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Sabersphere 12/31: Pitch Framing, The Effect of Complete Games, and the Second-Hardest Ball Hit Off Craig Kimbrel

Today's Sabersphere looks at pitch framing from a fundamental viewpoint, the effect of complete games on a young pitcher, and the second hardest batted ball off Craig Kimbrel.


Coming from Beyond the Box Score's own fanpost section, user "Strike Three!" posts about the fundamentals of pitch framing. Seriously awesome stuff: Am I Being Framed?! II

In Part I ( ) , I short-changed the discussion on the low pitch. It was actually a piece I had written some time ago, incompletely developed (and not-yet edited error free!). I didn’t expand on the bases for my opinion that the catcher’s palm-up, supinated position was optimal for making the low pitch look like a strike.

Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs looked at which pitches are the most frame-able pitches: Pitch Receiving and Pitch Types

I think I’m the guy at FanGraphs who’s most interested in the field of pitch-framing research, so, hey there, here comes another post about pitch-framing. The idea of the importance of receiving a pitch correctly has been around forever, but only more recently have people begun to feel like they can measure who’s good and who’s bad at it.

John Autin of High Heat Stats looks at a box score from this past season: "A box score a day keeps the winter blues away"

April 6: Arizona 5, San Francisco 4. The Opening Day starters were Tim Lincecum and Ian Kennedy, a pair of righties taken 10th and 21st in the pitching-rich 2006 draft. (Brandon Morrow went 5th, Clayton Kershaw 7th, Max Scherzer 11th … and alas, Luke Hochevar went #1.)

Jeff Zimmerman looked at the effect of complete games on young pitchers over at RotoGraphs: Young Pitchers and Complete Games

A couple of weeks ago, I was helping fellow writer, Chris Cwik, look for possible reasons James McDonald fell off the cliff in the second half of the 2012 season. As Cwik pointed out, the 27-year-old McDonald started falling apart after he threw 122 pitches for his only complete game (CG) of the season. I decided to see how young pitchers performed after throwing just one complete game during a season.

Brad Johnson of The Hardball Times wrote an open letter to free agents:

A letter to free agents

Dear [free agent],

I have been watching your progress this offseason and it's come to my attention that few high-profile clubs have shown public interest in signing you. Those that showed interest during the winter meetings have since filled [position].

Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus wrote about the second-hardest hit off of Craig Kimbrel this year: BP Unfiltered: The Second-Hardest Ball Hit Off Craig Kimbrel

During the last game of the season, Stephen Vogt hit this ball

If you have any work you would like to submit to Sabersphere, please email me at

BtB retro is a three part series by Josh Smolow pertaining to knuckleballers and pitch f/x: Mastering the Knuckleball (8/26-28/10)

Tim Wakefield has been around for what seems like forever. And since PitchFX data has become available, he is the only pitcher to have thrown enough knuckleballs for us to get any measure of the pitch. John Walsh and Dave Allen have examined the pitch to see how such a seemingly batting-practice like pitch can be at least a somewhat effective pitch.