Category: 5 Tools
Shapes and Sizes of American League Central Pitchers
The Cleveland Guardians have turned out big-league arms in all sorts of shapes and sizes over the years. Here is a scatter plot of the height and weight of this year’s pitching staff.
Here are averages, maximums, and minimus from the athletes listed as pitchers on their 40-man roster.
Here’s your “average” pitcher from a physical point of view. James Karinchak at 6’3″ and 215 lbs fits the bill exactly. But I wouldn’t call him average at all. He and his curveball are crazy.
The lightest pitcher, by a lot, is Triston MacKenzie. He’s 165 lbs despite being 6’5″ giving him a BMI of 19.6. The lowest in the league. His mechanics are this amazing blend of elasticity and leverage.
The heaviest and tallest guy to break camp with the Guardians is Hunter Gaddis at 6’6″ and 260 lbs. Hunter throws hard but not super hard by MLB standards with an average fastball at 93.4 mph. The Guardians are pretty tall as a team with another guy at 6’6″ and two more at 6’5″ and only one pitcher listed under 6′.
The only pitcher coming in under the 6-foot mark is Eli Morgan. Here he is showing that you can pitch in the MLB while only standing 5’10”. It of course helps to have the skill to throw a ridiculous change-up.
Chicago White Sox
Here’s the scatter plot of the height and weight of pitchers that will be toeing the rubber on Chicago’s South Side.
The averages, maximums, and minimums for height, weight, and BMI are as follows
Here’s your average White Sox pitcher from the right side
Here’s Southside South Paw Aaron Bummer who’s the same height and weight as Kopech
Here’s one of the shortest pitchers listed at 6’1″- Tanner Banks
The tallest is 6’6″ Lucas Giolito. Despite being tall, he has, arguably, the shortest arm in the league.
The heaviest is Lance Lynn who logged a lot of inning for Team USA
The lightest pitcher on the roster at 190 lbs – Jimmy Lambert
Here’s a scatter plot of the Tigers pitchers that were listed on their 40-man roster
Here are the average along the max and mi for height, weight, and BMI
Alex Lange at 6’3″ and 205lbs is the most “average” pitcher on the staff
Joey Wentz standing at 6’5″ is the tallest
Despite being 5 inches shorter, Will Vest at an even 6’0″, can throw harder than Joey Wentz averaging just under 95 mph.
The heaviest Tiger is José Cisnero. At 258 lbs and 6’3″ he’s got a BMI of 32.2 that he uses to average 95.4 mph.
The lightest is Chasen Shreve at 180 lbs. Will Vest is also 180 lbs but Chasen is almost the tallest at 6’4″ giving him a BMI of 21.9. He’s in the crafty lefty catagory and averages just over 90 mph with his heater.
Just a reference, a real tiger can weigh up to 500lbs and still move like this
Kansas City Royals
So far, this is the biggest staff we’ve covered. There isn’t anybody below 6 feet and one pitcher is just 5 pounds under the 200 lbs mark. Here’s the scatter plot of their 40-man roster of pitchers
Here are the averages, maximums, and minimums
Let’s look at some of these pitchers right before their lead leg hits the ground
Here’s your average-looking pitcher on their staff at 6’4″ and 217lbs
The shortest and lightest guy is also the oldest, Zach Grienke
Here’s one of the biggest and tallest at 6’4″ and 245 lbs. Carlos Hernández
To round out the American League Central let’s look at the Twins pitching staff. Here is the scatter plot.
This table has their max, min, and averages for height, weight, and BMI.
Here’s an average-looking guy – Cole Sands at 6’3″ and 215 lbs
The Twins have of the biggest outliers in Bailey Ober. This guy is 6’9″ and 260 lbs.
Here’s a still picture of this giant on the mound
The only pitcher under 6 feet and 200 lbs is Sonny Gray. At 5’11 and 195lbs he’s 10 inches shorter and 65 lbs lighter. Obviously, his mechanics will look a lot different.
Here’s Sonny Gray in action
Shapes and Sizes of Pitchers in the American League East
Height and weight are the only physical attributes that are available to the general public in regard to MLB players. For the past month or so I’ve really been diving into the weight and height of the pitchers that we will see on MLB mounds this year. If you missed my previous post where I do a brief overview of the shapes and sizes of pitchers in the MLB check it out here
My goal in digging into this subject is to learn as much as I can about all the different body types and how they can all create elite levels of throwing velocity. There are many ways to skin a cat, so to speak. By putting these posts together I hope to gain some knowledge as I go about how the light, heavy, short, and tall guys use their bodies to throw a baseball.
