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« on: April 29, 2019, 11:31:13 am »

The Royals pitching staff had a pretty poor go in 2018 Justin Morneau Jersey , thanks much in part to trading away some of their best pitches."If you follow me on Twitter (@duvy_013), you may have seen at some point in time that I like to try to rank individual pitches. There is also an entire Twitter account dedicated to pitch quality, you can find them @qopbaseball.If you hop on over to FanGraphs, you can find their section for pitch values where they determine the value of each pitcher’s individual pitches. The point in all this is to say that an attempt to create a reliable valuation for individual major league pitches has sort of taken the baseball world by storm. As a fan that is infatuated with the art of pitching, I have (obviously) dove into the trend and am trying to create what I believe to be the most efficient form of pitch valuation. For personal (and perhaps professional reasons), I am going to keep the majority of my pitch valuation formula private. Here is the gist of how I calculate the data and compare it among all eligible MLB pitchers:Pitchers must have recorded at least 250 total pitches and thrown a minimum of 100 sliders/curveballs in the 2018 seasonZ-scores were then given to each pitcher for nine statistical categories based on the results of their peersI then give a weight to each z-score because getting swings-and-misses is statistically more beneficial than inducing ground balls, for exampleCalculate z-scores to determine which pitcher’s slider or curveball was the best in MLBHere’s kind of what the top 10 table looks like when it’s all said and done:Untitledplayer_idplayer_namepitch_percentxyzabcdeSCOREplayer_idplayer_namepitch_percentxyzabcdeSCORE*For those that may ask about pitch percent factoring in, the entire set of data actually suggests that there is correlation between throwing the pitch more and pitch effectiveness*The first thing that I want to address is that I never compare one pitcher’s slider to another pitcher’s curveball, or vice versa. The reason for this is that certain factors of a curveball impact results differently than certain factors of a slider. You can play around with the “Search” function over at Baseball Savant and find several differences in the outcomes for sliders and curveballs that move and spin similarly.The second thing I want to address is that I put eligibility rules on here for a reason. If Drew Butera were to throw a curveball in a relief appearance when the Royals were getting whooped, I don’t want that data in my formula. I only want pitchers who threw a fair amount of breaking pitches to be involved in the research and the only good way to do that is force a sample size.So any way, now that I’ve explained myself just enough to make you believe that I’m not making stuff up, let’s get to the Royals part of this. Here is a small grouping of my complete slider rankings from 2018:1.) Scott Alexander 3.) Matt Strahm10.) Joakim Soria52.) Kelvin Herrera91.) Jakob Junis133.) Brad KellerYou that read right. And you read that right as well, Scott Alexander, Matt Strahm, and Joakim Soria threw the first, third, and tenth best sliders in all of Major League Baseball, respectively, in 2018. The Royals traded them for a return of...well...nothing. At least the team’s best slider in 2018 (Herrera) returned a decent prospect return. The Royals didn’t trade much away in terms of good curveballs, but they didn’t have anyone that ranked in the top 100 curveballs either, as Jorge Lopez lead the charge for KC at #114. One reason I’m pointing this out is to ask, “Could the Royals have been half-way decent in 2018 if they hadn’t traded away their four best relievers?”The easy way to do this is to look at the WAR of the aforementioned relievers and the WAR of their replacements in KC’s bullpen. According to Baseball Reference, Justin Grimm cost the Royals 1.4 wins, Blaine Boyer cost them 1.8 wins, Brandon Maurer cost them 1.2 wins, Burch Smith another 1.2, and Jason Hammel 1.6. That’s a grand total of 7.2 wins. Scott Alexander was worth 0.3, Matt Strahm was worth 1.4, Joakim Soria was worth 0.8, and Kelvin Herrera was worth 0.2 in Washington. That’s an additional 2.7 wins, giving the Royals a grand total of 10 extra wins in 2018, making their record 68-94.Alright, so it probably didn’t matter much in 2018. Let’s be generous and say the Royals actually win 70 games with the reliever swap, so what? What’s the real question here? What’s the underlying issue?Have the Royals struggled identifying and properly valuing their talent recently?Even if you don’t buy into my pitch data, you can head on over to FanGraphs pitch value page and see Scott Alexander’s slider comes in third place on their per/100 pitch basis (minimum 50 IP). Although I hesitate to recommend their pitch value data, you can at least get a sense that I’m not pulling this out of my rear, but you can also get a sense of why I’m trying to develop my own, as Strahm is no where to be found in the top 30.I certainly don’t claim to be some kind of expert on the matter of Major League Baseball. There’s a reason you’re reading this article: no one is paying me to keep it a secret. It’s not a perfect system (yet) but I believe there’s a ton of truth to it, and a ton of reliability that I just personally have not seen in other places. Using pitch data (and maybe some better scouting) could have potentially helped prevent the disastrous Padres trade. It also could’ve potentially helped the Royals find proper valuations for Scott Alexander and Joakim Soria before the 2018 season, as they would’ve been two of the Royals best pitchers, and were traded for what appears to be very little in return. Perhaps it also helped the Royals find Heath Fillmyer, though I have no idea what went into his scouting before the Royals acquired him.In any case, I got done running on 2018 sliders and thought it was something that Royals fans may find interesting (if not upsetting). In the future I hope to formulate a more reliable data set with long(er)-term implications that could be used to project minor league pitchers as well, though MiLB data is still not always publicly available. So there ya go. