It’s Not the Stats that Matter in the Arizona Fall League


The Arizona Fall League is an opportunity for prospects. It’s a chance to continue playing even after their minor legue season draws to a close. It’s an opportunity to play against some of the best prospects in baseball. It’s an opportunity to be scouted readily by major league scouts. And it’s also a chance to be measured by Pitch F/X.

I like to call Pitch F/X “quantified scouting.” It allows us to take scouting information that is to at least some extent in the eyes of the beholder and more importantly can variate from game to game, and standardize it. We see scouting reports in the internet all the time, and if you’ve been reading S2S, you’ve seen a ton of them here. But Pitch F/X, while it isn’t perfect, is better than a scouting report. It removes bias and gives us as true of a scouting report on the velocity and movement of a pitcher’s pitches as we’re going to get.

The Arizona Fall League is a place where many of the top pitchers from the year’s draft make their professional debut. The Pitch F/X data gives us a chance to see how much of the pitchers’ stuff is real, and what was simply hype. If pitchers were working on pitches, we get to see how far they’ve progressed. But the Arizona Fall League isn’t just about the players from the draft. We get to see some of the top prospects in baseball that are approaching the major leagues. Some of these are the top prospects that will take the MLB by storm this season. Other prospects are a little more obscure and sometimes even players we’ve never heard of until we saw them pop up on an AFL roster. Sometimes there isn’t even a reliable scouting report available for some players. For pitchers, Pitch F/X helps negate that. By looking at the Pitch F/X data, we’re getting a window of opportunity to compare what we think we know and believe about our favorite prospects with what really is. We get to understand these prospects like we’re seeing them firsthand. We get something to get excited about although also often information that will temper our expectations about certain players. We get a visualization of the future of baseball.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at the Pitch F/X data from Brooks Baseball on the pitchers of the Arizona Fall League. We’ll see some of the top pitchers from this past year’s draft, some of the overall top prospects in baseball, prospects we may not have heard of but who we’ll hear a lot more about soon, and even prospect that we may never hear from again. We’ll see a little bit of everything. This should be fun.


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