As Jeremy Hellickson marched through the minors, one piece of praise we heard most often was the repeatability of his delivery. That is, his delivery and arm motion were very consistent from pitch-to-pitch. The more consistent the delivery, the less likely a pitcher will struggle with his mechanics and less strain is put on the arm and shoulder decreasing the risk of injury.

So now that we have seen Hellickson make three starts, just how repeatable is his delivery? Let’s take a look.

Here is his release point data (each color represents a different pitch type)…

That is a very tight cluster of release points, especially for a pitcher that throws four pitches. You are much more likely to see that level of consistency from a relief pitcher.

To get a better sense, let’s compare Hellboy’s release point data with the five members of the Rays rotation…

As you can see, none of the other pitchers approach Hellickson’s level of consistency. Does this mean that Hellickson will continue to dominate big league hitters. No. But it does mean that Hellickson is less likely to hit a prolonged slump or miss a significant amount of time due to injury.

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12 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Unbelievable! This kid really has some damn good consistency! This is just more proof, that shows he will be a great pitcher for years to come!

    It's not to suprising, that the pitcher with the worst cosistency cluster on the team is Shields. Funny how everyone else's pitching cluster's are circuler, and his seems to look like a squashed watermelon.

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  2. hhhh says:

    Shields has the best cluster to be honest. Id like to know what color represents each pitch.

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    • Gatorbuc15 says:

      I'm not exactly sure why you think Shields cluster is the best?

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      • hhhh says:

        Look at how tight his cluster is.. His change-up ( Im guessing its the brown one ) has the same release point as all his pitches So his best pitch looks the same as his fastball coming out of his hand. Look at how his' Jeff's and hellboy's pitches all come from a point lower than their head. This means they can pound the lower part of the zone better than Garza, Price and Davis. Look at the green dots for each guy. James has his all coming from the same place. As does Hellboy..... I dont know what each color means, but if blue is one of the fastballs, you cant see any of his.... Also Cork is comparing 150 innings of each guy, to 30 for helly.

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  3. Gus says:

    One advantage of being smaller is that it is easier to repeate your delivery. The other 5 are all big and bigger.

    But watching him pitch is an absolute thing of beauty. To my untrained eye, the Orioles decided they were going to wait him out, run up his pitch count, and try and win the game late. His location with the fastball and a tight strike zone from the HPU ran up his pitches, but he was still in control when he needed it.

    Suffice it to say, they need to do whatever they have to do to keep his arm around for the playoffs. If that means shutting him down for a few weeks now, so be it. But this team and this race with the Yankees and Red Sox is one they'll be writing books about one day. And I have a feeling that Hellickson is going to be a (the) key player.

    Also, nice attendance at the Trop over the weekend. They need to average close to 30K a game for the remaining games to make 2.0M; might not make that, but I'm thinking they will be fairly close.

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    • brian h says:

      average 30k for rest of way would be greatest attendance feat in team history.

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      • Gus says:

        September 2008 was close to 30K per game it seems to me and they got 90K for the weekend against the O's this weekend (which may be the greatest attendance feat for them so far).

        Not saying it is likely, but attendance has shown some positive signs the last month. (Am I waiting for the other shoe to drop tonight as Cliff Lee and Price pitch to the usual Monday night crickets? Maybe.)

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        • brian h says:

          I am not saying its impossible, it would be quite a feat, and major step in the right direction for this organizations fanbase. They should come relatively close, they will obiviousily sell out almost every yankee red sox game.

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  4. Scot says:

    Prof -
    Can you describe the axes of the graphs? Can I assume both are in feet, measured on a 2-D grid where the origin is what? A constant point on the mound?

    thanks

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  5. Joe says:

    Amazing, we are an hour and a half from the signing deadline and no mention from the Times or Trib on an update on Josh Sale. He is in town, and you won't get the deal done? It has to get done!

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