Previously, we discussed how pitch selection, location, and velocity can all impact the swing and miss ability of different pitches. We saw how velocity clearly makes a difference when it comes to the success of 4-Seam fastballs as long as the pitch is thrown high over the plate. However, guys like Aroldis Chapman, Noah Syndergaard, and Ken “100 Miles” Giles all throw triple-digit high heat but don’t appear on any of the high fastball success leaderboards in the previous articles. Why is that? Well, this likely means that there is more to fastball success than just location and velocity. So what other significant factors could we be missing?
In QSAO Analyst Nic Osanic’s previous article, we discussed the importance of fastball location and how pitching in the high and low portions of the strike zone can yield dramatically different results. One of the strongest examples of this was shown through Gerrit Cole. There were other technicalities at play, but essentially, Cole’s new data-driven approach allowed him to make better use of his elite pitches by throwing them more, and in areas where they were more effective, turning him into arguably the best pitcher in baseball. Now, QSAO Analyst Nic Osanic analyzes the effect of proper pitch selection and location in the modern-day MLB.