Saturday, March 16, 2013

Velocity Notes on Gausman, Bundy, Belfiore

I watched the Orioles play the Rays in a Spring Training broadcast. There was a broadcast gun, so I charted all the pitches I could for three Orioles pitchers. I put them all in this spreadsheet, which you can see by clicking on the link (I didn't put it in the post because it is just the numbers and kind of boring really).

I thought the velocity on the broadcast was a little down, as Jeff Niemann (though there were stories that his velocity is just down right now) and Jim Johnson seemed to both be down a tick.

Kevin Gausman was the Orioles first round pick in 2012 and he started the game.

Overall Average: 88.9 MPH

Fastball Average: 92.72 MPH

Garrett Richards is the closest comparison as far as overall velocity for starting pitchers, which is very good, of course, with a bias of Gausman throwing a lot of fastballs. Kyle Weiland is actually the best comparison for him fastball wise, right at 92.72 MPH, in the top 26 % of pitchers, very solid velocity.

I had some problems differing from what I call his slider and I call his changeup, especially since they were so similar in velocity. From the best I can tell:

Curve/Slider: 78.88 MPH

Change: 80.5 MPH

From Mark Anderson's scouting report on Gausman, his fastball averages between 92-93 MPH, which is what we saw. Unfortunately, Anderson (nor Perfect Game) has velocities on the breaking pitch, but the "curveball" is 12-6 in nature, and that is not the pitch I saw. While he has good hard curve velocity, it breaks like a slider. It has well below average velocity, as does the change. Of course, their may be some misclassifications on my part, but his breaking pitches (his non fastball averaged 79.73 as a whole) don't really match his fastball in velocity.

Dylan Bundy

Overall: 91.04

Fastball: 93.47

Change: 85.73

Slider: 79 MPH

We do have a little bit of Pitch F/X data on Bundy thanks to his promotion to the big leagues at the end of 2012. Even though he threw fastballs 63% of the time, his average pitch was thrown 85.20 MPH, below average for a reliever. The heavier dosage of fastballs in his relief outing that I saw helps his overall velocity to a pretty elite category. Comparing the velocity of his pitches to his time in the MLB is a little tricky as well. Comparing his velocities to his Brooks Baseball velocities, he is down across the board, something that he himself as complained about. However, when you look at the MLB AM data (at say, FanGraphs), the fastball is just over .2 MPH slower, and the change just about .4 MPH slower. This is because MLB AM and Brooks measure velocity a little bit differently. From what I understand, Brooks measures velocity starting from 55 feet away from the plate, trying to take in account a general release point, while the MLB AM measurements measures more like a traditional radar gun. So it isn't surprising that a stadium and broadcast gun would show some differences from Brooks (that is why, if you are using Brooks', use Brooks' leaderboards to compare velocities, and if you are using the MLB AM velocities, use FanGraphs' leaderboard). With all this said, while Bundy is still throwing hard, and I don't know if it is enough for it to be concerning, he does seem to be down velocity wise.

I saw Mike Belfiore pitch in AFL broadcasts, but I couldn't find any Pitch F/X data on him:

Overall: 87.75

Fastball: 89.6

Obviously didn't throw many breaking pitches, so the overall velocity has some bias. The fastball is obviously well below average for a reliever.

No comments:

Post a Comment