I send this info out on Twitter too. I’ve been making a thread on each team one at a time. @GraemeLehman
I’m going to be continuing this trend until I’m done. As I go along I’ll be making posts like this one where I group the teams into their respective divisions.
Let’s start with the American League East
Here’s what the height and weight look like on a scatter plot
The averages, max, and min for the 40-man roster pitching staff
Here’s the guy that best fits this average at 6’3″ and 215 lbs – Kyle Bradish
If we look at Felix Bautista we see the heaviest and tied for the tallest pitcher on their staff. He’s big. Tipping the scale at 285 lbs and standing 6’8″ is big in any league. The Ravens could stick him on their O-Line and he wouldn’t look out of place. Source @pitchingninja.
Bautista is the poster boy for the mass = gas. According to the Pitcher’s List, Felix cranks it up to an average of 99.1 mph which ranks him 5th in the bigs.
This is a 103 mph fastball that just missed the top of the zone
The lightest pitcher on the staff is Cionel Pérez at 175 lbs. His average fastball @ 96.9 mph isn’t much slower than Bautista’s despite being 110 lbs lighter.
If the general rule is that “mass equals gas” as Bautista showed us then Pérez is one of the exceptions to the rule. His fastball velocity ranks 33rd in the league according to the Pitcher List
The shortest pitcher on the staff is Danny Coulombe. He sits at 91.3 mph which ranks him 321st in the league and this puts him into the crafty lefty category.
Boston Red Sox
Here’s what the height and weight of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff looks like on a scatter plot
Here are there are averages, maximums, and minimums for height, weight, and BMI
At exactly 75 inches (6’3″) and 215 lbs, Richard Bleier fits the exact staff average. The way he pitches is not average at all. Check out this great video by Foolish Baseball @FoolishBB.
The shortest pitcher on their staff is 6-footer Ryan Braiser. Despite being “short” he’s 227 lbs giving him a BMI just north of 30.
Here he is flashing a really nice slider/cutter. His fastball, according to the Pitcher’s List, averages 95.8 mph which is good enough for 77th in the MLB.
The tallest pitcher to make their opening-day roster is 6’8″ Chris Martin. Tied for the tallest in the league. He’s two pounds lighter than Braiser despite having 8 inches on him. This gives Martin a BMI of 24.7.
This is what 6’8″ looks like going down the mound and painting the outside corner with 96. He averages 95.3 (109th in the league)
The lightest pitcher on staff is almost the tallest. Chris Sale is 6’6″ but only 183 lbs. This is good for a BMI of 21.1 All of this makes him an outlier from a physical point of view which is apparent from his mechanics which differ from the norm.
Here we see the definition of an east-west style of delivery that gives him his 94.8 mph fastball.
The heaviest guy on the staff is none other than Kenley Jansen. I doubt he’s ever not been the heaviest on any staff he’s been a part of. This former catcher is listed at 265 lbs this year. In the past, going off memory, I’ve seen in as high as 280 lbs.
Here’s a great slow-motion video from Dean Jackson https://twitter.com/doublexcanflex
New York Yankees
The Yankees have some of the biggest players in the league. Judge and Stanton optimize this “bigger is better” approach.
When it comes to their pitching staff however there isn’t an abundance of big dudes. In fact, of the 13 pitchers to make the opening day roster, 4 of them are below 200 lbs.
Here’s a scatter plot of the pitchers on their 40-man roster
Here are the averages, maximums, and minimums for height, weight, and BMI
Here’s the most “average” guy on their staff at 6’2″ (74 inches) and 205 lbs – Ron Marianccio
The shortest and lightest guy on the staff is Jonathan Loáisiga. He’s tied with Nestor Cortes at 5’11” but he is only 165 lbs. This coupled with his 98 mph heater makes him of one the hardest pound-for-pound throwers in the league. That’s a BMI of 23.
On their 40-man roster, they have an even smaller pitcher. Deivi García is just 5’9″ and 163 lbs. Here we see his smooth mechanics that result in a 93 mph fastball.
