Speed kills. Whether that be by the arm or legs. But this isn’t no SAGNOF post, this is the weekly look at strictly bullpens. At what point do we stop looking at velocity and its effectiveness being a correlative? Probably never, as the statcast era has never looked stronger as geeks type in the square roots of derivatives to figure out the best angle of deflection for them to walk down the stairs in their parents basement. It’s a tale as old as time, and people like me mock math and numbers because, well… I am lazy. Numbers always existed, but now they are so finite that you can get a feet per second drop of a the pin that no one can hear. So maybe I should delve into the fray here and take a look at the early season velocity for closers and how they compare to last year and how they correlate to K success. Velocity isn’t the end all be all of reliever success, but is fully in the forefront when studs like Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen are teetering on slow-pokes compared days of yore. So I made a hand dandy chart, comparing last years average fastball velocity, K/9 and Swinging strike % to this years to see where the relationship between success, worry and full on panic in the closer realms exist.
|Player||2017 Avg Velo||2017 K/9||2017 SwStr%||2018 Avg Velo||2018 K/9||2018 SwStr%|
- The standouts for me are Jansen, Kimbrel and Colome on the downside of things when looking at the chart. So basically, the first two closers off the board in the preseason and Oh, the save leader from a year ago. Comforting stuff.
- On the positive side, this chart is using really early sample sizes for this year.
- Edwin Diaz is head and shoulders for me a changed man from last year. He was replaced as closer for a stretch last year and has recorded 14 outs on the year and struck out 11 of them. The Mariners bullpen is a strength right now, and Diaz is the oar paddling the canoe.
- For all the people looking, Brad Ziegler throws entirely too slow to be in this chart. Sorry B-Rad but you are a window throwa, said in my best Staten Island accent.
- If I had 20 bucks, I would wish for a serum that would keep Doolittle definitely healthy all year long. As the season wears on owning Ryan Madson for here and there save chances or as just a staple item on your fantasy team seems like a good strategy as the Nats try and keep Doo-alot healthy.