Its too soon in the season for me to write anything serious about the Red Sox, and I already bored people with my fantasy team. I’ll make up for it by calling attention to a great article by Max Marchi over at The Hardball Times on classifying pitches. Essentially, Marchi uses the MLB database of PITCH/fx numbers (which tracks the speed and break of every pitch thrown) to expand the traditional 6 categories for pitchers (fastball, curveball, slider, sinker, change-up) into 14 categories.
Here they are with his brief comments:
- No. 1 – Slow change or, as they used to say in the past, simply slow ball.
- No. 2 – Hard curve, tight curve.
- No. 3 – Slider.
- No. 4 – Heater (hummer, blazer…).
- No. 5 – Sinker.
- No. 6 – Floater, junk, feather.
- No. 7 – Cutter, sailer.
- No. 8 – This one tails to the throwing arm side. I would suggest tailing fastball, but according to Neyer and James, they used to call a pitch from a righty that runs into a right-handed batter a riding fastball.
- No. 9 – I really don’t like the terms hard change and slow change, so I expect good suggestions from you for this and No. 1.
- No. 10 – Slow curve, drop curve.
- No. 11 – Low-arm-angle pitches. How do we call them as a group? Sidearmers? Submariners?
- No. 12 – Okay, this is a fastball that’s not quite fast (high 80s), but stays up. I go with rising fastball.
- No. 13 – Slurve.
- No. 14 – Similar to No. 12, but 4-5 mph faster. Hopper comes to my mind.
Take a trip over there if you have time to peruse the whole article (its quality) and offer a few naming suggestions in the comments.