Cubs Quick Hits: When Pitching Stats Become Meaningful

Eno Sarris of FanGraphs, whose work you should be reading regularly, just published a post on the point at which pitching stats are relevant.

In short, Sarris — along with Brian Cartwright — posits that you don’t need a large sample size to draw meaningful conclusions. For example, sinker velocity stabilizes at just 10 pitches. That means only an inning of work or so provides enough data for us to believe that future pitches will yield similar results.

Stat Denominator Stable At
Sinker Velocity Sinkers 10
Sinker Horizontal Move Sinkers 10
Sinker Vertical Move Sinkers 10
Changeup Velocity Changeups 10
Changeup Horizontal Move Changeups 10
Changeup Vertical Move Changeups 10
Contact% Swings 40
Changeup Contact% Changeup swings 50
Sinker Contact% Sinker swings 70
O-Zone Swing% Pitches outside of zone 120
First Strike First pitches 250
Zone% Pitches 330

So much for all those “small sample size” caveats, huh?

I highly recommend you to read the rest of Sarris’s postin which he says, “…Jake Arrieta is down almost three ticks, that stuff is meaningful.”

Back to top button