Sarris: An attempt to quantify pitcher deception

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on February 17, 2016:

Deception seems impossible to quantify. How are you going to put a number on something like the Invisiball thrown by Yusmeiro Petit? The ball is there, and then it isn’t, and then it’s back! Put that in your number machine, nerd boy.

Except, hidden in that description of the Invisiball is a possible guide. The release point. The release point is a huge moment for the hitter — it can tell him about the type of pitch and type of movement he’s about to see even before the ball is released.

Think of Brad Ziegler. You see that arm dragging along the ground, and you know the ball is going to move down and away from you. You adjust. Think of Darren O’Day. You see that arm slot, and you think the ball will drop, and when it doesn’t, you miss his Submarine Riseball. Tyler Clippard! You see that over the top and you think the ball will rise — and his fastball does, but not his changeup.

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Originally published: February 17, 2016. Last Updated: February 17, 2016.