Which pitchers have gained or lost velocity?

It is early in the season, and pitch velocity can be very different in a couple of weeks. However, the fantasy baseball season has begun and we want to see who is struggling and who has gained a couple of mph.

Okay, the sample size is way too small to draw any conclusions but outliers can maybe tell us something. Early in the season pitchers build up their arms and the typically gain some velocity during the warmer months.

We all know by now Boston Red Sox Chris Sale has struggled with his velocity but almost three weeks into the season who else has gained or lost some velocity?

We took all pitchers who had pitched at least 10 innings on April 17 and compared their velocity on fourseamer fastball in 2018 and 2019. We excluded rookies, and pitchers who did not have any registered velocity in 2018 or 2019. Data was collected from Fangraphs. By doing this we can maybe see if we can find pitchers with a big difference, because minor changes can not tell us anything. The velocity will get better with warmer weather and with more games played.

You should know we compared average 2018 velocity, which of course depends on sample size and if the player was a starting pitcher or a reliever.

Name Team IP vFA vFA 2018 Difference vFA
Thomas Pannone Blue Jays 12.1 91 88,4 2,6
Martin Perez Twins 14.1 95,4 93,2 2,2
Drew Pomeranz Giants 14.0 92 89,8 2,2
Julio Urias Dodgers 13.2 95,2 93,1 2,1
John Means Orioles 13.2 92,1 90,1 2
Adrian Sampson Rangers 13.2 93,4 91,5 1,9
Robert Gsellman Mets 10.1 96,3 94,6 1,7
Mike Clevinger Indians 12.0 95,7 94,2 1,5
David Hess Orioles 19.0 93,8 92,3 1,5
John Gant Cardinals 11.2 95,2 93,8 1,4
Sam Gaviglio Blue Jays 11.0 89,9 88,5 1,4
Lucas Giolito White Sox 16.0 94,1 92,8 1,3
Junior Guerra Brewers 11.2 94,8 93,6 1,2
Pablo Lopez Marlins 20.0 94,4 93,2 1,2
Homer Bailey Royals 17.0 94,9 93,8 1,1
Zack Wheeler Mets 15.2 97,6 96,5 1,1
Freddy Peralta Brewers 17.2 92,5 91,4 1,1
Max Fried Braves 19.2 94,6 93,6 1
Jakob Junis Royals 22.0 92,7 91,8 0,9
Jake Odorizzi Twins 11.1 92,2 91,3 0,9
Chase Anderson Brewers 10.0 93,8 92,9 0,9
Tyler Mahle Reds 17.0 93,9 93,1 0,8
Matt Moore Tigers 10.0 93,4 92,7 0,7
Jalen Beeks Rays 11.1 92,9 92,2 0,7
Yonny Chirinos Rays 14.1 95,6 94,9 0,7
Felix Hernandez Mariners 12.1 91,1 90,4 0,7
Jon Gray Rockies 26.1 95,9 95,3 0,6
Vince Velasquez Phillies 12.0 95,2 94,6 0,6
Jack Flaherty Cardinals 18.0 94,4 93,8 0,6
Josh Hader Brewers 10.0 95,8 95,2 0,6
Anthony DeSclafani Reds 13.1 94,6 94,1 0,5
Jimmy Yacabonis Orioles 11.0 94,3 93,8 0,5
Hector Velazquez Red Sox 12.2 92,6 92,1 0,5
Walker Buehler Dodgers 12.0 97 96,6 0,4
Mike Fiers Athletics 21.2 90,4 90 0,4
Trevor Williams Pirates 18.1 92,1 91,7 0,4
Drew Smyly Rangers 11.1 91,3 90,9 0,4
Blake Treinen Athletics 10.1 98,5 98,2 0,3
Diego Castillo Rays 10.0 98,3 98 0,3
Brandon Woodruff Brewers 20.2 96,1 95,8 0,3
German Marquez Rockies 27.0 96 95,7 0,3
Trevor Bauer Indians 26.1 95,3 95 0,3
Kyle Wright Braves 14.0 94,6 94,3 0,3
Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays 22.0 94,6 94,3 0,3
