The Future(s) of Pitch F/X

Yesterday, while teams wound down prior to the All-Star festivities, some of the top minor league prospects participated in the Futures Game. The World defeated the United States 3-0, and wow does that sound odd when repeated out loud. While I didn’t get to watch anything other than Carlos Carrasco‘s inning—says the Phillies fan—I was more interested in seeing the Pitch F/X data for the minor league extravaganza. With that in mind, I decided to take a look at the wide array of pitchers who found their way into the game, in order to provide a sneak peak of sorts as far as what teams may be in store for.

Now, granted, all of these are small samples as each pitcher went for no more than one inning of work, but the velocity and movement readings below should be interesting for at least an “initial” look. For reference, the numbers will go: velocity in mph followed by movement in horizontal inches/vertical inches. An example would be, FA = 90.01, 3.32/4.56. First, the lefties:

  • Brett Anderson, Athletics: FA = 92.37, 3.34/8.73, CB = 81.53, -5.05/-3.24
  • Polin Trinidad, Astros: FA = 88.18, 6.05/9.65, CH = 81.18, 7.08/6.57

And that concludes our look at the lefthanded pitchers partaking in the Futures Game. Clayton Richard, a lefthanded White Sox prospect, did pitch but the system offered insufficient data to get any sense other than his fastball appeared to be around 89-90 miles per hour. Next up, the righties:

  • Carlos Carrasco, Phillies: FA = 91.46, -7.53/10.05, CH = 83.58, -9.18/2.53
  • Casey Weathers, Rockies: FA = 96.21, -9.95/8.70, SL = 85.49, 1.95/-0.03
  • Eduardo Morlan, Rays: FA = 89.44, -9.64/9.62, SL = 80.63, -1.04/1.38, CH = 79.57, -8.78/3.61
  • Fernando Salas, Cardinals: FA = 91.50, -8.51/9.92, CH = 84.13, -9.91/5.22
  • Hector Rondon, Indians: FA = 93.28, -8.11/10.65, SL = 80.23, 1.11/-0.48
  • Henry Rodriguez, Athletics: FA = 98.09, -10.07/9.85, SL/CUT = 91.95, -4.58/4.25
  • Jake Arrieta, Orioles: FA = 91.85, -7.98/9.70
  • Jess Todd, Cardinals: FA = 88.00, -5.29/4.76, SL = 83.93, -1.95/0.95
  • Jesus Delgago, Marlins: FA = 93.30, -4.99/7.35
  • Kevin Pucetas, Giants: FA = 90.72, -12.46/9.39, CB = 73.95, 0.67/-6.78, CH = 80.68, -12.30/8.21
  • Ryan Mattheus, Rockies: FA = 93.76, -9.29/6.81
  • Shairon Martis, Nationals: FA = 91.58, -8.79/9.88, CB = 73.43, 0.18/-0.87, SL = 80.05, -1.95/-0.78
  • Trevor Cahill, Athletics: FA = 91.43, -13.31/4.49, SL = 82.43, -3.87/0.66

Julio Pimentel (Royals) and William Inman (Padres) also pitched, but there wasn’t enough data captured by the system to offer anything regarding their repertoire, velocity, or movement relative to this game. What stands out to me upon first glance of these numbers is Kevin Pucetas‘s movement and velocity on both his fastball and changeup. He was able to get close to 12.5 inches of horizontal movement on both pitches—Brandon Webb is averaging close to 8 horizontal inches this year—and the movement on both pitches was essentially the same. Put together, he was throwing virtually the same pitch albeit ten miles per hour slower with his changeup.

The lively fastballs of Henry Rodriguez and Casey Weathers caught my eye as well since they really separated themselves from the rest of the group in that department. The game looked like a good one and a shutout in an all-star game is pretty rare. Thoughts from those who were able to watch more than my one inning?

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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

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