This data is from the 2011 season plus the first few games of 2012.Code:Player Name Innings Speed 4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Split Sinker Slider Curve Change-Up Aroldis Chapman 53.0 98.1 79.70% 15.50% 4.80% Alfredo Simon 118.1 94.2 18.10% 33.20% 7.10% 17.70% 22.80% Nick Masset 70.1 93.6 52.60% 13.80% 9.20% 22.10% Mat Latos 199.0 93.0 43.30% 11.70% 0.40% 26.50% 11.00% 6.60% Homer Bailey 137.2 92.2 46.60% 11.10% 23.50% 11.00% 7.50% Logan Ondrusek 63.1 92.1 34.30% 27.10% 10.30% 21.70% 4.00% Johnny Cueto 163.0 92.0 22.70% 40.00% 0.00% 27.20% 9.90% Jose Arredondo 54.1 91.5 42.60% 40.10% 14.90% Sean Marshall 77.2 90.7 28.60% 0.20% 0.90% 29.40% 39.60% Bill Bray 49.2 90.4 51.50% 1.90% 28.50% 17.00% Sam LeCure 80.2 90.1 28.60% 32.40% 2.40% 23.90% 5.60% 6.00% Mike Leake 173.2 89.0 7.60% 31.30% 27.10% 15.50% 7.40% 10.60% Bronson Arroyo 205.1 86.7 29.40% 3.80% 8.00% 18.50% 17.00% 11.40% 11.30%
The Speed column is the average fastball velocity. Aroldis Chapman and Henry Rodriguez of the Nationals both averaged 98mph in 2011 to lead the majors. Jordan Walden, Daniel Bard, Bobby Parnell and Joel Hanrahan all averaged 97+mph. Amongst starting pitchers Justin Verlander, David Price, Alexi Ogando, Edwin Jackson and Michael Pineda averaged 95mph. An average major league fastball is about 91.5mph, with righties throwing about 1mph harder than lefties and relievers throwing harder than starters. The average fastball has been slowly but steadily getting faster over the years.
The remaining columns show what pitches each player can throw and how often he throws each one.
The 2-seam and 4-seam are standard fastball grips. This is the most common pitch in the game as well as the fastest. Fire-balling closers throw fastballs 75-85% of the time. Clayton Kershaw and Derek Holland throw fastballs 66% of the time.
The Cutter is a type of fastball with sharp, late, horizontal movement. Mariano Rivera throws his cutter 86% of the time and his success with this pitch has led to a dramatic increase in its use among many pitchers leaguewide. Many analysts and hitters (such as Chipper Jones) have credited the cutter with being the primary reason scoring levels have been trending downward in the last few seasons. This could be the most effective pitch in the game today.
The Split-finger is also a type of fastball but with late downward movement. It is a pitch that is not very popular these days. Jose Arredondo and Edward Mujica are the biggest users of the splitter these days at 40%. Very few starting pitchers throw this pitch very often, with Hiroki Kuroda leading the way with only 14% usage of his splitter. Bruce Sutter was the first to popularize this pitch in the 1970s. Mike Scott won a Cy Young Award with his splitter in the 1980s. David Cone and Roger Clemens also had great success with their split-fingered fastballs.
The Sinker is another type of fastball. It generates extra drop without sacrificing speed. It is thrown with the same grip as the 2-seam fastball but with downward wrist motion upon release. This pitch is often used by pitchers that don't have great velocity on their fastballs. Relievers like Johnny Venters and Kameron Lowe throw this pitch about 70% of the time. Amongst starting pitchers Jake Westbrook leads the way with 62% usage. Trevor Cahill and Scott Baker are good pitchers who throw a lot of sinkers. I have noticed that many current and former Cardinals (Carpenter, Westbrook, Lohse, Pineiro, McClellan, Rzepczynski, Marquis) throw this pitch frequently, so Dave Duncan apparently teaches the pitch or has a preference for obtaining pitchers that can throw it well.
The Slider is an off-speed pitch with strong horizontal and downward break. Compared to a curveball the slider is slightly faster, has more horizontal break, less downward break and a sharper, shorter break than a curveball. Rafael Perez of the Indians throws his slider 66% of the time and Cubs closer Carlos Marmol throws it 57% of the time. Among starting pitchers Edwin Jackson throws it 43% of the time and Bud Norris 38%. This pitch is very effective in generating swings and misses but is hard to throw for strikes. It is also hard on the elbow so its usage is usually carefully watched.
The Curveball is an off-speed pitch with a sweeping break, mostly in a downward direction. It is thrown with lower velocity than the slider and is easier to throw for strikes. Sean Marshall is the most prolific curveballer, throwing it 40% of the time. His curve is often considered the best in the game today. Amongst starters Wandy Rodriguez (37%), Erik Bedard (31%) and Gio Gonzalez (28%) are the heaviest users of the curveball.
There are other pitches that are not thrown by any current Reds pitchers. The forkball is only thrown by Brian Sanches, Scott Linebrink and Livan Hernandez. The knucklecurve is thrown only by A.J. Burnett and Nathan Adcock. In 2012 R.A Dickey is the only knuckleballer now that Tim Wakefield retired. And nobody currently tosses a screwball.
Aroldis Chapman: Not surprisingly he lives and dies with that devastating fastball with a few wicked sliders mixed in. No trickery, just pure power. Here it is boys, hit it if you can.
Alfredo Simon: Has a hard fastball, but also mixes in a cutter, splitter and a slider. Starter's arsenal. Solid 4 pitch mix.
Nick Massett: Mostly heat but employs a splitter and a slider to good effect.
Mat Latos: Mostly a fastball/slider pitcher, but also works in a good mix of curveball and change-up. Is developing a cutter this spring. If he masters that pitch he could be off the charts good.
Homer Bailey: Throws exactly the same mix of pitches as Mat Latos, but his fastball is straighter and he lacks consistent command.
Logan Ondrusek: Nice 5-pitch mix worthy of a starter. Has a good fastball but complements it with a cutter and slider that he throws frequently. The sinker and change-up are thrown occasionally.
Johnny Cueto: Plenty of fastballs with good downward movement, a nice slider and enough change-ups to keep the hitters honest. Good command in the bottom of the strike zone.
Jose Arredondo: Frequent use of the split-fingered fastball, which could be the source of his wildness. Slightly above average fastball, mixes in a slider.
Sean Marshall: Gets ahead with the fastball. Throws a ton of sweeping, wicked curveballs/sliders and can command the breaking balls in the strike zone. Not just a LOOGY. He is equally tough on hitters on both sides.
Bill Bray: Fastballs to get ahead, gets swings and misses with the slider and change-up. Tough stuff from the left side.
Sam LeCure: Mostly fastballs with the slider as his out pitch. Tosses in some curves and change-ups. Only has an average fastball but has good control. Would likely use more curves and change-ups if put into the rotation. Has a starter's repertoire.
Mike Leake: Very unusual mix of pitches. Has a below average true fastball and rarely throws it as a result. Puts movement on almost every pitch. Cutter and Sinker are his primary weapons. Also has a slider, curveball, change-up and a straight 4-seam fastball. Good luck guessing what he is going to throw you next.
Bronson Arroyo: Very sub-par fastball. Can use 7 pitches. Rarely throws the cutter. Trickery and deception are his calling card. No sharp movement. Constantly changing speeds and angles to keep the hitter off balance.