Sarris: If you could build the perfect pitcher, what would he look like?

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on November 8, 2018:

When​ you think​ of the “perfect” pitcher, maybe a specific​ person​ comes to mind.​ Pedro Martínez​ with his wide​ array​ of​​ silly secondaries, or Randy Johnson and his nasty combination of velocity and movement. Maybe Roger Clemens’ power or Greg Maddux’s command.

If we were Victor Frankenstein, we could try to take each of those aspects and put them together to make today’s best pitcher. Take Justin Verlander’s fastball and add in Zack Greinke’s power change, Corey Kluber’s curve and Trevor Bauer’s new slider, and boom. That would be fun for everyone (except for the pitchers involved).

But trying to cobble together a pitcher like that is not only, of course, biologically impossible; it also might not even work. Each pitcher’s release point and delivery are different, and those mechanical differences give rise to interaction effects between the unique aspects of each pitcher’s pitch types. Our monster would only remind us of the perfect pitcher. He probably wouldn’t be it.

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Originally published: November 8, 2018. Last Updated: November 8, 2018.