Sawchik: Go see the two-seamer before it’s gone

From Travis Sawchik at FanGraphs on May 25, 2018:

Baseball goes through its trends like about any other industry. Just about everything goes through a constant flow of peaks ebbing to lulls and then back to peaks agains.

Pitch types, for example, go through cycles of popularity. The curveball was out of fashion and now it is back. There are years where different pitches are more prominent than others. Different pitches do different things. They dart left, right, down, and appear to rise. They have different shapes, breaking in different depths. Their usage is tied to the swing plane, philosophies, and ball properties of the day.

You are probably aware that the two-seam/sinker has fallen out of favor in recent years.

While the fastball is generally losing market share in favor of breaking pitches, the four-seam fastball has actually enjoyed an uptick in popularity in recent years as pitchers take advantage of their newly quantified spin rates to better get over the swing planes of batters, who have adapted to hammer the low pitch, as Jeff Sullivan observed prior to last season.

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Originally published: May 25, 2018. Last Updated: May 25, 2018.