Tim Lincecum Has The Best Pitch In Baseball

Using FanGraphs' linear weights for pitch-types, I ranked the best and worst pitches (fastballs, changeups, sliders, curveballs, and cutters) in baseball. I'm using the cumulative value for pitches and not the 'per 100 pitches' version on FanGraphs.

I set the cutoff at pitchers with at least 30 IP.

The tables are simple, green side = top pitchers for that pitch, red side = worst pitchers for that pitch, and Giants are highlighted with orange.


Lincecum's changeup is the single most devastating pitch in baseball. To this point, it's been worth 27.5 runs above the average changeup or about 2.7 wins of value. No other pitch in the game is almost worth +30 runs except Lincecum's changeup.

Zito's changeup didn't fare as well, ranking as a below-average pitch.


Matt Cain gets into the green side for heaters. Cain's got one of the better fastballs in the game right now. I'll also note that BIS lumps 2-seamers, 4-seamers, and sinkers all into the fastball category. Pineiro throws a sinker/2-seamer and I suspect a few other of these pitchers are throwing a 2-seam or a sinker.

Ex-Giant David Aardsma's fastball has been fantastic this year. It's even more impressive that he made the list as a reliever. That's a testament to how good his fastball has been.

Franciso Liranio's fastball has taken a beating this season. Decreased velocity and command don't help.


Zito's curveball has been a plus for him this year. It's a pretty nice swing for Zito. The last time his curveball was above average by these pitch-type linear weights was in 2005 when it was worth +9.2 runs on the year.

I'm wondering if Brad Penny's injuries have had an affect on the quality of his curveball? Or if it's a league adjustment thing?


No Giants make the slider list. Zack Greinke is pretty amazing. He's got an above-averge slider and fastball. Good weapons to take on hitters with. Luke Gregerson's slider is playing filthy in San Diego.


Scott Feldman's cutter has been amazing this year. He throws it almost 30% of the time and it's given hitters a lot of problems. Mariano Rivera's cutter is still one of the better pitches in the game.

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.

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