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?
Pitching philosophy in baseball has long been a game of conventional wisdom. This philosophy always seemed to make sense as the lower the pitch, the easier it is to swing over the top and hit it on the ground. As more data has become available in recent years, batters have started to adjust. As the MLB’s data-driven pitcher/batter pendulum constantly swings in response to such change, one must wonder how traditional attitudes towards fastball locations affect the modern-day MLB pitcher. In QSAO’s latest series of articles, analysts Nic Osanic takes a deeper look into the art of pitching.