Arsenal Analysis: Dodgers Best Pitches Of 2012 – Starters

ClaytonKershawCyYoung

As fans of the Dodgers, we’re always analyzing which pitchers have the best and worst pitches, but we normally base that on nothing but our own feelings at the moment, so I decided to take a more objective look at things.

For a pitch to qualify for these rankings, I used a 200-pitch minimum for starters and a 50-pitch minimum for relievers. The metric used to measure pitch effectiveness is True Average (TAv), which is basically like wOBA. League average performance is set at .260, and the metric doesn’t include baserunning.

Additionally, to prevent the post from being solely numbers-based, and one that would have been mind-numbingly boring, I decided to provide visual evidence as well.

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Best Overall Pitches

Clayton Kershaw – Curve – .084 TAv

ClaytonKershawCurve

Josh Beckett – Curve – .183 TAv

JoshBeckettCurve

Joe Blanton – Curve – .183 TAv

JoeBlantonCurve

Am I surprised by the fact that the curve was the hardest pitch to do damage with? Yes and no. No, because it was bound to be an off-speed pitch, simply because fastballs are easier to command, thus they get thrown when a pitcher is behind in the count while the opposite is true for off-speed stuff. But yes, because I thought it would be the slider, which has basically become synonymous with swings and misses in recent times.

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Best Individual Pitches

Fastball

Ted Lilly – .213 TAv

TedLillyFastball

Chad Billingsley – .241
Clayton Kershaw – .253
Aaron Harang – .256
Joe Blanton – .268
Chris Capuano – .297
Josh Beckett – .307

Is there a better example of the importance of pitch sequencing than this? Granted, it’s a small sample size because of his injury, but the fact that his fastball didn’t get blasted every single time he threw it is a testament to how he has to mix pitches to make his fastball seem harder to hit than it actually is.

Sinker

Chad Billingsley – .232 TAv

ChadBillingsleySinker

Chris Capuano – .272
Josh Beckett – .278
Joe Blanton – .295
Aaron Harang – .307

Annoyed by how I keep ranting on Twitter about how Chad Billingsley needs to throw his fastball more? Yeah, well he finally made the adjustment in 2012, but you should still get comfortable with hearing it, because he needs to continue to do that.

Cutter

Joe Blanton – .253 TAv

JoeBlantonCutter

Josh Beckett – .282
Chad Billingsley – .336

Curve

Clayton Kershaw – .084 TAv

*Visual Is Above*

Josh Beckett – .183
Joe Blanton – .183
Aaron Harang – .240
Chad Billingsley – .251

Just stupid.

Slider

Chris Capuano – .190 TAv

ChrisCapuanoSlider

Clayton Kershaw – .213
Aaron Harang – .218
Joe Blanton – .250
Chad Billingsley – .263

Change

Chris Capuano – .211 TAv

ChrisCapuanoChange

Josh Beckett – .237
Joe Blanton – .264

Chris Capuano is like the anti-Chad Billingsley. He has effective off-speed stuff, but oh boy does his fastball get blasted to high heaven. Really puts an exclamation mark on how he needs to get ahead in the count.

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