Lance Lynn Rangers 18.2 94,3 94 0,3
Mike Minor Rangers 27.2 93,5 93,2 0,3
Aaron Brooks Athletics 17.0 92,6 92,3 0,3
Wade LeBlanc Mariners 16.0 87 86,7 0,3
Gerrit Cole Astros 25.0 97,2 97 0,2
Roenis Elias Mariners 11.2 94,9 94,7 0,2
Marcus Stroman Blue Jays 22.2 93,4 93,2 0,2
David Price Red Sox 19.0 93,3 93,1 0,2
Rick Porcello Red Sox 11.1 91,8 91,6 0,2
Patrick Corbin Nationals 19.0 91,5 91,3 0,2
Joey Lucchesi Padres 21.1 91,3 91,1 0,2
Frankie Montas Athletics 17.0 97,1 96,9 0,2
Eric Lauer Padres 22.0 92,1 91,9 0,2
Julio Teheran Braves 21.0 90,6 90,4 0,2
Noah Syndergaard Mets 24.0 98,2 98,1 0,1
Brett Anderson Athletics 24.0 91,7 91,6 0,1
Nathan Eovaldi Red Sox 15.0 97,6 97,5 0,1
Jacob deGrom Mets 22.0 96,8 96,7 0,1
Kyle Gibson Twins 14.2 93,6 93,5 0,1
Lou Trivino Athletics 11.0 98,2 98,2 0
Brad Keller Royals 25.2 94,8 94,8 0
Max Scherzer Nationals 27.0 94,7 94,7 0
Andrew Cashner Orioles 20.1 93,6 93,6 0
Shane Bieber Indians 21.0 93,4 93,4 0
Jose Quintana Cubs 21.0 92,1 92,1 0
Madison Bumgarner Giants 26.0 91,4 91,4 0
Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers 14.2 90,8 90,8 0
Matthew Boyd Tigers 24.1 91 91,1 -0,1
J.B. Wendelken Athletics 12.1 95,1 95,2 -0,1
Kyle Freeland Rockies 21.2 92,3 92,4 -0,1
Corey Kluber Indians 19.0 92,3 92,4 -0,1
Matt Harvey Angels 14.1 94,4 94,6 -0,2
Tyler Glasnow Rays 24.0 97,1 97,3 -0,2
Justin Verlander Astros 23.0 95,2 95,4 -0,2
Liam Hendriks Athletics 10.2 95,2 95,4 -0,2
Luke Weaver Diamondbacks 15.2 94,1 94,3 -0,2
Jose Berrios Twins 27.1 93,6 93,8 -0,2
Zack Greinke Diamondbacks 23.1 89,8 90 -0,2
Seth Lugo Mets 10.2 94 94,3 -0,3
Derek Holland Giants 22.0 91,9 92,2 -0,3
Trevor Richards Marlins 22.2 91 91,3 -0,3
Jake Arrieta Phillies 20.0 92,6 92,9 -0,3
Carlos Carrasco Indians 10.0 93,7 94,1 -0,4
Aaron Nola Phillies 19.1 92,9 93,3 -0,4
Adam Warren Padres 10.0 91,9 92,3 -0,4
Joshua James Astros 10.0 97,1 97,5 -0,4
James Paxton Yankees 23.0 95,5 95,9 -0,4
Jorge Lopez Royals 23.0 94,1 94,5 -0,4
Kenta Maeda Dodgers 23.2 92,1 92,5 -0,4
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 22.1 91,8 92,2 -0,4
Tanner Roark Reds 14.2 91,5 91,9 -0,4
Domingo German Yankees 13.0 94,4 94,9 -0,5
Caleb Smith Marlins 17.0 92,7 93,2 -0,5
Carlos Rodon White Sox 22.0 92,6 93,1 -0,5
Chad Bettis Rockies 13.1 90,6 91,1 -0,5
Blake Snell Rays 25.0 95,9 96,5 -0,6
Sandy Alcantara Marlins 17.0 95,5 96,1 -0,6
Eduardo Rodriguez Red Sox 14.2 93 93,6 -0,6
Nick Vincent Giants 10.1 89,4 90,1 -0,7
Jose Urena Marlins 20.2 95,5 96,2 -0,7
Corbin Burnes Brewers 14.1 95 95,7 -0,7
Matt Shoemaker Blue Jays 25.2 90,7 91,4 -0,7
Anibal Sanchez Nationals 16.2 90,3 91 -0,7
Jameson Taillon Pirates 21.0 95 95,8 -0,8
Shelby Miller Rangers 10.0 94,2 95 -0,8
Kirby Yates Padres 10.0 93,7 94,5 -0,8
Spencer Turnbull Tigers 15.0 93,3 94,1 -0,8
Kevin Gausman Braves 12.2 93,3 94,1 -0,8
Cole Hamels Cubs 19.0 92 92,8 -0,8
Jordan Zimmermann Tigers 21.0 90,9 91,7 -0,8
Marco Estrada Athletics 23.2 88,2 89 -0,8
Luis Castillo Reds 24.2 95,6 96,4 -0,8
Nick Pivetta Phillies 18.1 94,6 95,4 -0,8
