Cleveland Indians RHP Trevor Bauer‘s pitching philosophy was named and revealed last week, but it appears the evidence of his use of Effective Velocity was in front of our eyes all along.
Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com posted a list of the pitchers who throw high and inside the most to batters (minimum 500 pitches in 2014). The only pitcher to appear on the list versus both left-handed batters and right-handed batters is … you guessed it, Bauer, who ranks second in percentage of up and in pitches to RHBs, and third in up and in pitch percentage to LHB. Though the post points out there are often deliberate reasons for an up and inside pitch, Bauer’s usage of them is mostly due to his adherence to Effective Velocity:
That’s why Bauer, for instance, even in the age of the sinker, is so willing to pitch high and tight. You can’t do it all the time, obviously, as you need to mix up pitches (if for no other reason than purposes of “game theory“), but a willingness to pitch to in at a hitter’s elbows or even shoulders has advantages beyond just making him less comfortable in the box.
If you haven’t read Jason Turbow’s longform piece, “The Essence of Velocity,” now would be a good time to do that, as it not only explains the eye-popping concepts behind Effective Velocity, but also contains some fascinating insight into Bauer and the Indians’s research before acquiring the young right-hander.
Bauer will start tomorrow night versus the Seattle Mariners in Seattle, so you can see Effective Velocity in action then.