Baseball

Statcast Searches: Four Core Components

This post shows how to use Statcast Search to do these investigations:

1. Find pitching data for all the pitchers in a league (National or American or both) in a year (limited by Statcast Search’s years of data)

2. Get the number of pitches each league pitcher threw to another pitcher in the same league.

3. Find how many pitches a specific pitcher threw to other pitchers.

4. Discover how many pitches a pitcher threw to every batter regardless of position.

When conducting a Statcast Search, four components are especially useful. One is Player Type. It contains 10 items: Pitcher, Batter, Catcher, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, SS, LF, CF, RF. The default value in Player Type is “Pitcher.”

The other three core items are Position, Batters, and Pitchers.

If you want to find pitching data for all the pitchers in the National League in 2019, use these four settings:

– Player Type: Pitcher
– Team: NL
– Season: 2019
– Season Type: Regular Season

If you search using those values, you will get data for 426 NL pitchers, starting with Stephen Strasburg, who threw the most pitches: 3,384.

The search results https://tinyurl.com/yawcthuu include these columns sorted by Pitches from a pitcher’s perspective: Pitches, Total, Pitch %, AB, Hits, BB, BA, SLG, EV(MPH),LA(°), Dist (ft). Pitches is the number of pitches thrown by the pitcher during all his mound appearances.

If instead of finding pitching data for all the pitchers in the National League in 2019, you want the number of pitches each NL pitcher threw to another pitcher you need to change the Position setting (second column) from the default of any position to “P” (Pitcher). https://tinyurl.com/ybwcxo3e

That reduces the number of results from 3,384 to 300. Those results show the number of pitches each NL pitcher threw to another pitcher. What is not immediately obvious is whether all the other pitchers were also in the National League though that appears to be the case. It is true.

Jacob deGrom heads the list. In 2019, with only pitchers in the batters box, he threw 220 pitches, holding those hitters to a .120 batting average.

Let’s make another setting change. This time in the Pitchers box (third column), Stephen Strasburg will be selected. (Position still is “P.”) Those results show how many pitches Strasburg threw to other pitchers: 208. By clicking his name, a pitch breakdown appears. https://tinyurl.com/ybxooty7

If Position is not set to a position, the results show how many pitches Strasburg threw to every batter regardless of position (3,384) and gives a pitch-by-pitch breakdown. https://tinyurl.com/y8aefb8u

But what if in the Batters box (third column), Stephen Strasburg was entered with nothing selected in Position? Then, the results show his hitting data for the 38 NL pitchers that he hit against. He was in the batters box against Sandy Alcantara for 22 pitches, the most, including one eight pitch at-bat that ended in a groundout. Strasburg has the most success at the plate against Braves pitcher, Touki Toussaint, getting a single and a homer in his two at-bat against Toussaint. Toussaint also was the only pitcher Strasburg got more than one hit against. The homer was both his only homer in 2019 and only the fourth in his 10-year career. Note: Setting the Position to “P” does not make any difference. https://tinyurl.com/ybnxnefa

And if there is a “P” in Position? The results are the same. https://tinyurl.com/yb8ao6v6