Sunday, April 28, 2013

Breaking down Dodgers' prospect Matt Magill's surprisingly good MLB debut

Matt Magill was pretty good in his Major League debut on Saturday night. It was (presumably) a game seen by more people than normal because it was televised on MLB Network, and Magill didn't disappoint.
  • His line: 6 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 101 pitches, 73 strikes
Seriously, we couldn't have asked for anything more. He was in line for the win before Matt Guerrier did his best Todd Worrell impression, but that's what the Dodgers get for having Guerrier on the roster. But I digress.

There were some interesting takeaways from Magill's outing.

Data courtesy of Brooks Baseball

I thought Magill was throwing a lot of first-pitch sliders. It seems my assumption was correct.

He threw first-pitch sliders to right-handers, but also threw significantly more of them against left-handers than the average right-hander.

Something else to note from this data is how much he relied on his fastball to get left-handed hitters out. Every time he was ahead of a lefty in the count, he threw a fastball.

And he only threw four changeups -- all of which were against lefties.

This next chart shows  how effective his pitches were.

Click to enlarge
Magill got the Brewer hitters to swing through his fastball 15 percent of the time. Not bad for lacking elite velocity. He also got called strikes on the pitch at the same rate. Brewer hitters swung at more than half of Magill's fastballs (53.3 percent). This will come into focus later in the piece.

His slider got similar a swing rate (53.3 to 53.8 percent), but more than half the swings-and-misses his fastball did (15 percent to 7.7 percent). Magill's slider is supposed to be his strikeout pitch, so that's something to keep an eye on going forward. However, he did get significantly more groundballs with his slider than he fastball (20.5 to 3.3 percent).

Magill was basically a two-pitch pitcher on Saturday, and here are the results.

Click to enlarge
All the hitting damage done against Magill was via the slider (and all were singles). Brewer hitters weren't able to square up his fastball enough to get a base hit. Magill's two walks came via the fastball, so the pitch wasn't perfect.

His slider looked to be a little loopy at times, but he tightened it up late in his appearance. The one-strike slider he threw to Jean Segura -- his 102nd pitch of the night -- was probably his best offering.

However, his fastball was pretty damn good. He got all seven of his strikeouts via the fastball and didn't allow a hit. For throwing the pitch 58 percent of the time, that's actually saying something.

Unfortunately for Magill, he's probably headed back to Albuquerque. But after his solid debut, he'll be heard from again -- hopefully not too soon, though.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Evan Chavez, I Bleed Dodger Blue 2

1 comment:

  1. In NJ here picked him up for fantasy team. THis is CHris Capuano he replaced not Sandy Koufax. It would interest me for one more start to see how he reacts to a Giant match up. THat would tell me as much about him as the first start did.