Collette Calls: Analyzing Pitcher Velocity
Collette Calls: Analyzing Pitcher Velocity

This article is part of our Collette Calls series.

Last weekend was a bittersweet weekend for me. I am thrilled the real baseball games are here and very much enjoyed being in Atlanta for Opening Day to watch Nick Markakis hit a three-run walk-off homer to beat the Phillies. I also dislike writing this time of year because it goes against everything that I hold true and is best summed up with the following image:

It is very tough to look at much of anything on opening weekend, or even the opening two weeks, in any kind of predictive nature. There is one thing, however, we can look at – pitcher velocity. It might be a slow gun in a park or cold weather, but a drop in velocity from pitchers is a concern. The danger some seem to fall into is comparing March or April velocities to what was happening toward the end of the previous season. That particular exercise is risky because fastball velocity is influenced by temperature, plus or minus one degree, according to research done in 2011 by Mike Fast:

Below we'll compare pitcher velocities from the first weekend to how each pitcher ended last season and to how they started the 2017 season to see if there is anything of concern. The readings for 2017 would be the earliest start in April or the pitcher's earliest 2017 start while September readings are the pitcher's final regular-season start even if it did not take place in September.

ANGELS

PITCHER2018 SEPT 2017APRIL 2017
Garrett
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Collette
Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, Baseball Prospectus and now here at RotoWire. He covers the Tampa Bay Rays at theprocessreport.net. You can hear Jason weekly on many of the Sirius/XM Fantasy channel offerings throughout the season as well as on the Sleeper and the Bust podcast on iTunes. An eight-time FSWA finalist, Jason won the FSWA's Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year award in 2013 and the Baseball Series of the Year award in 2018 for Collette Calls.
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