Long: The perception of deception

From Jeff Long at Baseball Prospectus on October 27, 2017:

Deception comes in many forms. Traditionally baseball, and pitching more specifically, concerns itself with the most obvious iteration of the concept. (Yusmeiro Petit‘s “Invisiball” comes immediately to mind.) Pitchers are instructed to hide the ball, and refine their mechanics in order to not give hitters an edge. Earlier this season, there was one heck of a to-do when Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that Yu Darvish was inadvertently tipping his pitches. Darvish confirmed as much, and went about fixing the issue.

It is precisely this type of deception that the most popular application of Baseball Prospectus’ pitch tunnels data explores. For pitchers like Kyle Hendricks and Dallas Keuchel—and Greg Maddux before themthe name of the game is to make all of your pitches look the same. Force the hitter to guess, and leverage their inability to tell your pitches apart to your advantage. These small advantagesan extra 2% you might call themadd up to provide a significant advantage to the pitcher.

Read the full article here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/34158/prospectus-feature-perception-deception/

Originally published: October 27, 2017. Last Updated: October 27, 2017.