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Jon Niese's Strike Rates

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Just a quick look at Jonathon Niese's strike distribution by pitch type. We're dealing with extremely small sample sizes here so it's probably not appropriate to draw any meaningful conclusions, but it's all we've got to work with so far. Niese throws a four-seam fastball (FF) a looping curve (CU), a changeup (CH), a cut-fastball (FC, which PITCHf/x mis-idenfities as a slider), and a two-seam fastball (FT). As a reminder, SwStr% is swinging strike rate, or the ratio of swinging strikes to total pitches thrown. ClStr% is called strike rate, or the ratio of called strikes to total pitches thrown. Averages for starting pitchers are included in the column labeled "League".

FF CU FC FT CH All League
# Pitches 243 62 37 20 12 374 --
SwStr% 8.60% 6.50% 5.40% 0% 8.30% 8.00% 7.80%
ClStr% 19.30% 12.90% 13.50% 10% 8.30% 16.80% 17.10%

Niese is just above the league average in swinging strike rate, which is a good indicator of overall strikeout rate and general pitch dominance. The ability to miss bats is necessarily a good thing. Niese is just below the league average in called strike rate, which isn't terribly surprising; control and command are tools that arrive late for a lot of pitchers, and you'll notice that Niese's ClStr% on curveballs is well below the league; it's a feel pitch and consistent control will come with experience.

Niese's cut-fastball, which comes in a bit slower than his four-seamer and a touch faster than his two-seamer, is still a work-in-progress. He's not getting enough strikes on it in either of the swinging or called varieties, but, again, we don't have a lot of data to work with here. That his overall rates are near the league averages is encouraging given his age and limited big league resume. Good stuff so far from the guy who still needs a nickname.