MLB Pitchers

By Alexia Herrera

I extracted data of 4 very known pitchers in Major League Baseball: Aroldis Chapman, Ben Ziegler, Jake Arrieta, and Clayton Kershaw. The players were analyzed from their first 8 years in the league.

Graph created by Alexia Herrera using Baseball-reference.com. The full visualization can be found on Flourish.

All of the players started out their 1st season with less time on the field than their 8th season. Which makes sense because most teams don’t want to risk putting their rookie as their main pitcher. It also prevents the rookie from being injured early on in their careers after holding a multi-year contract.

Brad Ziegler shows outstanding number of games played since his rookie year. He started off pitching at 47 games in his first season then peaked at 78 games, more than any other player.

This graph shows two drops in games played by Jake Arrieta in 2013. The Chicago Tribune mentions interviewed Arrieta on his shoulder injury where he said he was taking things slowly in order to come back in full effect. His playing stats show that taking things slowly worked in his favor because by his 6th season Arrieta was back to playing 32 games.

Each of these pitchers demonstrated tremendous growth since their first season and continue to play for the MLB. Now we may begin to ask ourselves, how will the new batch of rookies perform?

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MLB 100 mph pitches

By Alexia Herrera

In the last 8 years, the amount of pitches that reach 100 mph or more has significantly increased. The data found on pitches over 100 mph began in 2008 with only 69 pitches reaching 100 mph or above. In 2010 Aroldis Chapman became a pitcher for the MLB at the Cincinnati Reds and we see the rate of fast pitches increase by almost double. In 2016 he was traded into the Chicago Cubs and became the fastest pitcher in the MLB. The MLB stat of pitches saw significant growth in the last 8 years. Since Chapman joined the cubs the in 2016, the number of pitches over 100 mph reached 1419 pitches.
Chapman pitched a 105.1 mph pitch, fastest in MLB., that year.

The chart shows a slight dip in fast pitches in 2011 then it consistently increases until the record-breaking number of past pitches in the last 8 years. Pitchers seem to be improving their fast pitches annually. With Chapman in the league, I predict the season to continue with the high volume of pitches over 100 mph.

The chart highlights the 2016 column, which surpasses all other years.