Friday, May 08, 2009

Hitters on the Mound

One of my favorite things to watch. Just for the novelty of it, but I find it satisfies my curiosity a bit too, about how hard a non-pitcher can typically throw. Thanks to the wonders of Fangraphs, the average fastball velocity is available from 2002 to last night. Identifying hitters on the mound is easy with the Lahman database or Baseball databank. Just do a query for players who have at least one batter faced as a pitcher, but have more batting plate appearances than BFP while pitching. Here's the list, for the ones with data (a few players are missing pitch data)

90.0 Tomas Perez
89.8 Tony Pena
89.2 Paul Janish
86.5 David McCarty
85.0 Abraham Nunez
84.5 Josh Wilson
84.3 Wiki Gonzalez
83.9 Scott Spiezio
83.0 Jamie Burke
81.7 Jeff Cirillo
81.3 Cody Ross
79.2 Tim Laker
79.0 Frank Menechino
78.5 Augie Ojeda
78.0 John Van Every
75.6 Todd Zeile
75.4 Nick Swisher
75.2 Sean Burroughs
73.2 Jason Wood
72.8 Aaron Miles
69.1 Mark Grace

Up until this year, all were infielders or catchers except for McCarty, but we've had three outfielders (Ross, Swisher, Van Every) take the mound. Their arms, as a group, are not as good as the utility infielders, with catchers being in the middle, and Mark Grace being the one who couldn't average 70.

It would be interesting to see some of the great arms on the mound, guys like Tulowitzski, Yadier Molina, Jose Guillen, Ichiro, or Mike Cuddyer. We aren't likely to see a real star out there though, thanks to the example of Jose Canseco.

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Awesome!

 
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You might be interested in this:
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(Ichiro in Japanese Pro Baseball 1996 All-Star, facing Matsui)

 
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Pitching speed of Ichiro's five pitches in that at-bat was 84.5, 87,6, ?, 86.4, 86.4 mph.

 
At 6:01 PM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

Cool. Thanks. Ichiro was in his early 20's, but looks like a high schooler in that clip.

 
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