Sheehan: When statheads age

From Joe Sheehan at FanGraphs on April 7, 2017:

Like a lot of fans, I watched Sunday’s and Monday’s games fascinated by the number of pitchers who seemed to be throwing harder than they did last season. So it was a relief to see Dave Cameron’s note here Tuesday about why readings were higher. It will take some mental gymnastics to compare velo figures from 2017 to previous years, but I’m sure it will be second nature aft…

… wait, what?

This is what it’s like being a baseball fan in 2017. The issues you face are ones of reconciling changes in how the velocity of every single pitch thrown in MLB is tracked. It’s not about getting that data, but rather, about sussing out the difference between measurement points of the pitch on the way from the pitcher’s hand to home plate.

We had a different set of problems when we were putting together the first Baseball Prospectus annual, back in the winter of 1995-96. The challenges we faced weren’t discerning which measure of velocity to use, but rather, when we would get access to minor-league statistics, and how soon lefty/righty splits would be in our hands, and would anyone at all talk to us about prospects we only knew by their stat lines.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 10, 2017. Last Updated: April 10, 2017.