Exploring the Arsenal – Edinson Volquez

Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of view. Click here for a general guide to pitch types and classifications. Graphs are courtesy of Brooks Baseball and The Hardball Times , unless otherwise specified. Statistics are courtesy of FanGraphs .

Monday, 10:05 PM – Edinson Volquez

2012
IP 142.0
K/PA 21.5%
BB/PA 13.9%
HR/9 0.82
GB% 50.8%
Whiff% 25.4%
ERA 4.31
FIP 4.31

Volquez throws from a three-quarters release point, with a 92-95 MPH fastball that touches 97. He also throws an 82-85 MPH circle change and a curveball that generally sits in the 78-81 MPH range. The changeup is elite, with good downward bite and a whiff rate approaching 40% this year. That is down just a bit from the past few years, but his curveball has developed into an even better swing-and-miss offering in 2010. His four-seamer has been more hittable this season than in previous years, but he has maintained a strikeout rate that has consistently been over 20%. Unfortunately for Volquez, huge walk rates have held him back for his entire career. Nothing about that has changed since his move to San Diego, as he currently has the highest walk rate in baseball among qualified starting pitchers. He seems to consistently use a slightly lower release point when throwing his changeup, although that clearly has not affected the effectiveness of the pitch.

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Matt Bandi

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.

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