different “buckets” of velocity — from less-than 85 mph, increasing incrementally by 1 mph all the way to greater-than 95 mph. What might not have been entirely obvious is that the data sample included only the 612 starting pitchers from 2002 to ’11 who walked 7% or fewer batters.

So, below, I’m publishing another version of that table with the full sample of 1708 player seasons. This is xFIP by velocity for every pitcher, 2002-11, who threw 50 or more innings and made at least half of his appearances as a starter. The # sign is the number of player seasons, 2002-11, in that particular bucket; the xFIP is the average xFIP of all the player seasons in that bucket; and STD is the standard deviation of xFIP for the player seasons in that bucket.

Here’s that table:


FB Velocity # xFIP STD
>= 95 21 3.55 0.57
94.0-94.9 54 3.87 0.63
93.0-93.9 104 3.92 0.68
92.0-92.9 195 4.08 0.60
91.0-91.9 253 4.19 0.61
90.0-90.9 254 4.42 0.61
89.0-89.9 262 4.49 0.51
88.0-88.9 204 4.56 0.57
87.0-87.9 155 4.62 0.57
86.0-86.9 75 4.67 0.49
85.0-85.9 67 4.74 0.56
< 85 64 4.65 0.48

Projections: ZiPS for Miami
Dan Szymborski has published his ZiPS projections for the Miami Marlins. Below are some of the notable ones, accompanied by very rough WAR projections (for hitters per 600 plate appearances and pitchers per 200 innings). All numbers assume major-league competition. OPS+ and ERA+ are park-adjusted.

Mike Stanton, RF, 22: .267/.361/.549, 140 OPS+, 4.9 WAR600
ZiPS projects him to hit 541 home runs in 2629 career games.

Jose Reyes, SS, 29: .302/.353/.471, 119 OPS+, 4.8 WAR600
Hanley Ramirez, 3B, 28: .283/.365/.459, 119 OPS+, 4.5 WAR600

I’ll note, again, that the WAR projections here include positional adjustments, but not any sort of defensive projection in terms of runs. ZiPS rates Reyes as Average defensively; Ramirez, as Average at third base and just Fair at short. That seems to make sense. Most of the defensive metrics place Ramirez at around -10 or -15 runs defensively at shortstop over the last three years — and that’s with missing about half of last season. Reyes, meanwhile, has come out right about average on aggregate.

Josh Johnson, RHP, 28: 128.2 IP, 123 K, 35 BB, 7 HR, 5.6 WAR200
ZiPS projects Johnson for an ERA+ of 151 — and, if I’m calculating it somewhat correctly, about a 70 FIP-. Here are some other notable ones of those: Roy Halladay, 72 FIP-; Stephen Strasburg, 73; Justin Verlander, 73. Note: that’s with league, but without park adjustment.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Seattle Television
This offseason, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs. (Click here for more on this project.)

Rate other teams: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago (AL) / Chicago (NL) / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Colorado / Detroit / Miami / Houston / Los Angeles (AL) / Los Angeles (NL, Home Games) / Los Angeles (NL, Away Games) / Milwaukee / Minnesota / New York (AL) / New York (NL) / Oakland / Philadelphia / Pittsburgh / St. Louis / San Diego / San Francisco.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

5 Responses to “Offseason Notes, With a Table re: Velocity and xFIP”

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  1. Jim Lahey says:

    I love those xFIP / velocity buckets for what I think they’re saying about Jamie Moyer. It’s better to throw in the high 70s/low 80s than the mid80s.. enough of a timing difference to throw a couple hitters off?

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  2. Rally says:

    No, it’s selective sampling. Moyer has other things working for him that he can survive in MLB while only throwing 81. There are thousands of people who can throw 81, but they aren’t good enough for MLB.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Brian says:

    Captain Obvious says that the harder you throw, the lower your xFIP will be. Love Fangraphs and find it very insightful 99.9% of the time, but this is a 0.1% moment.

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  4. Matt says:

    Nice work! But, man I wish this was broken into starters and relievers…

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