How to Get a Swinging Strike by Pitch Type and Location

Red = High swinging-strike rate (swing and a miss / total pitches)
Yellow = Medium ; Green = Low

The size of the circle also represents how high the whiff rate is

Numbers are in Feet, with -X being inside (handedness neutral) and Z being height in feet above the center of the strike zone (as per PITCHf/x strike zone top and bottom)

Some observations (and probably repetition of prior research):

1) Four-seam fastballs are great between 0.8 to 1.4 feet above the middle of the zone and between -.5 and .5 across the plate (i.e., if you want to get a swing and a miss on a four-seamer, throw it high and right down the middle). Will have similar views for GB% and HR% soon.

2) Sliders, changeups and curveballs all need to be thrown low in the zone; doesn’t appear to matter inside or outside, though changeups need to be around the plate (or they don’t get swings).

3) There is almost nowhere you can throw a two-seamer to get swings and misses, though down and in and basically high appear to be the best places to get strikes.

 

More to come if you think this is interesting!



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Eli Ben-Porat is a Senior Manager of Reporting & Analytics for Rogers Communications. The views and opinions expressed herein are his own. He builds data visualizations in Tableau, and preps data in Alteryx. Follow him on Twitter @EliBenPorat.

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filihok
Guest
filihok

Cool charts.
Immediate thought – should be seperated by batter (maybe pitcher as well) handedness or normalized with “in/away”

filihok
Guest
filihok

oops…re-read it.

tz
Guest
tz

The handedness-neutral grouping was a good idea to distill each pitch to a single 2D graph. Still, I would be curious if there were any differences if you split into the four batter/pitcher handedness combos.

Also, I’d love to see what happens to those huge swinging-strike rates for changeups up and in if you took Marco Estrada out of the data ;)

Still, very cool stuff. I can’t wait for the GB% and HR% graphs.

McKay
Guest
McKay

Love the graphs! Not super surprising, really – throw hard stuff up and soft stuff down. But look at the cutters! They’re the only crossover pitch. Really nice illustration.

jw757
Guest
jw757

Graphs are really cool and well done. Certainly an interesting topic.

Mark Davidson
Member
Member

Awesome. Just awesome.

walkish
Member
walkish

Where is the usual zone (i.e. for an average sized hitter)?