Archive for Essential

Pitch Type Peripherals Benchmark Update (with Matt Cain)

After talking a bit with Eno Sarris about his pitch type benchmarks, we decided to change up the process a bit. Instead of taking the full average of all of the pitches thrown in a category, we limited the pool to only pitchers who had thrown 20 innings from 2011 to 2013. And we limited the number of pitches we counted to ones that had been thrown 50 times. Hopefully this takes out gimmick pitches and small sample anomalies, for the most part. We’re focusing now on regularly-thrown pitches from somewhat-established pitchers.

We also decided to take the median value within each pitch type. This is a better representation of what’s out there — the old way could have allowed the very excellent pitches to pull the benchmarks north of what could actually be considered an average pitch. We also decided to show you where the 40% benchmark was — the ‘good’ but not ‘above average’ pitches. There are a lot of pitches thrown here that are neither ‘show-me’ pitches nor are they ‘strong’ — think ‘useful.’

Eno will take a look at Matt Cain to bring this all into focus after the new table of benchmarks.

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Relevant Fantasy Weather Data

Batters always seem to heat once summer rolls around. While some players may like to play in the summer versus the cooler months, the warmer weather also increases hitter production. Over the the rest of the year, our authors will be giving our readers a heads up for any possible games which may be hitter or pitcher friendly.

Weather has a significant effect on the distance a ball travels. In his book, the Physics of Baseball, Robert K. Adair noted a 10 degree temperature increase leads to an extra four feet on a 400-foot fly ball and each one mile per hour following wind speed means an extra three feet. For example, a fly ball hit at Wrigley field will travel 38 feet further on a day with the wing blowing out five mph and at 80 degrees versus an early spring day when the wind is blowing in five mph and the temperature is 60 degrees. This information shouldn’t be used to start Wade Davis over King Felix, but if an owner is deciding between a couple of similar players, it could be used as a tie-breaker.

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