The heaviest and tallest pitcher is Clay Holmes. His 6’5″ and 245 lbs put well above the team average in both categories. His sinker of his is really what separates him from most pitchers. Here’s an awesome video from @TreadAthletics. How anyone could hit that is beyond me.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have always been known for thinking outside of the box and developing a lot of high-level pitchers. Here’s the scatter plot of the pitchers listed on their 40-man roster.
The distribution is pretty tight compared to some of the other teams that we’ve looked at so far.
Here are the averages, maximums, and minimums for height, weight, and BMI
Based on these averages here’s the pitcher that best represents the staff. Drew Rasmussen at 73 inches tall and 211 lbs.
The shortest Pitcher on the Rays is Jalen Beeks. He’s not that short at 5’11” but he does have the shortest arm action in the league. Jalen tips the scale at 215 lbs and lights up the radar gun to 95 mph.
The tallest is Peter Fairbank who also has a very short arm action. He’s tied with Zach Eflin at 6’6″. At 225 lbs he uses his mechanics to generate one of the best fastballs in the league averaging 99 mph.
The lightest pitcher on the staff is Calvin Faucher at 190 lbs. The only pitcher below the 200 mark. He stands at 6’1″ giving him a BMI of 25.1. According to @pitcherlist, he can throw 95.3 mph.
The heaviest guy on the staff is Jason Adam at 229 lbs while standing 6’3″ with a BMI of 28.5. He averages just under 95 mph with his heater.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have a big pitching staff. No one that made the opening day roster is shorter than 6’0″ and only one guy is below 200 lbs. Here’s what a scatter plot of the pitchers listed on their 40-man roster looks like.
Here are the averages, maximums, and minimums for height, weight, and BMI
Tim Mayza is the most “average” guy on the roster at 6’3″ (aka 75 inches) and 215 lbs. His fastball averages 93.7 mph.
The only pitcher under 200 lbs is the sidearm-throwing Adam Cimber. In fact, it’s more submarine than a sidearm. He’s listed at 195 lbs and 6’3″ making him the heaviest of the light pitchers in the AL East.
The shortest guys on the staff are two of their starters last year both looking for better years. Yusei Kikuchi and Jose Berrios are both 6’0″.
Here’s a GIF of Jose Berrios – I’m hoping to more of this kind of pitching this year from Jose.
The heaviest and tallest pitcher on the Blue Jay staff is their ace, Alek Monah. He’s tied for being the heaviest in the league at 285 lbs and he stands at 6’6″ giving him a BMI of 32.9.
The Shapes and Sizes of MLB Pitcher’s in 2023
Happy Opening Day Baseball Fans
Here’s a look at the wide variety of shapes and sizes of the athletes that we will see on the mound this year.
First, let’s take a look at this scatter plot of the height and weight of every pitcher on an MLB 40-man roster
Here are the average scores of the 660 (ish) pitchers listed on the 40-man roster for each MLB organization
1.Height – 74.6 inches (6’2.6”)
2.Weight – 210 lbs
3.BMI – 26.6
Here’s an average-looking guy: Jose Urena of the Rockies
Max and Min
1. Height – 6’8” & 5’7” (difference of 13 inches)
*if Sean Hjelle gets called up by the Giants his 6’11” frame changes that to 16 inch difference.
2. Weight – 285 & 160lbs (difference of 125lbs)
3. BMI – 35.9 & 19.4 (difference of 16.6)
One of the few guys listed at 6’8” – Tyler Wells @ 260 lbs
Again, if Sean Hjelle gets called like he did last fall he easily becomes the tallest pitcher. The tallest of all time. We are inching our way closer and closer to seeing a 7-footer toe the rubber
Marcus Stroman is the shortest player in the MLB. He’s 7.6 inches shorter than league average.
He’s 5’7” but he tips the scales at 180 lbs.
Another elite athlete, Matt Bush, is the second shortest at 5’9”.
Here’s Reiver Sanmartin at 160lbs and his average height of 6’2”
This year’s title goes to the Blue Jay’s Opening starter Alek Manoah @ 285 lbs and 6’6”
The mechanics these athletes use have to differ based on their shape and size yet they can all produce MLB stuff. Learn more about how these differences play out in my free e-book.
