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Thread: Curves with sub-2000 RPM spin rates

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    Curves with sub-2000 RPM spin rates

    We have talked to death the fact that Anderson supposedly has a horrid 1700 RPM spin rate on his curve, and how that doesn't quite match up with reports that the pitch is average. We expect to see him debut sometime this season, and when he does we will finally get actual Statcast data for ourselves. Until then, we can take a look at the movement produced by other MLB pitchers with spin rates below 2000 RPM.

    The movement grades for Curves is roughly (from a few years ago when I compiled this data):

    Grade X Z
    80 9.6 -11.0
    70 7.8 -8.5
    60 6.1 -6.4
    50 4.3 -4.4
    40 2.6 -2.3
    30 0.8 -0.3
    20 0.0 0.0

    The problem is, there are no MLB pitchers who throw a Curve with a spin rate of 1700 RPM...that horrid mark is reserved for position players who pitch in blow outs. The hope is that value is wrong, and Anderson's true spin rate is closer to the 1900-2000 RPM range representing the bare minimum for MLB pitchers.

    There were 7 pitchers in 2019 who threw 25+ Curves with an average spin rate under 2000 RPM. Here are their grades for movement on those pitches:

    Kolby Allard 1883 RPM = -2.8" xMov (Grade 40), -5.9" zMov (Grade 55)
    Nick Margevicius 1939 RPM = -4.1" xMov (Grade 50), -7.9" zMov (Grade 65)
    Tom Eshelman 1944 RPM = 2.5" xMov (Grade 40), -5.3" zMov (Grade 55)
    Drew Smyly 1950 RPM = 2.3" xMov (Grade 40), -2.4" zMov (Grade 40)
    Blaine Hardy 1952 RPM = -3.4" xMov (Grade 45), -9.6" zMov (Grade 75)
    Zach Plesac 1955 RPM = 4.1" xMov (Grade 50), -7.0" zMov (Grade 60+)
    Patrick Corbin 1989 RPM = -2.0 xMov (Grade 40), -1.9" zMov (Grade 40)

    So if we assume there is simply no way Anderson is a professional pitcher who can't muster ~1900 RPM on a Curve, there are some encouraging signs here. All these breaking balls are at least usable, and some like Margevicius and Hardy are very good.

    I suppose it all banks on whether that 1700 value is really 1900...
    Last edited by Enscheff; 02-14-2020 at 12:07 PM.

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    I'm excited to finally see the data on the curve. If that pitch is average it could be the difference between a middle of the rotation starter and a bullpen piece. The fastball and change are supposed to both be better pitches so a curve that's just average would be big.

    Still has work on his command to do as well. I'm dubious of the reports that say he has frontline starter potential but I'm hesitant to say that about anyone unless there's something truly extraordinary about them. True frontline starters are just so difficult to come by.

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    Interesting note that I'm not sure I've seen before, though others may have (link)

    In testing the Trackman radar with pitchers as well as our Rawlings Pro Line pitching machine, we found that the unit cannot reliably read pitches that fall into two categories:

    Pitches with true 12-6 overspin (curve balls) Ė drops 90%+ of readings
    Pitches that have very low spin (knuckleballs, true splitters) Ė records velocity, extension, and other data, but cannot measure RPM
    That first category is how Anderson's curve is described, no? Not dispositive or anything, but caught my eye. From the video I've seen, he's an extremely over the top guy.


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    Curious, the RPM on his curve is an average, his problem might be consistently throwing a good curve which drags his average down.
    "State power feeds on crisis and enemies"

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    Watching that video of Anderson makes me nervous. While I fully admit I'm not as much of a baseball nerd as I used to be. I see his mechanics and they set a few red flags off to me. Hopefully I'm wrong but his delivery looks like it has a lot of effort.
    AJ does all the other things just as well if not better than Mac - zbhargrove

    I don't think Nolan Ryan should be a poster child for mechanics - SAV

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphysicist View Post
    Interesting note that I'm not sure I've seen before, though others may have (link)



    That first category is how Anderson's curve is described, no? Not dispositive or anything, but caught my eye. From the video I've seen, he's an extremely over the top guy.

    Certainly would seem to make it worth wondering if that's why any report about him - that's not just a quick blurb - constantly points out him being so over-the-top. Most reports we've seen typically go out of their way to point that out. Whether that's to try to provide "an answer" for the low spin rate concerns is anybody's guess, but it's probably fair to imagine that most writers mentioning that assume that their readers possess the same level of technical understanding that they do (and had seen that info) so they don't bother to try to spell out exactly what they're trying to say in simpler terms.
    Has there EVER been a statement and question a certain someone should absolutely never have made and asked publicly more than...

    Kinda pathetic to see yourself as a message board knight in shining armor. How impotent does someone have to be in real life to resort to playing hero on a message board?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunrevenge View Post
    Curious, the RPM on his curve is an average, his problem might be consistently throwing a good curve which drags his average down.
    It is a fact the 1700 number is second hand info given to FG by someone willing to share their private data. If they were sharing data from a particularly poor set of pitches (especially in the context of talking poorly overall about him) that 1700 value may not be his true average.

    As of now, Iím operating under the assumption that Anderson can spin the ball at least as well as the worst MLB pitcher, and he gets that spin on an axis efficient enough to produce at least 40-50 grade movement. That type of curve to go along with an average or better FA, and a plus or better CH is a #3-#4 SP depending on how the control plays. If the curve ends up being above average or better, and the control is plus, thatís a #2-#3.

    That exactly why heís rated a 55...he seems to be a 2-3 win guy with normal pitcher risk. Valuable, but not some untouchable asset in trades for truly impact players. Pache is probably the only prospect who falls in the untouchable category.
    Last edited by Enscheff; 02-16-2020 at 11:20 AM.

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