Saturday, April 20, 2013

Josh Beckett's increased velocity reason for Dodgers to be optimistic

That was a hell of a performance by Josh Beckett on Sunday. Despite the 87-hopper that ultimately lost the game, it was by far his best outing as a Dodger.

Something I noticed from the highlights and, subsequently, looking at the data, is his velocity (all data from Brooks Baseball).

Click image to enlarge

I know it's a small sample size, but his average and maximum fastball velocity is trending up. His average velocity through three games this season is actually less than it was in 2012, but only slightly (91.81 to 91.77). But what's more impressive is his maximum velocity.

Through three starts in 2012, Beckett topped out at 92.14 MPH. On Sunday, he topped out at an impressive 94.39 MPH. For a guy who averaged at least 94.3 MPH on his fastball from 2006 to 2009 (and threw it much more frequently), it really isn't that impressive.

But for everything that's been written about how he's a different pitcher now (and he is), it's nice to see him reaching back for a little more. If Beckett can be a guy who consistently works in the low-90s, he's going to be just fine.

We'll see how he progresses and how he does in Saturday's start (the second game of a doubleheader). He is a pitcher who has to be more of a pitcher than a thrower with his decreased velocity. He got rocked in his first two starts this season before tossing that gem in Arizona. I'm not saying he needs to be that guy every start, but if he can keep the offense in the game, that's about all we as fans can expect.

Graphic by: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

1 comment:

  1. pretty graphs are teh awesome.

    here's to coming he can keep it up since the rest of the team is blowing whale chunks atm.