Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Players Aren't Seeing the Pitches They Used To

Have certain pitches become more common place in recent years?

Here are the number of players over the last 10 seasons who were pitched 60% fastballs or more. Other pitches and their percentages follow.

Notice that the number of players who saw 60% fastballs has seen a THREEFOLD DROP since 2006. Players who saw more than 15% of their pitches as sliders have steadily increased since 2004.  Curveball percentages saw a drop then an increase the last 3 seasons while changeup percentages have stayed fairly steady throughout.

While the number of players who hit more than 50% of batted balls as groundballs has stayed steady, the number of players who have swung at more than 25% of pitches out of the strikezone has risen 500%!

The bottom line: Pitching overall is getting better.  Batters are getting fooled more than they did just 5 years ago.

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