Edit: I miscalculated Brad Boxberger’s slider. Updated to the correct graph and numbers as of 3:5opm.

Yesterday I decided to dive into some Pitch F/X data for the pitchers out in the Arizona Fall League. I am going to look at each guy individually, then do a little comparison of them all at the end.

Brad Boxberger – RHP – Top Velocity (95.2 MPH)


Boxberger has worked with three pitches so far. From the 1st base view, we can see that the change up and fastball come in on similar paths until about 20 feet before reaching the plate where the change up begins to tumble and sink. The slider has a slightly higher release point of about 2-3 inches (though he has only thrown a handful of sliders thus far). The slider comes in looking like a fastball until about half way to the plate when it begins to break downward. From the birds eye view you can see that the slider and fastball are almost mirror pitches on that plane, while the change up has solid run in on right handers.

Donnie Joseph – LHP – Top Velocity (94.6 MPH)

Joseph is only working with two pitches, a fastball with plenty of velocity and a slider. The average release point of the two pitches is about 2-3 inches apart and come in on very similar paths through about 40 feet before the slider begins to have some drop on it to separate itself. With the birds eye view we can see that the two pitches have different run on them, with the fastball having slight tail away from a righty and the slider with some slight tailing action into a righty.

Nick Christiani – RHP – Top Velocity (94.7 MPH)

It should be noted immediately that Christiani has only thrown two change ups with the Pitch F/X camera’s running, so we shouldn’t pay much attention to the pitch here, but I added it since he did indeed throw it. The fastball and slider come in on very similar paths on the first base view and they continue on a similar path through the plate. From the birds eye view we can see the good amount of run in on a right hander or tail away from a left hander that the fastball generates.

Travis Webb – LHP – Top Velocity (91.7 MPH)

Webb has shown four pitches in the AFL, though he has only thrown three curveballs with the Pitch F/X cameras going. The change up and fastball have similar paths before the tumble begins about 8 feet before it reaches the plate on the change up. His slider appears to have a bit of a loop in it, but I think it seems that way more because the fastball is pretty straight. From the birds eye view we can see that the change up and fastball have similar running action on them, while the two breaking balls have similar tailing action on them.

Stats

Pitcher Called K Swing K Foul In Play Total K Ball Strike% Ball% IP ERA BB K
Boxberger 18 7 28 10 63 34 64.9% 35.1% 11.1 3.18 4 19
Christiani 14 4 13 11 42 22 65.6% 34.4% 12.0 6.75 7 9
Joseph 20 17 17 18 72 49 59.5% 40.5% 14.0 2.57 6 15
Webb 32 10 20 20 82 65 55.8% 44.2% 12.0 6.75 6 13

Boxberger and Christiani have had the highest strike thrown rates. That has gone well for Boxberger, but Christiani has actually had a high walk rate and lowest strikeout rate despite the highest strike rate of all the Reds pitchers. Both Joseph and Webb need to raise their overall strikes thrown, but one thing we should note is that we are working with incredibly small samples sizes here so we shouldn’t really take much from this.

Velocity and Break

The pitchers are going to have different breaks on the horizontal plane due to the handedness they throw with. On the horizontal plane the closer to zero, the more the ball “cuts”, where as the further from zero, the more that it “runs/tails”. On the vertical plane, the higher the number, the more the pitch “rises”, while the lower number means the ball “sinks”. These numbers are what a ball would do without gravity, so a fastball will never have a negative number on the vertical breaking plane even if it is a “sinking fastball” because the sink is caused by gravity and less “rise”, so it will sink even more.

F  a  s  t  b  a  l  l
Pitcher Average Velocity Horizontal Break Vertical Break
Boxberger 92.43 -4.78 8.45
Christiani 92.73 -9.97 3.73
Joseph 93.04 2.39 6.48
Webb 89.95 2.80 11.64
C  h  a  n  g  e    u  p
Pitcher Average Velocity Horizontal Break Vertical Break
Boxberger 80.03 -9.82 1.41
Christiani 83.40 -9.90 3.33
Joseph N/A N/A N/A
Webb 78.14 3.02 9.60
S  l  i  d  e  r
Pitcher Average Velocity Horizontal Break Vertical Break
Boxberger 86.42 2.39 0.21
Christiani 84.53 -1.10 2.37
Joseph 85.02 -3.79 3.38
Webb 79.95 -5.16 1.46
C  u  r  v  e  b  a  l  l
Pitcher Average Velocity Horizontal Break Vertical Break
Webb 74.10 -7.99 -5.86