Pitchers Similar to Royal Pitchers

Mar 28, 2012; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar (44) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

A few days ago, the Hardball Times and Brooks Baseball released Similarity Scores for pitchers. They describe that new stat as follows:

The scores are generated by comparing a vector of pitch speed, frequency, release, spin angle, and spin rate using MATLAB’s knnsearch algorithm to identify neighbors. Currently, we’re presenting the top five neighbors for each pitcher.

Also from Brooks Baseball:

Lower distances indicate more similar pitchers.

I am glad to have a tool like this available. It will be a way of looking at similar pitchers with just a small amount of data. To save everyone some time, I have gone through and collected all the data on all the pitchers and have a few comments.

Bruce Chen
Luke Hochevar
Jonathan Sanchez
Danny Duffy
Luis Mendoza
Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance
Chris Narveson 131 Joe Blanton 249 Jeff Locke 204 Everett Teaford 234 Randall Delgado 234
Dusty Hughes 319 Jeremy Jeffress 365 Xavier Cedeno 223 Cesar Ramos 284 Fernando Salas 247
Jon Lester 340 Brandon Morrow 411 Ross Detwiler 317 Hisanori Takahashi 290 Mike McClendon 251
Felix Doubront 356 Phil Hughes 414 Zachary Phillips 381 Will Ohman 293 Bryan Augenstein 263
Ted Lilly 364 Douglas Fister 417 Brad Thomas 382 Randy Williams 329 Kris Medlen 295

Jonathan Broxton
Greg Holland
Aaron Crow
Jose Migares
Louis Colemen
Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance
Anthony Bass 138 Frank Herrmann 293 Jesse Chavez 207 Aaron Thompson 302 David Carpenter 105
Fausto Carmona 179 Ryota Igarashi 375 Justin Verlander 218 Marc Rzepczynski 325 Dane De La Rosa 127
Brayan Villarreal 198 Brandon Gomes 430 Gaby Hernandez 232 Joshua Spence 355 Neil Wagner 271
Brad Bergesen 209 Frank Francisco 460 Daryl Thompson 256 Daniel Hultzen 355 Daniel Tillman 276
Christopher Leroux 209 Homer Bailey 509 Scott Proctor 260 Doug Slaten 361 Jeff Manship 363

Everett Teaford
Tim Collins
Kelvin Herrera
Feilipe Paulino
Joakim Soria
Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance Pitcher Distance
Hisanori Takahashi 81 Michael Montgomery 308 Brad Peacock 185 Mark Lowe 160 Phil Hughes 345
Danny Duffy 234 Casey Crosby 619 Anthony Varvaro 189 Vin Mazzaro 230 Dillon Gee 477
Rob Musgrave 245 Fabio Castro 906 David Robertson 282 Aaron Harang 237 Joe Blanton 531
Troy Patton 310 Cole St. Clair 912 Brian Broderick 340 Matt Albers 282 Luke Hochevar 547
Brian Matusz 347 Daniel Jennings 1104 Julio Teheran 450 Dustin McGowan 294 Javy Guerra 603

Thoughts:

  1. Teaford has the best score for having a pitcher similar in Hisanori Takahashi. Takahashi is a fail starter that has made a career in the bullpen. Sounds pretty close to Teaford.
  2. Duffy and Teaford are really close.
  3. Crow's top two are Justin Verlander and Jesse Chavez. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
  4. Montgomery and Collins are the top two matches. After that, no one is close to being like Collins.
  5. Soria was another pitcher with no one similar. In other news, the Royals are in love with light hitting short stops.
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