Eric Seidman has a great article on Baseball Prospectus today, one I encourage everyone to read. Essentially, Eric looked at how a batter's perception of a pitch's velocity differs from the actual velocity due to the pitcher's release point. The focal point of the article was the Padres' Chris Young, who has had a pretty successful career despite a fastball that generally sits between 85 and 89 miles per hour. In the sample used by Eric, he found that Young's release point, which is closer to the plate than an average pitcher's, boosted his 84.1 MPH fastball to a perceived velocity of 91.1 MPH. That is a huge difference, and it likely explains why Young has had so much success with a below average heater.
You might be wondering what this has to do with the Pirates. Toward the end of h...
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Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.