FanPost

Randy Johnson Pitch Value

Part 5/5 of our evaluation of the Giants starting pitching is a look at the big unit which I am sure will make you SWELL with anticipation.  Johnson has proved something of a disappointment  1/3 of the way through this season.   After all, at the time of his signing, many of us hoped for a repeat of his successful 2008 campaign in which he posted a 3.76 FIP.    His FIP this season is a full run worse than last year (4.68).  That said, little evidence exists that he has lost the ability to be an above average starter as he has maintained a great K rate (9.35/G) and experienced almost no change in his velocity. 

How have Johnson's individual pitches changed since 2002?  Read on to find out.

 

Pitch Type

2002%

2003%

2004%

2005%

2006%

2007%

2008%

2009%

Fastball

54.9

55.3

45.3

56.0

56.4

51.5

51.4

48.7

Splitfinger

1.6

1.3

4.5

2.2

6.7

11.7

13.4

10.6

Slider

41.9

37.9

43.6

37.9

35.5

36.8

35.2

40.6

Changeup

1.6

5.5

6.7

3.9

1.4

0

0

0

 

Pitch Type

2002 Value

2003

Value

2004

Value

2005

Value

2006

Value

2007

Value

2008

Value

2009

Value

Fastball

.15

-1.19

.65

-.49

-.38

-.81

-.09

-.38

Spitfinger

-.59

1.13

.16

-4.32

-.19

1.60

.23

-2.42

Slider

2.84

.78

2.27

1.92

1.32

3.12

.51

.51

Changeup

-2.24

3.09

2.47

3.80

3.25

NA

NA

NA

 

Year

Fastball Velocity

2002

94.5

2003

94.3

2004

93.7

2005

92.7

2006

92.2

2007

92.3

2008

90.8

2009

90.7

 

 

Observations.

1.  Johnson is the only Giants pitcher that, at least from a historical perspective, I would have loved to see data extending back beyond 2002.   Johnson clearly was a very different pitcher in his earlier years and this data set fails to capture his prime.    Since 2002,  Johnson's major change has been a not unexpected drop in velocity.  From a terrifying  94.5 MPH in 2002, he has since declined to a much more human 90.7 in 2009.

2.  Much like Jonathan SanchezRandy Johnson personifies the benefits of being a left-hander who can break 90.  Similar to Sanchez, Johnson relies on a fewer number of pitch types than his right-handed brethren requires.   He, in fact, only throws 2 1/2 pitches  (his third pitch, the split finger, is really just a variation on a fastball).

3.  The value of Johnson's fastball really surprised me.    For the past 5 seasons, his fastball has actually been a slightly below average pitch.  Now some of this can be attributed to his decline in velocity; however, even in 2002 (94.5 MPH) this pitch was shockingly mediocre.  

4.  Once again the data, at least ostensibly, supports subjective evaluation.   As a spectator, I have noticed hitters absolutely crushing hanging "fastballs" left up in the zone by Johnson.   I suspect these pitches are splitters that fail to sink.

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed our tour of linear weight pitch values made possible by fangraphs.   It was a blast to write and, for me at least, quite enlightening.

Part 1 (Lincecum)

Part 2 (Cain)

Part 3 (Zito)

Part 4 (Sanchez)

 

 

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join McCovey Chronicles

You must be a member of McCovey Chronicles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at McCovey Chronicles. You should read them.

Join McCovey Chronicles

You must be a member of McCovey Chronicles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at McCovey Chronicles. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker