Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Mariano Rivera’s Pitch Frequency
I was recently granted access to a platform called In Depth Baseball. It’s a pretty impressive tool that provides heatmaps using pitchfx and hitfx data. One of the most telling heatmaps I was first shown was Mariano Rivera’s pitch frequency.
Notice how Rivera barely touches the middle of the plate.
Here are Mo’s Righty-Lefty heatmaps vs. the rest of the league:
As you can see from the top map, Rivera lives on the inside corner to lefty batters. In fact, the majority of his pitches fall outside the designated strikezone. Meanwhile, the rest of the league favors throwing down and away to LHB.
Against RHB, Mo spreads out his pitches a bit more. However, notice how he barely ever throws to the middle inside part of the plate to righties. He also busts righties up and in, again in contrast to the rest of the league.
As a matter of comparison, here are the pitch frequency heatmaps for 3 other AL closers:
All three of the above closers tend to pitch to the middle of the plate, a striking contrast to Rivera’s pitch frequency.
Lastly, here’s Mariano’s pitch frequency since 2008:
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