This is the final part of my pitch-ranking data. Let’s start with the top 25 overall pitches, starters and relievers combined.
|Position||Pitch||Player||Sw+Whf%||Sw+Whf% Z||xwOBA||xwOBA Z||Z Total|
We have two pitchers that show up twice — Corey Kluber and Sonny Gray. Kluber has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball in 2017, so that is unsurprising. However, Gray as his only two-pitch counterpart is unexpected. Gray is by no means a poor pitcher, but not the same level as Kluber. Jaime Garcia and Tyler Chatwood are the only guys on this list who jump out as poor pitchers, in 2017 at least. Luis Castillo and Jacob Barnes are probably the only guys on this list who are completely unfamiliar for most. Castillo’s future looks bright, where Barnes looks less significant.
I’m sure some have been wondering: What are the worst pitches?
Applying some context, these are certainly not the worst pitches in the game. Just the worst thrown consistently. Every pitch had to reach a minimum number of times thrown to reach this list. These are not the absolute worst pitches in the game, but make no mistake, they are still truly awful. The bottom ten of over 700 pitches. Anyway, here are the ten worst that I measured:
|Position||Pitch||Player||xwOBA||xwOBA Z||Sw+Whf%||Sw+Whf% Z||Z Total|
Two names jump out immediately in that list. Dellin Betances and Johnny Cueto. However, considering the widely-known struggles of those two, it’s not nearly as shocking as it might have been last year. Justin Grimm has been downright atrocious, so it’s fitting to see him there. The same goes for Jason Grilli. And Jordan Zimmermann. Kevin Gausman was awful, but has turned it around. Mike Leake has done the exact opposite of that. This is the first time I have seen Warwick Saupold and Paul Blackburn on a list of any kind, good or bad. Blackburn has actually been solid in a small sample for the A’s in his rookie year. Montgomery has continued to provide quality long-relief innings and spot starts for the Cubs.
This was just my first trial run playing around with pitch values. I will continue to work towards a better formula and continue to post in the future. I will post the Excel file with all the pitches and data I used for calculations. Feel free to add, but please don’t change or delete any of the original information.