So Will just sent me a link to a pretty cool glossary of baseball pitches. I played catcher on my high school baseball team and can give the 'behind-the-plate-confirmation' of some of those definitions. Although, since it was high school ball, I didn't really see much besides fastballs, sliders and curveballs. One pitcher on the last game of his senior year decided to try all the pitches he had seen on television. This was not a good day for me. He broke out his 'knuckler', his 'splitter' and his 'screw ball'. Everyone in the dugout was howling with laughter as I shifted my body to block pitches in the dirt and more than once had to race to the backstop to retrieve a pitch that had "gotten away".
Anyways, I digress. Along with the pitch descriptions provided from Lokesh's site, The Hardball Times published a nifty little interface to the pitch data. It's fun to play around with and see what a $126 M pitcher's pitches (Barry Zito) look like. Kind of looks like Jackson Pollock except only one of them is an artist.
So what is Benchcoach?
Who's the better second-half hitter against left handed pitchers at Dodger Stadium?
What can I expect to gain/lose by trading Adrian Beltre for Mike Cameron in my fantasy league?
Until now, the answers to these questions had to be estimated based on the current statistical splits or for the more statistically inclined, they could load the game data for every game in the past 20 years and learn database query languages in order to gain any sort of useful insight into particular situations.
When are we releasing?
Well right now we're trying to cleanup our data and put together the user interface. We're aiming to have a version up within the next 6 weeks. Check back here to see how we're progressing as we'll try to keep people posted.