Another One Bites the Dust: Blocking Pitches

From Bojan Koprivica at The Hardball Times on October 18, 2011:

I’ll be honest with you. Had I known from the beginning that the idea of designing a model to estimate the difficulty of blocking every major league pitch is not a new one—let alone a groundbreaking one—I might have spent significant portions of my free time doing stuff that involves sun and physical activity instead. But, I didn’t.


After calculating the appropriate landing/crossing spots and creating some quick buckets, this is what the probabilities of a pitch getting away from the catcher looked like, depending on its location:

In a nutshell, we see that pitches that bounce are harder to block than the ones that don’t and that pitches further away from the center of the plate pose more problems for the catchers than the ones which are over the plate. Incredible, right? Still, this kind of data presentation made it easier for me to visualize the certain areas where catchers have to receive the pitches.

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Originally published: October 18, 2011. Last Updated: October 18, 2011.