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Thread: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

  1. #31
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    Re: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

    Just for fun, to see how velocity related to strikeouts, I did a study on this about four years ago when I took the top ten strikeout pitchers from both leagues over a three season period from about 2003-2005. Best I can recall, around 85% of the leaders were guys who could dial it up to 93+ mph.

    Of course, if you look at the wildest pitchers, they tend to possess higher velocity as well. That makes sense, because usually a guy with average or below average velocity usually would never make it to be bigs unless he had decent control. It goes without saying that the guy who can throw 95+ gets more opportunities to succeed than the guy with 88 mph velocity.

    It's all a matter of preference. Me, I enjoy watching 97-99 mph fastball pitchers rather than guys who nibble the corners with junk pitches.

    I remember hearing hitters describe a Tom Seaver fastball. They said that his fastball appeared to "explode." That was due to the fact that as it approached home plate, it was so fast that the batter's eye couldn't focus quick enough and the ball appeared to come apart. It was an optical illusion. I'm not sure how Seaver's fastball rated, but I always assumed he was in the 92-93 mph range.
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  3. #32
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    Re: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    With prospects though, its all about learning and teaching. Scouts and coaches are of the belief you can teach things. You can't teach 95 MPH. A guy either has that kind of arm or he doesn't. You can improve control and movement for the most part. You can't take a guy and just add 3-4 MPH on his fastball. Thats why with prospects its the first thing asked about.... you can hopefully teach and improve the other stuff.
    Totally off the subject, but that is a good moral reason for the use of PEDs constituting cheating and not just "doing whatever it takes to get an edge, so what's the big deal?" PEDs do what could not be done naturally, like add speed to fastballs.

  4. #33
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    Re: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS21 View Post
    Just for fun, to see how velocity related to strikeouts, I did a study on this about four years ago when I took the top ten strikeout pitchers from both leagues over a three season period from about 2003-2005. Best I can recall, around 85% of the leaders were guys who could dial it up to 93+ mph.

    Of course, if you look at the wildest pitchers, they tend to possess higher velocity as well. That makes sense, because usually a guy with average or below average velocity usually would never make it to be bigs unless he had decent control. It goes without saying that the guy who can throw 95+ gets more opportunities to succeed than the guy with 88 mph velocity.

    It's all a matter of preference. Me, I enjoy watching 97-99 mph fastball pitchers rather than guys who nibble the corners with junk pitches.

    I remember hearing hitters describe a Tom Seaver fastball. They said that his fastball appeared to "explode." That was due to the fact that as it approached home plate, it was so fast that the batter's eye couldn't focus quick enough and the ball appeared to come apart. It was an optical illusion. I'm not sure how Seaver's fastball rated, but I always assumed he was in the 92-93 mph range.
    I actually love to watch pitchers dabble in the art of pitching. It takes more skill to be able to place a ball with pinpoint accuracy 60.5 feet away. It's more artistic watching a 12-6 curve drop over a corner into the mitt, as a stoic, helpless batter can only start back toward the dugout while the umpire raises a big right hand, yelling "steeerike three." I love watching a ball come in like a fastball and then the bottom falls out, diving toward the dirt as the hitter flails aimlessly toward the sphere.

    To me, while I'm not saying it's necessarily better, it's more fun to watch that. It's definitely more skill involved than simply rearing back and harnessing an arm God blessed a pitcher with. You can either throw a fastball or you can't. While velocity is a skill, it's just something natural. Accuracy, movement and trajectory are things that you have to work hard on to be effective. I admire that more in a pitcher than I do a fastball.

    Certainly, as I've said, I think it's great to have all of the above. If you have a good fastball, it's great to use it in your repertoire. It will make everything else more effective. But in terms of watching baseball, I don't get the same joy out of blowing by a heater past someone as I do watching someone like Greg Maddux nibble on the corners and making guys look silly with deception as opposed to velocity.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    I actually love to watch pitchers dabble in the art of pitching. It takes more skill to be able to place a ball with pinpoint accuracy 60.5 feet away. It's more artistic watching a 12-6 curve drop over a corner into the mitt, as a stoic, helpless batter can only start back toward the dugout while the umpire raises a big right hand, yelling "steeerike three." I love watching a ball come in like a fastball and then the bottom falls out, diving toward the dirt as the hitter flails aimlessly toward the sphere.

    To me, while I'm not saying it's necessarily better, it's more fun to watch that. It's definitely more skill involved than simply rearing back and harnessing an arm God blessed a pitcher with. You can either throw a fastball or you can't. While velocity is a skill, it's just something natural. Accuracy, movement and trajectory are things that you have to work hard on to be effective. I admire that more in a pitcher than I do a fastball.

    Certainly, as I've said, I think it's great to have all of the above. If you have a good fastball, it's great to use it in your repertoire. It will make everything else more effective. But in terms of watching baseball, I don't get the same joy out of blowing by a heater past someone as I do watching someone like Greg Maddux nibble on the corners and making guys look silly with deception as opposed to velocity.
    OTH, guys who nibble just off the corners make me wanna see someone rare back and fire the ball right down the middle, knowing the guy can't hit what he can't see.

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    Re: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

    Does anyone know if the Reds plan on curtailing Wood's innings? He's up to 146 this year after only throwing 126 all of last year. He has at least 4 starts left, plus the AAA playoffs. Will the Reds really let him throw 50-60 innings more this year than last?

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    Re: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

    Wood threw 140 when he was 19.

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    Re: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

    They should not rush Wood. Give him time to get bigger and stronger -- he's still quite young. He's got to develop some better command -- there are still too many games where the strike percentage is low. He'd get chewed up in the majors, where the zone is smaller.

    They should be looking at a full year in AAA next year as a plan.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    They should not rush Wood. Give him time to get bigger and stronger -- he's still quite young. He's got to develop some better command -- there are still too many games where the strike percentage is low. He'd get chewed up in the majors, where the zone is smaller.

    They should be looking at a full year in AAA next year as a plan.
    Or a half year at least. Problem is, I think the Reds will let him start in Cincy if he has a decent ST. And we might have Homer Bailey redux.
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  10. #39
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    Re: Is Wood's lack of velocity a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Or a half year at least. Problem is, I think the Reds will let him start in Cincy if he has a decent ST. And we might have Homer Bailey redux.
    I'm not so sure about that. The Reds may indeed rush him, but I think he's a much different pitcher than Homer. At any rate, he's obviously not reliant on gas to get by. If he fails, it may be epic, but it will be epic in a different sort of way.
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