Mixing Fantasy & Reality: Projecting Launch Angles & Amir Garrett

Creating Launch Angle from Batted Ball Data

While going over the minor league groundball leaderboard yesterday, this group of hitters intrigued me.

Those last five hitters are known for their power and mainly hit line drives or flyballs. I need to run a quick study to find out.

I took all MLB hitters from 2015 and 2016 and compared their corrected launch angle (from StatCast) to their groundball numbers (from Baseball Info Solutions). Here’s the graph (min 100 balls in play).

Note: Ryan Schimpf is the outlier with a 26-degree launch angle.

Nice, an r-squared at 0.89 with a simple linear equation (Launch Angle = -51.4*GB%+33.4). With any set of batted ball data, like the minor league set, a reasonable launch angle can be generated. Now, some stringer bias will exist between data sets but a general point of reference exists between the current StatCast data and any past or future batted ball data.

I am sure I’ll have more information on this subject in the near future.


Quick Look: Amir Garrett

I want to see what all the hype was surround Garrett. I thought I would watch his game from last night, but the Reds camera angle makes a game nearly unwatchable. Instead, I went and watched his start on the 12th at Pittsburgh.


Fastball: 90-94 mph. Straight and dull (only 1% SwStr%). He does move it around the zone to keep hitters off balance. His control of this pitch will keep his walks down but I could see it get hit around if hitters start waiting for it.

Grade: 45

Slider(MLB)/Curve(BIS): 79-82 mph. This is one pitch but I can see how people have problems labeling it since it is faster than a normal curve, slower than a slider, and breaks hard horizontally and vertically. It should just be called Nasty with a 25% SwStr%

Grade: 60

Change: 81-83 mph. It acts exactly like his fastball but 10 mph slower. At times it displays some late movement (video). He got away with hanging a few.

Grade: 60

He’s another pitcher who’s old scouting reports might need to be thrown out. Here are his recent 2017 scouting grades.

Note: With BaseballHQ, three * is average

Amir Garrett’s Prospect Grades
Reporting Publication Fastball Curve/Slider Change Control
BA 60 55 45 45
MLB 60 55 50 50
FG 60 50/45 55 60
BHQ **** *** *** NA

Almost all the publications had his velocity peaking at 96 mph. He’s only hit 94.2 mph this year with 91.4 mph being his average velocity. Also, his slider and change are now plus pitches. Finally, he does display plus control for a 55 to 60 grade.

One worry I have with him is his breaking pitch Zone% values (44% for the change, 25% for the slider). If hitters can telegraph his pitches, they may be able to sit on and crush his fastball. I am a little worried about how he handles the league seeing him for the seocnd time. I think he is anywhere from a #2 to #4 starter.



• In the Tuesday night chat, we got a ton of question on Avisail Garcia. He says he is just trying to see the ball.

“I’m not trying to do too much,” Garcia said. “See the ball, don’t try to hit a homer or a base hit — just try to see the ball and put the barrel on it. I’m trying to stay inside the ball. I’m learning. I’ve just got to keep working hard and play the game the right way.”

All I have have to say is: .514 BABIP. There is nothing in his profile to show he’s changed enough to keep up this insane or even an above average BABIP. Sell now if you can.

• At the Hardball Times, Alan Nathan discussed humidor effects at Chase Field. Here’s the money quote.

So what do we conclude? I am very comfortable saying that, with the humidor running at 50 percent and 700F, there will a reduction in home run production at Chase by 25-50 percent. While it would be nice to come up with a more precise prediction, we should not lose sight of the principal takeaway that the installation of a humidor will reduce the number of home runs substantially.

If these numbers hold true, Diamondback hitters could see a 12.5% to 25% overall drop in home runs per season.


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Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Garrett seemed to get a lot of swings and misses (relatively speaking) with his fastball last night against BAL. I guess you pretty much have to to accrue 12Ks in 7IP.