June 28, 2009
JUST HUM THAT SEED:
Velocity still big part of a pitcher's arsenal (Pat Mitsch, 6/28/09, Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW)
While the top vitals of a good pitch remain location and movement, velocity is a tool that can revive a pitcher in an at-bat when any important pitch goes flat.
"Velocity lets you get away with mistakes a little easier," said Pirates closer Matt Capps. "A lot of times, not necessarily swings and misses, but you throw a ball not in the right spot, down the middle, and you get just a foul tip and not a base hit."
More pitchers in today's MLB are catching on, and velocity seems to be an increasingly valuable commodity for major-league clubs. It's no coincidence the Nationals took Stephen Strasburg, whose velocity tops 100 mph, with the top pick in this year's draft.
"As you talk with guys who have been watching this game over the past 20, 30 years, they'll say there's more guys throwing harder today than there used to be," said Pirates director of player development Kyle Stark.
There's a great stat board at FanGraphs, showing pitchers ranked by average fastball velocity. The thing that stands out is that while all are not dominant major league pitchers, you have to go pretty deep before you get to a guy you'd be afraid to bring into a game you needed to win. Posted by Orrin Judd at June 28, 2009 7:35 AM