Hey gang. This is piece one in a series from my co-pilot at PAH9, Steve Sommer. You can also read up on some of Steve’s other work at his old blog at StL Sports Scene. You can also follow him on twitter @Steve_Sommer.
With the introduction of pitch f/x data at various AFL locations, the prospect geek has at his/her disposal data that can be used to answer questions like
- What does Prospect A’s stuff look like?
- How does Prospect B get by on limited stuff?
- Who does Prospect C resemble?
This post will investigate those, and similar types of questions for Mike Parisi.
Let’s start out with a simple summary table of his stuff and a table of MLB/AFL averages for comparison.
The MLB/AFL table contains physical data (movement and velocity) based on a Harry Pavlidis post at BtB and results data (Whiff and Slgcon) based on AFL data. Whiff is the number of swings and misses divided by the number of swings and Slgcon is TB on balls in play/ball in play. A couple things from the table jump out at me immediately
- Parisi is at or below average in getting swings and misses when compared to his AFL counterparts, but has managed to keep his Slgcon down.
- His fastball is a tick below average.
- He has no pitches that have movement that stands out. Most are right around average.
I’ll tackle the 2nd point first, and then address the 1st and 3rd at the same time. With regards to his fastball being below average in velocity, I’d like to point out that not all 90 mph fastballs are created equal. Take Parisi and Scott Gorgen (the subject of a futute post). Both average a shade over 90 mph, but their distributions of velocities differ as the following chart illustrates
Now on to the other two points. Parisi is having some success this AFL season, but all signs point to is not being because of over powering stuff (low whiff, not much movement, etc.). One potential explanation is that he’s following Dave Duncan’s philosophy. Let’s see if the data supports that case.
First a table showing his batted ball profile by pitch
So yes, Parisi is having success with the ground ball, especially with his fastball. His GB rate of 60% is much better than the AFL average for fastballs (~45%). How then, without seemingly great downward movement, is Parisi generating so many GBs? The answer is in the following location chart
When Parisi keeps the ball down, his AFL opposition pounded it into the ground. It seems as though Parisi’s strategy is in line with organizational thought (or at least TLR, DD thought). Keep the ball down, don’t worry about missing bats, and generate ground balls. With that being said, I’d think that Parisi might have a good shot at replacing Brad Thompson in a swingman/mop-up role.
Next up (assuming the FR guys don’t kick me out after this first attempt) is a look at the other starter the Cards sent to the AFL, the aforementioned Scott Gorgen.