We’re back with the Advanced Analytics series for this crazy 2020 season. It’s going to be a challenge when we’re talking sample sizes so we’ll get creative when needed. The first feature will be MLB Statcast’s Pitch Movement Leaderboard. This unique metric compares the movement of pitches of similar speeds. Gravity affects the break of pitches at certain speeds differently. Finding more strikeouts will be critical with these season parameters. These pitchers have the stuff to generate swinging strikes thanks to movement. Here are the guys with the most vertical or horizontal movement as compared to their peers. 

2019 Four-Seam Vertical Movement (qualified)

2019 Four-Seam Horizontal Movement (qualified)

  • The guys on this leaderboard have some of the best fastballs in baseball. Cole, Verland, Doolittle. 

  • Nick Anderson is unfair. He lights up the radar gun while making the ball dance.

  • If Liam Hendricks can do this with his fastball again he can duplicate his success as one of 2019s best closers down the stretch.

  • Charlie Morton ’s ability to steal strikes with L/R movement is a big part of his late-career success. 

2019 Slider Vertical Movement (qualified)

2019 Slider Horizontal Movement (qualified)

  • The first leaderboard are guys pull a string on their slider. Not surprising it’s mostly relievers who don’t want balls in play.

  • The bottom list are the guys with wipeout stuff. Clevinger, Bauer, Davish. Hitters are left guessing when the ball makes a left turn.

  • Trent Thornton has some breakout potential. When he’s got the slider working he can earn some Ks.

  • Sonny Gray pops up on this list and the next. Whatever his arm troubles, he’s managed to stay mostly healthy while finding the movement that makes his stuff so devastating. 

2019 Curveball Vertical Movement (qualified)

2019 Curveball Horizontal Movement (qualified)

  • The 12-6 curve is the top list. Trevor Bauer and his eleven pitches might be shoehorned on these lists a bit but he generates movement any way 

  • Dylan Cease has amazing stuff. No denying that. He’s someone to keep an eye on if he can figure out his control a bit better.

  • The bottom list are guys who sweep the ball. Rich Hill got plucked off of many waiver wires this week. Double-check yours just in case.

  • José Berríos ’ hard curve is a nightmare to time. You see it moving but don’t have time to think. He can steal plenty of strikes.

Add this unique tool to your bag and play around with it yourself here. Missing bats is a pitchers best friend if MLB provides the bouncy ball again, as anticipated. Look for some fliers and breakouts with stuff but not the results you’d hope for yet.