Here’s to a great 2023 baseball season
Graeme Lehman, MSc, CSCS
Shohei Othani’s Sprinting Power
Everyone in the world knows that Shohai Othani is powerful. Hitting massive bombs and throwing triple-digit fastballs makes it obvious that this guy can transfer more power to baseball than anyone else in the world. His formula to create power, kinetic energy, in this case, is better than anyone else.
His ability to make the ball go 100 mph or more both throwing and hitting makes it safe to say that he has mastered the art and science of producing rotational power.
Today I wanted to focus on the power he produces in a linear fashion. It’s amazing to watch him sprinting around the bases. Here’s a 4 min long video of Ohtani’s sprinting ability. Statcast has his sprint speed at the elite level of 30 feet per second (20.5 mph). That’s fast but it doesn’t give us an idea of just how powerful he is when he’s sprinting.
Rotational power for baseball is always measured in miles per hour. This is actually just a velocity and not technically power since the mass of the object isn’t taken into consideration. Since the mass of a 5 oz baseball is constant up until we reach the speed of light we don’t have to factor it in.
Sprinting is different. Everyone’s weight is going to differ so we need to factor it into our equation. This is why we need something that like the kinetic energy formula to give us an idea of how much power Ohtani can produce running as fast as is and weighing as much as he does.
Let’s look at his speed as he legs out this infield hit in the WBC final when he hit a ground ball to one of the very few guys in the league that are faster than him, Trea Turner at 31.2 ft/sec.
To give you an idea of how powerful Ohtani is when he’s running I compared him to the speedy Trea Turner.
Here’s a chart that calculates their Kinetic Energy by figuring out their velocity in meters per second and body weight in kilograms.
Ohtani is producing a ton of Power. There’s a difference of 159.2 Joules (unit of power) between these two. That difference would be felt if you were standing on top of first base and got run over by each of these elite athletes going all out. Ohtani, carrying 210lbs at 20.45 mph, would hurt that much more than Turner’s 185lbs going slightly faster at 21.3 mph.
These power numbers are off the charts. Here is how Ohtani would look on my Pitcher’s Physical Profile system with that much sprinting power
He is way off the charts. His score for the 30-yard dash power (lower right-hand corner) just dives off the chart that I’ve put together. I knew that he’d be at the top level but not by this much.
But then I remembered that the 30ft/sec is his peak speed. He wasn’t going that fast out of the box. He had to accelerate up to that speed. We typically measure average speed rather than peak. Measuring the average speed is a lot easier if you don’t have laser timers to take split times. All we need to know is how long it took him to go from point A to point B.
For this, we will use his home-to-first times, the distance (90ft/30 yards), and their body weight.
Here he is going home to first in 4.07 sec beating out a ground ball to the first baseman.
Obviously, Ohtani has an advantage in this type of sprint being a lefty. Nevertheless, it is really impressive. The chart below shows the exact numbers used to calculate their power.
These numbers from Ohtani are more in line with what I have seen in the past and have been used as a reference range in my pitcher’s physical profile system.
He’s still almost off the chart which is what you’d expect from the best baseball athlete in the world.
If you are looking at how this information can be used to help you or your pitchers then I would say that:
1 – sprinting is important: even if you don’t run the bases it is an amazing training tool
2 – mass is important: try to carry as much useful mass as possible.
So simply put, be sure that you are doing some sprints as part of your training and eat enough food to keep the needle moving. I would suggest using this same equation to track your progress with a 30-yard dash. Here’s the formula in more detail.
And this is how I calculate Ohtani’s average power using this home-to-first speed
Watching your power output is great because you might gain weight but not improve your sprint time. If you only looked at the speed you would be disappointed in your lack of progress. But this formula will show that you did in fact improve because you are moving more mass at that same speed.
If you want to see how you score in the 30-yard dash along with about 10 more metrics all associated with throwing velocity check out my pitchers profile system.
I’ll leave you with one more feat of athletic ability from Ohtan turning a broken bat groundball up the middle into a double
The “Behind the Seams” podcast hosted by Nunzio Signore is, in my opinion, one of, if not, the best podcasts out there on the topic of baseball player development. Nunzio asks some great questions and his guest list is top-notch including pitching coaches in the MLB and high-level Division I NCAA.
I was honored to be one of his guests recently and I wanted to share this link so that you can check it out.