I’ve talked before about the amazing tool we have at our fingertips in PITCH f/x. I’ve also had two (Scherzer and Mujica) instances this season where I came across seemingly small anecdotes about a specific pitcher adding a new pitch, and the pitcher in question has gone on to have a “breakout” season thus far. So I thought to myself…
Why Not Look For More Pitchers Who’ve Added A New Pitch
And rather than just share the results with you, I thought it might be more beneficial to share the method I used to do my search. You know, the whole “teach a man to fish” proverb.
While there is a lot of great PITCH f/x data available at sites like Fangraphs and BrooksBaseball.net, I have not been able to locate a resource that allows me to do a year-to-year comparison of the data across a large pool of players (BrooksBaseball can show you great comparisons for a specific player). So to identify these pitchers who have developed a new pitch, I had to download sets of data for 2012 and 2013 and apply some functions in Microsoft Excel.
I recognize that some of my posts get a bit lengthy and this process may have pushed the limits, so I’m trying something new and have put together my first YouTube video (if you’re interested in being notified of future videos, click here to subscribe to the SFBB YouTube channel).
About The Video
The video is approximately 15 minutes long, and takes you through a step-by-step process to download PITCH f/x pitch usage data from Fangraphs.com, pull the data into Excel, match up 2012 and 2013 pitch usages, calculate a difference in pitch usage, use the calculated difference to target players that are most likely throwing a new pitch in 2013, and how to use BrooksBaseball.net to conduct further research on individual pitchers.
I’ll polish up the results and post an Excel file, containing pitchers to keep an eye on, for you to analyze.
Thanks for reading… and watching. Stay smart.