Kagan: The physics of throwing a ball out of the yard

From SABR member David Kagan at The Hardball Times on August 1, 2019:

All the frustrations of the inning — and perhaps all the stress of the trade rumors swirling as the deadline neared — erupted as [Trevor] Bauer whipped around and threw the ball over the center-field fence. I suspect Trevor realized immediately that he had gone over the edge, because his first words to [Terry] Francona appeared to be an apology. His manager would have none of it, as he pointed emphatically toward the showers. Take a look.

It is hard to tell from the video just how far the ball actually went. The announcer said he “threw it against the board,” by which I assume he meant the bottom of the batter’s eye.  The center-field fence at Kauffman Stadium is 410 feet. Bauer was maybe 15 feet behind the pitcher’s rubber, while the lower part of the batter’s eye is roughly 10 feet further. Since we don’t know how high up it hit, we can’t get a very exact distance for the throw, but it is probably safe to say the ball went…let’s see…410 minus 60.5 minus about 15 plus roughly 10 plus a bit more…let’s say 350 feet. That’s a homer in many spots in many parks.

I guess it’s not a surprise that a strong-armed player can throw a ball that far. Though it is rarely advisable, an outfielder can throw a ball from deep in the outfield to home plate on the fly.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/the-physics-of-throwing-a-ball-out-of-the-yard/

Originally published: August 2, 2019. Last Updated: August 2, 2019.