The Most Impressive Pitches of the Last Week, Objectively

Last week, the author introduced a nearly reasonable methodology for identifying the most impressive baseball pitches over any given interval of games. What follows is that same methodology applied to every relevant pitch since last Friday. Go here for more information on the definition of break.

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Fastball
Pitcher: Brandon League, RHP, Los Angeles NL (Profile)
Batter: Giancarlo Stanton   Date: Tuesday, May 13th
Velocity: 94.1 mph   Break: 8.1 in.

Footage:

League SI Stanton Fast

More Different Footage:

League SI Stanton 2

League actually appeared within last week’s attempt at this same exercise — in that case for his very adept splitter, however. While it’s surprising, perhaps, that League’s fastball would induce a swinging third strike (he’s recorded only a 4-5% swinging-strike rate with the pitch over the last three season), it’s not unusual for the pitch to feature the sort of velocity and movement exhibited here.

***

Breaking Ball
Pitcher: Dellin Betances, RHP, New York AL (Profile)
Batter: Daniel Murphy   Date: Thursday, May 15th
Velocity: 84.4 mph   Break: 13.4 in.

Footage:

Betances KC Murphy SS K Fast

More Different Footage:

Betances KC Murphy SS K Slow

After recording four shutout innings on Thursday, Yankees debutant Chase Whitley found his way into some difficulty during the fifth inning, and was ultimately removed by manager Joe Girardi with two outs and runners at second and third. Betances, pitching in relief, retired the next better (Eric Young) by means of a ground ball to third baseman Kelly Johnson and then the next six batters, consecutively, all by strikeout.

***

Offspeed Pitch
Pitcher: Felix Herandez, RHP, Seattle (Profile)
Batter: Desmond Jennings   Date: Monday, May 12th
Velocity: 90.0 mph   Break: 10.4 in.

Footage:

Felix CH Jennings Fast

More Different Footage:

Felix CH Jennings Slow

One is compelled — owing to how six of the 10 pitchers listed among the weekly leaderboard below belong to the Seattle Mariners — one is compelled to suspect that perhaps there’s some manner of PITCHf/x miscalibration at work here. What one notes, however, is that four of those six pitchers are Felix Hernandez (whose changeup is conspicuously among the league’s best single offerings), another of them is Hisashi Iwakuma (whose splitter is also among baseball’s most effective pitches), and the third is Tom Wilhelmsen (whose curve, when he’s right, is also fantastic).

***

Weekly Leaderboard
Here are the top-10 pitches since last Friday by the largely arbitrary criteria selected by the author.

# Name Date Inn T/B Opp Pitch Vel Brk zVel zBrk Score
1 Dellin Betances 5/15 6 B Daniel Murphy KC 84.4 13.4 -0.3 1.8 0.7
2 Felix Hernandez 5/12 5 T Desmond Jennings CH 90.0 10.4 0.6 0.9 0.7
3 Brandon League 5/13 8 T Giancarlo Stanton SI 94.1 8.1 1.2 0.2 0.7
4 Felix Hernandez 5/12 6 T Matt Joyce CH 89.4 10.5 0.5 0.9 0.7
5 Kelvin Herrera 5/10 8 B John Buck CU 80.3 14.9 -1.0 2.3 0.6
6 Hisashi Iwakuma 5/13 3 T Wil Myers FS 84.7 12.5 -0.3 1.5 0.6
7 Felix Hernandez 5/12 1 T Matt Joyce CH 90.8 9.2 0.7 0.5 0.6
8 Tom Wilhelmsen 5/14 7 T Ryan Hanigan FT 95.5 6.7 1.4 -0.2 0.6
9 Felix Hernandez 5/12 7 T Desmond Jennings CH 90.0 9.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
10 Drew Pomeranz 5/13 5 T Tyler Flowers KC 81.3 14.1 -0.8 2.0 0.6



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nickolai
Guest
nickolai

so many numbers!! where am I, Fangraphs?

sweet GIFs though.

cass
Guest
cass

There is a table and there are gifs, but there are no graphs. So definitely NotGraphs material.

Mike Green
Guest
Mike Green

There are also some hidden typos. If you cursor over the last chart, you’ll discover that Matt Joyce’s first name in the chart is actually James and John Buck’s first name is actually Pearl. But there aren’t any lemurs on the batting helmets of the poor victims in the GIFs.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

It being NotGraphs, I expected the last gif to feature a pitch that was crushed 470 feet or something.

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