Laurila: Pedro Martinez on the art and science of pitching

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on May 23, 2014:

Pedro Martinez was a genius with a baseball in his right hand. One of the most dominant pitchers of all time, he didn’t just overpower hitters. He outsmarted them. When he was on top of his game – as he often was – he was almost unhittable. No starting pitcher in history has a better adjusted ERA.

Martinez might be best described as a thinking man’s power pitcher. His pure stuff alone would have made him a star. His ability to read hitters and maximize his talent put him on a whole new level. The Hall of Fame awaits.

Martinez – currently a special assistant for the Red Sox – shared the wisdom of his craft earlier this week at the site of some his greatest glory, Fenway Park.


Martinez on the art and science of pitching: “Pitching is both [art and science] and you have to put them together. You have to study a lot. You have to study the movement of your pitches – the distance your pitches move compared to the swing paths of batters. You have to learn to read bat speed against the speed of a fastball. You can tell a slow bat or a long swing, or a short, quick swing. You counter those things. If a hitter has a slow swing, I don’t want to throw him anything soft. I want to go hard against slow. If he has a quick bat, I probably want to be soft more than I want to be hard. You have to be able to repeat your delivery and be deceiving at the same time.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 23, 2014. Last Updated: May 23, 2014.