Dylan Bundy Orioles 17.1 91,1 92 -0,9
Jhoulys Chacin Brewers 19.1 89,5 90,4 -0,9
Miles Mikolas Cardinals 21.0 93,7 94,7 -1
J.A. Happ Yankees 12.1 91,7 92,7 -1
Chris Stratton Angels 13.0 90,7 91,7 -1
Pedro Baez Dodgers 11.0 95,4 96,5 -1,1
Trevor Cahill Angels 22.0 92,1 93,2 -1,1
Jeff Samardzija Giants 16.2 91,9 93,1 -1,2
Dereck Rodriguez Giants 22.1 90,9 92,1 -1,2
Zach Eflin Phillies 16.0 94 95,2 -1,2
Michael Wacha Cardinals 15.1 93 94,2 -1,2
Sonny Gray Reds 13.1 92,6 93,8 -1,2
Sean Newcomb Braves 12.1 92,3 93,5 -1,2
Wade Miley Astros 15.2 90,6 91,8 -1,2
Kyle Hendricks Cubs 13.1 86,5 87,7 -1,2
Tyler Skaggs Angels 15.0 90,8 92,1 -1,3
Charlie Morton Rays 20.2 95,2 96,6 -1,4
John Brebbia Cardinals 11.1 93,8 95,2 -1,4
Brad Peacock Astros 15.0 92 93,4 -1,4
Jon Lester Cubs 14.0 90,1 91,5 -1,4
Adam Wainwright Cardinals 16.0 88,3 89,7 -1,4
Robbie Ray Diamondbacks 21.1 92,6 94,1 -1,5
Ivan Nova White Sox 15.1 92,1 93,6 -1,5
Stephen Strasburg Nationals 22.2 93,6 95,2 -1,6
Tyson Ross Tigers 18.0 90,1 91,7 -1,6
Reynaldo Lopez White Sox 19.1 94,2 95,9 -1,7
Chris Archer Pirates 18.0 93,6 95,3 -1,7
Yu Darvish Cubs 17.2 93,1 94,8 -1,7
Austin Brice Marlins 10.1 93,1 94,8 -1,7
Ross Stripling Dodgers 24.2 90,4 92,2 -1,8
Collin McHugh Astros 23.0 90,5 92,5 -2
Jordan Lyles Pirates 11.0 92,5 94,6 -2,1
Felix Pena Angels 12.1 91,3 93,5 -2,2
Marco Gonzales Mariners 31.0 88,6 90,8 -2,2
Matt Strahm Padres 12.2 91,7 94 -2,3
Tyler Kinley Marlins 11.1 94,6 97,1 -2,5
Joe Musgrove Pirates 22.1 91,3 94 -2,7
Dakota Hudson Cardinals 13.1 93,7 97,5 -3,8
Chris Sale Red Sox 18.0 91,6 95,7 -4,1

 

To draw any conclusions from such a small sample size we are looking for pitchers who have an established role. San Francisco Giants Drew Pomeranz had multiple injuries in 2018, and it is encouring to see he has gained 2.2 mph, which is a great sign for his season. Julio Urias has been unlucky with a couple of major injuries, and to see him back pitching for the Dodgers is great. When we see he has also gained 2.1 mph is nice. His last injury could have been career threatening, but if he can keep this up, he will have many years left in him. Mike Clevinger is on the IL and is expected to miss at least 6-8 weeks, before he can pick up a baseball. He only played a couple of games in 2019, but was also at the top of the list.

At the bottom of the list we find players like Joe Musgrove and Collin McHugh, who both have started the season great. Pitch velocity for your foursemer only, does not tell the whole story.

As mentioned, before we all knew Chris Sale had lost some velocity, but no one in the Boston organization was worried about an injury. Sale is last on this list as he has lost 4.1 mph since 2018. This is concerning, but his velocity is trending upwards, even if the results have been bad. As long as it goes in the right direction, Sale will probably be back in form in a couple of starts. But this was never the plan to start so slow, something different needs to be done in 2020.

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