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White Sox Pitch Type Data

Prompted by a recent article at The Hardball Times, and the easy to use Pitch f/x tool created by Josh Kalk, I decided to see what we could learn about some White Sox pitchers.

Before we go any further, I have to point out two rather large caveats.

  1. The linked tool and the linked THT article use different algorithms to determine pitch type. Do to the size of the sample (270K pitches), however, I feel we can still draw some useful info from comparing the two.
  2. This pitch data is incomplete for each player. MLBAM's pitch f/x system was available at USCF all year long, but had yet to be installed at every park. The linked pitch data (for the White Sox players) represents about 2/3rds of their pitches thrown. I listed each players total pitches thrown under the total captured by the pitch f/x system. (By chance, we have about 85% of Gavin Floyd's pitches available, but we miss fully 1/3 of his HR allowed.)
Now that I've made those caveats, read the Hardball Times piece (again) concentrating on the league averages. Then take a look at the White Sox data which I've compiled. I only looked at Sox starters (sample size issues) and I left out Contreras because Kalk doesn't seem to capture his pitches well. (Forkball is listed as a curve on the tool, and is shown mostly being thrown from the drop down position on the player cards.)

Click read more for further discussion, and even more caveats

References: [Hardballtimes] [Kalk's Blog] [White Sox Pitch Type Data]

If you're going to play with Kalk's pitch f/x tool, make a mental note that the lefty/right code is flipped. If you select a pitcher vs. lefties, you get his righty data and vise versa.

  • Whiff% is the percentage of pitches thrown at which the batter swung but came up with nothing but air.
  • "In play" should probably be hidden, but I'd have to break apart a bunch of cells on each page to make that happen. It could be labeled "Non-HR hits." I was just using it to make BABIP calculations.
  • I included (In play + HR)% because it was used in the THT article.
  • I probably should have included a percentage breakdown of pitch selection. All the data is there in the first column of data. You can do the math.
  • In order to easily put the data on the web, I used Google spreadsheets. So the formatting isn't the prettiest.
  • I'll let you draw your own conclusions from the data.