David Price’s Strong Arm | The Process Report

David Price’s Strong Arm

One of my favorite things about David Price—beyond his emphasis on paralysis fastballs—is his arm strength. Few pitchers on the planet have Price’s ability to touch the upper-90s, let alone retain the heat deep into games as the big southpaw does.

In my most recent Baseball Prospectus piece, I looked at Rick Porcello’s velocity retention using methodology developed by Jeremy Greenhouse. Greenhouse took each pitchers’ fastest 25 percent of pitches at each pitch count and then compared the per-count averages to the pitchers’ overall averages as a way to see who retained/lost the most velocity throughout the game. That technique allows us to create graphs like such:

porcellovelobycount

Porcello starts in the low-90s and works into the mid-90s as the game goes on—impressive, no matter the cause. Now here’s Price’s data on a similar graph:

pricevelo

Price’s trendline isn’t straight but it’s closer than Porcello’s is. That’s because Price starts high (96.74 mph on the first pitch) and finishes high (96.77 average on pitch 100). When we talk about Price’s elite arm strength we mean the ability to sit in the high-90s, but we also mean his ability to keep that velocity deep into appearances. He’s a special pitcher with a special arm.



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