FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

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  1. You can’t get called strike percentage at statcorner, but you can extrapolate from zone% and zone swing percentage roughly how many pitches were in the zone and were not swung at. assuming umps are calling them fairly accurately, that gives you a called strike percentage, or a reasonable facsimile.

    Pitch fx plate discipline against numbers differ from the other plate discipline numbers on fangraphs, which are the ones given on the leader boards, I believe.

    If you use 120 innings as the cutoff (Fiers had 127 or so), you’ll see that Fiers is fairly middle of the road in most of the plate discipline numbers.

    Tied for 59 (out of 117) in outside swing %. 56th in outside contact. 56th in zone contact. 62nd tie in contact% overall. 64th, tied with 5 guys, in swinging strike%, so below average there.

    Interestingly, one of the guys he is tied with in swinging strike percentage is David Price. Zach Greinke is also only at an 8.6% swinging strike percentage.

    Where Fiers excels is 2 areas.

    He’s 13th in zone percentage (out of 117 pitchers who threw 120 or more innings). So he is in the strike zone. And he is tied for 8th in fewest swings at pitches in the zone. Since he is 56th in zone contact, he isn’t exactly hard to hit in the zone, but he’s not easier than average either. And guys haven’t quite brought themselves to swing much. That could be sequencing, or batters not reading the pitch, or the ball moving into the zone but appearing at first to be outside, or batters just not being familiar with him yet, or his delivery throwing them off, and a combo of those things.

    Being hard to hit in the zone is a measure of dominant pitching. The leaders there are Dickey, Verlander, hamels, Scherzer, Moore and Darvish in that order, then comes Liriano, Gio Gonzalez and Sabathia. Obviously Liriano isn’t dominant due to control issues, and Darvish had his control issues as well, but his stuff helps him out, obviously.

    But as you can see from Greinke and Price, you don’t need huge swinging strike rates to get to mid-8s in Ks per 9. Fiers may fall back some in Ks per 9, but he can probably stay around 8-8.5.

    And you want to know the leader in fewest swings at pitches overall? Yovani Gallardo. And he’s 10th at fewest swings at pitches in the one (my called strike simulator. Batters are fairly familiar with him but they still don’t swing much, even at strikes.

    In any event, 19.06% of the time roughly, Fiers threw a ball in the zone and the batter didn’t swing. That only happened 13.4% of the time Justin Verlander threw a pitch. 16.67% for Price. Verlander throws fewer pitches in the zone. He can get batters to chase, and he’s harder to hit in the zone. But it seems likely that Fiers gets more called strikes.

    Comment by Wobatus — October 1, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

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