Noting a few more O’s pitchers via spin rate data, plus other notes

OK, don’t panic but I’m going to throw out a few more notes today on four-seam fastball spin rate. Basically just add a few pitchers to the Orioles I listed among the data presented in this entry yesterday.

If you recall, the spin rate data yesterday was produced for every big league pitcher last year that threw 250 or more pitches. Not just four-seamers, but total pitches. Of which they had their data for those pitches - to include four-seam fastballs.

Thumbnail image for Armstrong-Delivers-White-ST-sidebar.jpgLast night I lowered the standard to pitchers that threw 100 or more total pitches in the 2020 season. The sample size then grew from 418 to 580 major league pitchers and added a few key O’s pitchers worth looking at. They are Shawn Armstrong, Bruce Zimmermann and Hunter Harvey.

As a reset then, here now is a ranking of the Orioles pitchers by highest four-seam fastball spin rates. Next to each is their ranking among this group of 580. Some of their rankings changed slightly because we changed the overall pool of our search.

6 - Tanner Scott, 2,656
52 - Shawn Armstrong, 2,479
69 - John Means, 2,458
111 - Cole Sulser, 2,409
137 - Keegan Akin, 2,389
164 - Bruce Zimmermann, 2,360
217 - Dean Kremer, 2,321
275 - Paul Fry, 2,281
335 - Travis Lakins Sr., 2,227
479 - Hunter Harvey, 2,098
481 - Alex Cobb, 2,098
504 - Dillon Tate, 2,056
540 - Jorge López, 1,910

So Armstrong now is rated second on the Orioles in four-seam spin rate among pitchers that threw 100 or more pitches in 2020. Pretty solid stuff. His spin rate was in the 96th percentile, or top four percent in Major League Baseball. However, his spin efficiency - or active spin, as they call it - is 81.4, putting him at 397th on this list, so not nearly as solid there. In a 15-inning sample size, Armstrong had some good numbers, with a 1.80 ERA and 0.800 WHIP. Were we to dig deeper here (we will later), I’m pretty sure we’d find some solid data where Armstrong was pretty good with both his cutter and slider last year.

Zimmermann’s spin rate is above average on his fastball, which no doubt helps a pitcher that doesn’t blow hitters away as he averaged 91.4 mph on his fastball. Harvey posted mediocre spin rate numbers. But again, remember that a lower spin rate could also be good for a four-seamer in terms of the sink that puts on the baseball. Harvey scored very well with a spin-rate efficiency of 99. And remember this was in the small sample size of just 8 2/3 innings.

Just consider how looking at spin rate data for one pitch can produce so much material for possible discussion and to analyze. Now realize we can do this for all pitches for all pitchers. And then we could look at so much more data. This is why teams employ the Sig Mejdals of the world to run entire departments to analyze this data, understand it fully and then be able to help coaches help players to get better.

Looking at the early odds: Hey, wouldn’t it be nice to turn a $10 dollar wager into $1,000? You could on one website if the Orioles win the 2021 World Series. Putting down the 10 bucks is the easy part here. lists some odds on teams to win the ‘21 World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites at +450 with both the Yankees and Padres next at +600. The New York Mets are +900. That is essentially 9-1, so a $100 wager on the Mets would win $900 if they win it all. A $10 wager would win $90.

The Orioles are one of the longest shots at +10,000. Three teams are listed at +12500: Detroit, Kansas City and Texas. The longest shot is Pittsburgh at +20000.

Here are the listed odds American League East teams winning the division:

New York Yankees -175
Tampa Bay Rays +325
Toronto Blue Jays +600
Boston Red Sox +1000
Baltimore Orioles +4000

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