Today, I am mainly going to look at new metric, SLOW. It looks for hitters who are having problems hitting fastball in the strike zone. Besides SLOW, just a few other quick looks at Scott Kazmir, Jeanmar Gomez, Ryan Zimmerman and Felix Hernandez.
• I have read and heard many experts state a player has a slow bat and/or can’t catch up to fastballs. Finally, I have come up with an initial stab to see if a player is having problems hitting fastballs. To keep it easy, I am going to name it SLOW.
The basic parameters for the pitches examined are:
1. Pitches thrown into the heart of the plate (I don’t want to look at a chase rate)
2. Fastballs >=92 mph (looking for fastish fastballs)
I created the final metric using a weighted combination of:
1. Contact% (contact with the pitches)
2. Foul% (In play contact)
3. Pull angle on line drives and ground balls (is the hitter hitting the ball late)
The SLOW value may change a bit (I will probably put it on a 100 scale where 100 is league average) as I tweak it a bit here and there over the next couple of weeks. I have included two leader boards. One with the 2013 value. Another with players who have slowed the most from 2012 to 2013. Let me know if anything seems out of place.
Note: Like with PAIN and HURT, I will be taking recommendations for the letters in the acronym.
2013 SLOW Leaders (min 50 pitches in the heart of the strike zone)
Biggest Change in SLOW from 2012 to 2013 (min 50 pitches in the heart of the strike zone)
|Rank||Name||Change in SLOW||Hand|
• The big name near the top of both lists is Justin Upton. While his early season heroics are well documented, signs show he struggles with fastballs. His K% is up from 19% in 2012 to 27% in 2013. Also, his Fastball Pitch Run Value (per 100 pitches) went from 0.92 in 2012 to -0.18 in 2013. Finally, his contact rate for any pitch in the strike zone (Z-Contact%) has gone from 87% in 2012 to 76% in 2013. Pitchers have noticed he can’t keep up and have increased the percentage of fastballs he is seeing this season.
• Scott Kazmir left a game last night with a hurt back. It looks like he didn’t pitch long with the ailment since his in and inter game fastball velocities were good.
Also, he was able to keep a consistent release point.
No signs of an injury yet, but I would be weary of his next start.
• Jeanmar Gomez returned from the DL and his fastball velocity looks fine
HURT (Hitter’s Under-performance from Recent Trauma) Rankings (hitters 27-years-old or younger today, no PA min.):
Any player with a HURT value over 100 (red) has the traits of a batter playing through and injury.
|Rank||Name||HURT||PA (2013)||PA (2010 – 2012)|
PAIN (Pitcher Abuse INdex) Rankings (pitchers 25-years-old or younger, 40 IP in 2012, 20 Ip in 2013)
Any player with a PAIN value over 100 (red) has the traits of a pitcher likely to be hurt.
|Rank||Name||PAIN||IP (2013)||IP (2012)|
• Felix Hernandez makes the watch list. Not a real surprise since his velocity and Zone% are down and his pace (with a lower WHIP) is up. He getting to the point in the pitcher aging curve when results get progressively worse and worse.
Players on the DL
(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
Red colored entries are updates since last report.