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. See how the prospects performed last night!"Another day of minor league action in the books. See the results below.AAA: Round Rock Express (4-3) won 9-5 (BOX SCORE)Rodgers made his second start of the season and pitched really well allowing just 1 run over 6 innings. Straw tied the game up at 1 in the 3rd inning on an RBI single. Alvarez gave the Express the lead in the 5th with an RBI double. After Nashville tied it up in the top of the 8th, Alvarez broke the tie with a 3 run HR in the bottom of the inning, his 5th HR of the season. Deetz came into the 9th inning with a three run lead but allowed 3 runs to score without retiring a batter. The game would go to the bottom of the 10th and after walks to Alvarez and Tucker (runner started at 2nd), the bases were loaded for Round Rock. Tanielu sent the fans home happy connecting on a walk-off grand slam to win 9-5.Note:Alvarez has 5 HR, 10 RBI and a 1.630 OPS in 7 games this season.Myles Straw, CF: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BBDerek Fisher, RF: 1-for-4, R, BBJack Mayfield, 2B: 2-for-5, 3 RYordan Alvarez, 1B: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BBKyle Tucker, LF: 0-for-4 , R, BBNick Tanielu, 3B: 1-for-4, R, HR, 4 RBI, BBDrew Ferguson, DH: 0-for-3, R, SBBrady Rodgers, RHP: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 KReymin Guduan, LHP: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 KDean Deetz, RHP: 0.0 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 KBrendan McCurry, RHP: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (WIN)AA: Corpus Christi Hooks (3-4) lost 10-5 (BOX SCORE)Another rough night for the Hookls pitching staff. LaRue got the start and was decent striking out 6 over 4.1 innings while allowing 2 runs. He was relieved by Scheetz who allowed 2 runs in his 1.2 innings of work. Goetzman put the Hooks on the board with a solo HR in the 2nd. In the 7th, the Hooks rallied to tie the game scoring 3 runs on McCormick, Wrenn, and Toro RBI singles. Ferrell came in to pitch the 8th and really struggled allowing 6 runs. Rojas would add an RBI single in the 9th but it wasn’t nearly enough as they dropped this one 10-5.Note:LaRue has 12 K in 9.1 innings this season. Chas McCormick, LF: 1-for-4, R, RBI, BBStephen Wrenn, CF: 1-for-5, RBIAbraham Toro, 3B: 2-for-4, R, RBI, BBGranden Goetzman, RF: 2-for-5, R, HR, RBIJosh Rojas, 2B: 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB, SBLorenzo Quintana, DH: 2-for-4, ROsvaldo Duarte, SS: 0-for-3, R, BBCarson LaRue, RHP: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER Byron Buxton Jersey , 1 BB, 6 KKit Scheetz, LHP: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 KJustin Ferrell, RHP: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 KRonel Blanco, RHP: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 KA+: Fayetteville Woodpeckers (4-3) won 11-8 (BOX SCORE)Mushinski started for Fayetteville and allowed 4 runs over 3.1 innings. He was relieved by Feldmann who allowed 4 runs, 2 earned over his 1.2 innings. The Woodpeckers were down 8-0 going into the 6th but they rallied to score 7 runs on a Beer RBI walk, De La Cruz RBI walk, Taylor RBI walk, Sierra 2 run double and Arauz 2 run single. They would take the lead in the 7th on a Taylor grand slam. Sanabria and Rosado combined to toss 4 scoreless innings to close it out.Note: De La Cruz is hitting .364 in five games this season.Jake Meyers, CF: 0-for-4, R, BBCorey Julks, DH: 3-for-4, 2 R, BBSeth Beer, 1B: 0-for-4, R, RBI, BBScott Manea, C: 0-for-4, R, BBBryan De La Cruz, RF:2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BBChandler Taylor, LF: 1-f or-3, 2 R, HR, 5 RBI, 2 BBMiguelangel Sierra, SS: 1-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBIJonathan Arauz, 3B: 1-for-5, 2 RBIAlfredo Angarita, 2B: 1-for-3, R, 2BParker Mushinski, LHP: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 KBrendan Feldmann, RHP: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R , 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 KCarlos Sanabria, RHP:3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (WIN)Cesar Rosado, RHP: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (SAVE)A: Quad Cities River Bandits (4-3) won 7-4 (BOX SCORE)Another dominant strikeout performance. Rodriguez started and went 5 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, while striking out 8. Schreiber put the River Bandits on the board in the first with a 2 run double. In the 3rd inning, Schreiber scored the 3rd run for QC after stealing 2nd and scoring on an error. Castellanos relieved Rodriguez and struck out 6 over 3 innings while allowing 1 run. The River Bandits entered the 9th down 4-3n but rallied to score 4 runs on an Adolph RBI single, Valdez 2 run single, and Salazar RBI groundout. Conn closed out the game with a perfect 9th.Note:Schreiber is hitting .348 in 7 games this season.Ross Adolph, CF: 1-for-5, R, RBIJeremy Pena, DH: 1-for-4, 2 R, BBEnmanuel Valdez, 2B: 2-for-5, R, 2 RBICesar Salazar, C: 1-for-5, RBIScott Schreiber, 1B: 1-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SBDavid Hensley, 3B: 2-for-4Andy Pineda, LF: 2-for-2, R, 2 BBTrey Dawson, SS: 1-for-4, RNivaldo Rodriguez, RHP: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 KHumberto Castellanos, RHP: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (WIN)Devin Conn, RHP: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (SAVE)Today’s starters according to TBD (-.-- ERA)CC: Brett Adcock (16.88 ERA) FV: Yohan Ramirez (6.00 ERA)QC: Cody Deason (16.20 ERA)