Made from the best Stuff on Earth


Stuff. We hear about it all the time. This pitcher has great stuff. But does anyone really know what that means? In an effort to quantify stuff, Jeremy Greenhouse at The Baseball Analysts used pitch f/x data to generate a discussion on Stuff. He employed velocity, horizontal pitch movement and vertical movement to figure out which pitchers are nasty, and our man with the pie A.J. Burnett emerged as the pitcher with the best stuff in the Majors.

There is, of course, a second part to this equation. Do the pitchers with the best stuff make the most of it? As we’ve seen from Burnett this year, the answer is obviously no. Burnett doesn’t crack the list of pitchers with the best stuff who have been tops at run prevention over the last three years. Not surprisingly, that honor belongs to Roy Halladay in the AL and Brandon Webb in the NL.

Categories : Analysis, Asides


  1. alex gonzalez says:

    interesting that they use stats to say this. i have always thought that AJ had great stuff. it was always just questionable whether he could use it to be effective. the possibility of what could be with a pitcher is just so intoxicating that we can often forget about actual results. no doubt that there is more to a pitcher than just stuff.

  2. wilcymoore says:

    No surprise to me. Anyone watching A. J. Burnett pitch, at least on one of his good days, sees a pitcher whose combination of velocity and movement is hard to beat.

  3. I really thought it was gonna be Sidney Ponson.

  4. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    I could see that AJ had the best “stuff” with my eyes. Take that Stat Nerds!!1!111

    /Old School’d

  5. Free Mike Vick says:

    yeah i probably didn’t need numbers to tell me that AJ Burnett has the best stuff on the planet…


    how he uses that stuff is what his issue is sometimes.

  6. Ed says:

    One thing I’d be curious about is to see this extended to not just an average stuff rating, but also have a standard deviation.

    Just thinking up a concept here, not at all fleshed out, but, maybe Burnett can throw a 96 mph fastball with an 8″ drop and a 92mph fastball with a 12″ drop, but he’s not really sure which one it’s going to be? I’d be curious to see what the deviation in his pitches is like compared to a guy like Halladay.

  7. Adam says:

    “He employed velocity, horizontal pitch movement and vertical movement to figure out which pitchers are nasty”

    jeez, i could have sworn I did this in a RAB quest post on Wang a year and a half ago.

  8. Doug says:

    you need to be able to harness your stuff, which obviously AJ has difficulty doing sometimes

  9. Steve H says:

    Stuff? Stuff?? Who cares about stuff, does he win games?

    /Turd in the punchbowl’d

  10. Kiersten says:

    You know who else has great stuff? Kyle Farnsworth.


  11. jim p says:

    Who is it that Kay is always quoting “AJ, with his stuff, could throw a no-hitter anytime he goes out.” He probably could, if he has control on any given day.

  12. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

    The best stuff in the world just got better.


  13. Al says:

    The Yankees should hire this kid!!!!!!

  14. [...] at least according to The Baseball Analysts’ Jeremy Greenhouse (hat-tip to River Ave. Blues). Here’s how he describes his method: Two components determine how nasty a pitcher’s stuff [...]

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