My interest in tracking new pitches began in 2014 for a couple of reasons. One, I was bored with the “Best Shape Of His Life” (#BSOHL) stories.Secondly, I had a lot of free time on my hands because I was unemployed by day and needed a distraction from the process of obtaining new full-time employment. Thankfully, the latter is no longer true as I’m gainfully employed by day but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost any interest in new pitches that pitchers are bringing to camp each season.
In the second half of the 2014 season, I posted a follow-up piece to see if pitchers had any gains from adding the new pitch. The data showed that 17 of the 23 pitchers that faced at least 100 batters in 2014 improved their strikeout rate, 16 of 17 generated more swinging strikes while 15 of them reduced their contact rates. Last season, the amount of pitchers using new pitches more than doubled but the gains of using new pitches were not as definitive.
Now, it is time to look at 2016 and see who is going to bring out new pitches.