It’s probably true that basically any idiot can capture and render into GIF form video footage of a few pitches from Trevor Bauer‘s much-anticipated major-league debut on Thursday. Only one such idiot, however, both (a) writes for FanGraphs and (b) has 15 free minutes on Friday evening.
This guy, is who.
So, without anything further in the way of preface, here are three select pitches from Bauer’s debut. (Note: for each pitch, both velocity and movement — horizontal and then vertical — are listed. League-average velocity/movement indicated in parentheses).
Velocity, Movement: 79.3 mph (77.4), 0.8 in. gloveside (6.0), 4.3 in. drop (6.2)
Notes: This is one of two whiffs Bauer induced on his curve.
Velocity, Movement: 82.3 mph (83.7), 6.1 in. armside (6.7), 7.0 in. rise (3.8)
Notes: This is the one swinging-strike Bauer induced on his changeup. (Note: for more on what “rise” means in terms of PITCHf/x, click here.)
Velocity, Movement: 84.9 mph (N/A), 4.1 in. armside (N/A), 3.8 in rise (N/A)
Notes: A “reverse slider” isn’t an actual thing the author had really heard of before today. Fortunately, it is something with which Harry Pavlidis is familiar and about which he corresponded briefly with Bauer himself on Twitter earlier today. If I understand it correctly, it has movement similar to a changeup, but is typically thrown with a higher velocity — although not as fast as a two-seam fastball, for example.
Here’s that reverse slider, thrown to Michael Bourn in the first inning for a called strike three:
And here’s sweet slow-motion footage of that same pitch:
Brooks Baseball was entirely useful in the composition of this post.