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On my way to lunch today (Friday) I caught a bit of Bernie’s radio show to include his stat of the day segment.  This particular stat was about Matt Holliday’s ability to hit the inside fastball.  The basic gist was that Holliday is doing just fine on the inside fastball (albeit Bernie used BA as his stat of choice).  I thought it might be interesting to dig a little deeper using pitch F/X data.  I decided to take the plate in horizontal slices and calculate Holliday’s wOBA when he makes contact with pitches in the various slices.  The following chart is the result.

The horizontal location is referenced from the catcher’s perspective so the -1.5-1 is off the the plate inside.  Generally speaking the strike zone is more or less -1 to 1, so keep that in mind when you look at this chart.  My feel from the chart is that in general Holliday covers the entire plate pretty well on fastballs with the exception of off the plate inside.  Yes, he historically does a little better out over the plate, but it’s not a dramatic difference.  Ironically, so far this year he’s been better on the inner half.

This data was grabbed before the start of the Arizona series.

Steve Sommer

Simulation analyst by day, father and baseball nerd by night

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2 Responses to “Analyzing Matt Holliday and Pitch Location”

  1. Is it easy to graph how it looks when you include all pitches, and not just on-contact pitches?

    • I’d have to change metrics (to individual pitch run values I’d guess) since wOBA is an end of at-bat stat just like BA or OBP. I’ll look into it and see if it tells a different story. I did briefly look at whiff rates (swings and misses) and they were about the same across all locations.

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