Hitters Who May Benefit the Most from Decreasing Spin Rates

Batters who have been harmed the most by high spin rates

With MLB’s recent decision to enforce their foreign substance rule regarding pitchers, many are expecting a decrease in spin rates. While most of the focus is on how this will affect pitchers, I decided to focus on hitters that may benefit the most from this crackdown.

 

It is very difficult to say exactly how much spin rates will drop. How much will the rule actually be enforced? Who is using what? Some pitchers will inevitably be able to avoid detection. Certainly, a percentage of the increasing spin rates we’ve seen is due to things other than foreign substances. The use of different technologies like high-speed cameras has led to slightly different grips, arm motions, etc. that can increase spin.

 

With so much uncertainty it didn’t make a whole lot of sense for me to get overly scientific with my methodology. Using Baseball Savant, I found the 90th percentile spin rate for four-seamers, two-seamers, cutters, sliders, and curveballs, respectively. I then queried hitters for 2020-2021 that have faced at least 10 pitches from each type that had a spin rate above that 90th percentile. I then selected all hitters where at least 20% of the total pitches they faced were of these 90th percentile varieties and the wOBAs were less than .250. All of these cutoffs were chosen rather arbitrarily, but it seems like a decent bet that these highest spin pitches will be greatly reduced in the near future.

 

90th Percentile Pitches Faced
Spin these results as you’d wish. Harrison Bader, Garrett Hampson, and Trevor Story seem to have been the most negatively affected. Below is the list of all players that had over 20% of their pitches faced be 90th percentile, regardless of their wOBAs.
90th Percentile Pitches Faced-All
There you go. Buy low. Ignore. Deplore.
Hopefully not that last one.
Photos by Andy Lewis & Russell Lansford /Icon Sportswire | Design by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter @ IG)

Andrew Krutz

Andrew writes for Pitcher List and is a lifelong New York Yankees fan. During the warmer months he can be found playing vintage baseball in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York.

  • Avatar Mark says:

    Nice! How about a list of those pitchers whose spin rate has increased the most over the last 2 years?

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