livanhernandez

Nats bring back Livan, Is he the slowest pitcher in baseball?

 

They say you can’t beat a dead horse, then that must mean that workhorse Livan Hernandez is alive and well as the Nationals inked him to yet another one-year minor league deal Wednesday.

Hernandez has long been a workhouse, not just for the Nationals, but for a multitude of teams across the National League. In fact, the Washington Post’s new Nats beat writer Adam Kilgore tweeted today that Livan threw more innings in the 2000′s, 2201, than any other pitcher in baseball. While Livan was never a fireballer he came into the league with average velocity on all his pitches, however as most Nationals fans can attest, they’ve seen his pitches become slower and slower. Not that it matters much, Livan has transformed himself into a junkball pitcher and it works, at least it works $900,000 worth.

After all those innings, I was curious to see where Livan ranked among the slowest pitchers in the Major Leagues. To do this I first looked at Fangraphs pitch type stats to gauge the qualifying league leaders (?) in slowest velocity for each pitch. Then I took the slower pitchers and figured out who had the slowest velocity among all big league starters. Check it out:

Fastball Velocity:

Pitcher – %Thrown – Average Velocity

Jamie Moyer – 59.3% – 81.4 MPH

Livan Hernandez – 65.6% – 84.7 MPH

Doug Davis – 25.4% – 85.1 MPH

Slider Velocity:

Bronson Arroyo – 23% – 74.4 MPH

Jared Weaver – 15.9% – 78.5 MPH

Jarred Washburn – 9.3% – 78.6 MPH

(Livan – 17.8 % – 79.8 MPH)

Curve Velocity:

Livan Hernandez – 6.9% – 66.7 MPH

Randy Wolf – 16.3 % – 67.2 MPH

Jamie Moyer – 6.9% – 68.9 MPH

Doug Davis – 17.0 % – 69.1 MPH

Change Velocity:

Barry Zito – 14% – 73.6 MPH

Jamie Moyer – 18.6% – 74.6 MPH

Livan Hernandez – 9.7 % – 78.3 MPH

Average Pitch Velocity:

Moyer – 78.75 MPH

Davis – 80.36 MPH

Zito – 81.24 MPH

Hernandez – 81.96 MPH

Notes:
-Average Pitch Velocity was derived by multiplying each average pitch speed by the percentage it was thrown, then dividing the sum by 100. The only flaw here was that a small percentage of pitches were marked as XX, or unidentified pitches. I corrected for this by assuming the XX pitches were the general average speed of all the pitches.
-I decided to not include Tim Wakefield as I felt he as an unfair outlier as a knuckleballer. Wakfield’s fastball had an average velocity of 72.4 MPH, his Knuckle ball an average of 65.2 MPH, and his curveball 59.3 MPH.

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