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Old 05-02-2019, 05:38 PM
Velocity is offline
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Average layperson throwing pitches in MLB; always getting homered off of?


Suppose an average layperson throws pitches to professional MLB batters - on the one hand, there would be very little speed or power to these pitches, and they wouldn't break or curve or anything - but on the other hand, they wouldn't be what an MLB batter would be accustomed to seeing, since pros bat against pro pitchers - would most of these pitches end up being crushed for home runs anyway?
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:41 PM
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Most of the pitches probably wouldn't be over the plate enough to be hitable. If you mean would most of the hitable ones end up as home runs? I'd say no. The majority of the pitches hit in the Home Run Derby connected with the All Star Game are not hit for home runs, and those are grooved as much as possible.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:28 PM
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Judging by the results of the opening pitches thrown by regular people, I think an eephus style pitch is what the ordinary person would throw. After the professional hitters get used to it, I imagine it wouldn’t take very long for most such pitches to turn into home runs.

ETA. My guess is that walks would become a lot more common, and that few of the pitches would even be hittable.

Last edited by FlikTheBlue; 05-02-2019 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue View Post
Judging by the results of the opening pitches thrown by regular people, I think an eephus style pitch is what the ordinary person would throw. After the professional hitters get used to it, I imagine it wouldn’t take very long for most such pitches to turn into home runs.
I was under the impression that most home runs are hit because the pitch was thrown straight and hard (i.e., most MLB pitches) and that supplies part of the energy needed to boom the ball into the stands in return - that an eephus pitch is lobbed high and slow and arcing, and that it then requires the batter to supply all the power needed instead of hitting a ball "straight on."
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:41 AM
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MLB batters don't hit home runs on every batting practice pitch, and batting practice pitches are generally just big fat pumpkins thrown as right down the middle as the batting practice pitcher is capable of, around 75 MPH, the perfect home run pitch.

It is certainly the case that most ordinary shmoes would not be able to hit the strike zone at all from a regulation distance; sixty feet is way, way, way further to accurately throw a baseball than one might realize. But even on the pitches that do make it to the strike zone, no, not every swing will be a dinger, or else pretty much every BP swing would be.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:48 AM
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Obviously, there's a huge difference between a professional baseball player and an average layman; but does anyone have stats on the pitching success of position players who have been called on to pitch an inning or two?
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Obviously, there's a huge difference between a professional baseball player and an average layman; but does anyone have stats on the pitching success of position players who have been called on to pitch an inning or two?
Here's an article from ESPN from last season, during which position players pitched more often than at any other point in the "expansion era." It's from about 2/3 of the way through last season, but at that point, position players had pitched 50 2/3 innings, and given up 64 hits -- of those hits, 34 (53%) were extra-base hits, and 19 were home runs.

The position players' pitches averaged substantially slower than normal pitchers (77 mph vs. 89 mph), but exit velocity (on batted balls) was actually slightly faster (90 mph vs. 88 mph).
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:35 AM
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Famed journalist George Plimpton, who had been a pitcher in high school, pitched to an All-Star team in a November exhibition game. He wrote a very fine book about the experience which is available for free at the Internet Archive - Out Of My League. A lot goes wrong after he makes a good start.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Here's an article from ESPN from last season, during which position players pitched more often than at any other point in the "expansion era." It's from about 2/3 of the way through last season, but at that point, position players had pitched 50 2/3 innings, and given up 64 hits -- of those hits, 34 (53%) were extra-base hits, and 19 were home runs.
Note that this yields a .306 batting average, as opposed to the league average of about .248. That's actually not as bad as I would have expected. Where the position players get murdered in that they walked 28 men in 50.2 innings - an extraordinary achievement when you consider how hitters must be just drooling to take a swing off them - and 19 home runs is just an appalling number.

The average layman would be MUCH worse of course. MLB position players can generally throw pretty hard.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:58 PM
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MLB position players can generally throw pretty hard.
I once read an article about position players pitching, and they quoted one catcher about what kind of stuff the position player had. The catcher answered something to the effect of: "He threw two types of pitches: fast balls, and another kind of fast ball that was slower."

Last edited by whitetho; 05-03-2019 at 06:00 PM. Reason: I struke out...
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:12 PM
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The average layperson turned pitcher would be unhittable, as the MLB players would be laughing to hard to swing.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:24 PM
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The average layman would have trouble reaching the plate more than 50% of the time. Go to a big league game and watch the outfielders effortlessly throw warm up tosses to each other. It looks easy but even that would be impossible to most mere mortals. The gulf between a major league player and a layperson is enormous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Obviously, there's a huge difference between a professional baseball player and an average layman; but does anyone have stats on the pitching success of position players who have been called on to pitch an inning or two?
In many cases a position player in the major leagues was like a god among men on every team they were on at least through high school. That means many of them pitched. Most will have at least a decent idea of how to pitch.
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