Travis Wood and Mike Leake Pitch F/X Doug Gray March 27, 2010 22 Comments Short post for now but wanted to share a little bit of the Pitch F/X data on the two guys from yesterday. I found it pretty interesting that they both topped out at 91.3 MPH. Leake was throwing a tad bit harder on average though, but we aren’t even talking about a half of a MPH. Below is the movement charts for the two guys. I am still trying to find a comparable player for Leake’s fastball movement. Below are the charts showing the amount of movement each pitch had, in inches compared to a pitch that had no spin. Update – Added more charts Here is how each guys pitches looked from both the first base view and the birds eye view. Special thanks to Harry Pavlidis for providing me with the means to create the graphs below. Harry’s work can be found at Beyond the Box Score and Cubs FX. Mike Leake Everything is coming in on the same plane here. Here is where we can really see just how much run that Leake gets on his fastball. Despite mostly average velocity, this is why his fastball (along with the control of it) grades out as an above average pitch. Travis Wood It looks like you may be able to read Wood’s curveball a little sooner than his other pitches given the plane it comes in on is a little bit differently. Here we can see that Wood has his change up with a very different type of movement than his fastball. Perhaps it is why his change up has been so effective in the past (along with deception and excellent arm speed on the pitch). 22 Responses icehole3 March 27, 2010 Dont quite understand the second chart, are these where the pitches landed? MK March 27, 2010 Tell me what I am looking at please. Doug Gray March 27, 2010 Sorry guys, I had to make a hit and run post. I finished those up at around 3am and had to be up at 8. I added a little to the post above to try and help explain it. ajm March 27, 2010 I remember that Sid Fernandez, a left handed pitcher, used to have a fastball which would move to the left or the right of the horizontal plane on any given day. I am just amazed that Leake, a right handed pitcher, has a fastball that will hook in so far towards his follow through direction. Gordon Wade March 27, 2010 Please translate the charts and provide comparable context . What is the horizontal axis? What is the vertical axis? (Do pitches go up?) What do the +/- signs indicate. HELP (and I am a Harvardmath geek!) Doug Gray March 27, 2010 Basically what RMR said in his post. As for context, I didn’t want to put this in my post because it isn’t my work and I can’t remember where I found it at now, but here were the league averages in terms of movement from MLB in 2008 – http://redsminorleagues.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/pitchfxspinaveragebypitch.png Leake is getting a lot more movement on his fastball than the MLB average by almost half a foot. RMR March 27, 2010 Usually the 0,0 point is where a ball thrown with no spin would end up. So when a pitch is higher on the y-axis, its spin resulted in it dropping less than a pitch without spin. That is, it’s not rising, it’s just not dropping as much, which is the effect of the backspin on a fastball. A curveball, by contrast, is imparted top spin (and side spin), which makes it drop further than it would without any spin. At least that’s the way I’ve always understood it… Ryan March 27, 2010 So i guess leake has good/great movement on his fastball? icehole3 March 27, 2010 so basically he throws his slider to keep guys off balance bescause it doesnt move and guys are expecting movement, right Doug Gray March 27, 2010 See my reply below to Yeah. Yeah March 27, 2010 Is his slider supposed to be an average pitch? It doesn’t seem to move at all Doug Gray March 27, 2010 Its a common misconception on these charts with the slider. They appear not to move much on these, but they do in fact drop off very well. You can see it a little better demonstrated with the new graphs that I just added that show the different views. Brian March 27, 2010 Great stuff as always Doug. What’s with the huge range of mph on Wood’s cutter? I thought that pitch is supposed to look like a fastball, 77 is change up speed. Also, you mention that the different track Wood’s changeup takes makes it more effective. I’d have thought that would be just the opposite, like Leake’s. I’d have to assume that divergent movement needs to start later to be effective, or as you say about his curve, he may tip it early. By the way, is there any pitch FX data on Masset this spring. Sounds like he’s on fire right now. He made Adrian Gonzalez look silly. Doug Gray March 27, 2010 He only had that one as a major outlier. The rest of them were in the 82 or higher range. Maybe he lost his grip a little bit or something on that one pitch. Todays game also has PFX data, so there should be some out there on Masset. I haven’t taken a look though. I am trying to get the scouting database finished, so I am not having as much free time as possible to get everything I want to do finished because the database is my main priority right now. wanderinredsfan March 27, 2010 What’s the Reds’ deal with bringing in journeymen to take away ABs and IPs from prospects who need it? Anyone else tired of seeing names like Terrero, Cairo, Wells, and Burke in the line-ups? justin March 28, 2010 Holy cow on Leake’s Fastball movement. Doug Gray March 28, 2010 Yeah, he certainly makes his fastball run. Ron March 28, 2010 Man, Ondrusek has really been lights out. Hard to see where he fits into the pen with all the guys with either no options left or established vets. But he is as deserving of a spot as anyone. Beard March 28, 2010 So as of this second what are the spots everyone feel are still open on what will be the final roster for the Reds: #5 spot (Wood/Leake/Chapman) last outfield spot (will they keep Balentein?) maybe two bullpen spots (lots of candidates) utility infield spot? Doug Gray March 28, 2010 I don’t think there is a single spot open in the bullpen to be honest. Beard March 29, 2010 Yeah I guess that is true assuming Maloney and Owing and Lincoln are all there (which is probably a pretty safe assumption). It is too bad they can’t find a spot for Ondrusek somewhere in there. wanderinredsfan March 29, 2010 I truly hope that Ondrusek can be the closer of the future. I’d love for him to prove it this spring/summer, while Walt finds a team to take over Cordero’s contract. I’m afraid that Cordero’s days are numbered as a dominating closer. His K-rate is in decline and he seems to be throwing less and less of his slider. Not a good trajectory for a 35-year-old pitcher.