Breaking down Lackey's tendencies

December, 21, 2009
12/21/09
9:41
PM ET

Ari Kaplan, a statistical analyst who comes out of the California Institute of Technology, has been a major-league consultant for two decades, and has developed AriBall.com with former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire, sent along his scouting report on John Lackey, the new Red Sox acquisition.

Pitch types

  • Fastball 90-93 m.p.h. (54 percent of all pitches)
  • Curveball 77-82 m.p.h. (26 percent) with great command and 36 percent more spin than the major-league average, keeps it low and away from right-handed hitters
  • Slider 80-84 m.p.h. (12 percent)
  • Sinker 90-92 m.p.h. (5 percent) with average command
  • Changeup 82-86 m.p.h. (3 percent)

Other observations

  • At 6-foot-6, he is 3.5 inches taller than the average MLB pitcher, giving him an additional advantage along with his above-average command and control
  • Batters hit line drives off him only 17 percent of the time, below the 20 percent league average
  • His pitches have effective separation of velocities, which helps their effectiveness, and have been constant all season
  • The release points for his off-speed pitches are 4 to 6 inches higher than his fastballs, and pitchers typically like to keep that under a 3-inch difference. His release points have been consistent all season, with a brief dip in early September, when his game time was reduced
  • He likes to throw consecutive pickoff moves (twice the average pitcher)
  • He's durable and is effective through 101 pitches
  • On counts of 1-0 and 2-0, he throws curveballs to left-handed hitters almost half the time -- seven times the rate of the average pitcher
  • Throws curveballs 38 percent more frequently from the stretch, and locates his sinkers and changeups four inches to the catcher's left

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?