Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Favorable Baseball Savant Statcast Comparisons

Mar 5, 2023; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Carlos Santana (41) bats in
Mar 5, 2023; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Carlos Santana (41) bats in / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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Baseball Savant gives players five different comparisons based on data collected from Statcast, so let's look at five favorable comparisons they make about Pirate players

If you've been around the baseball internet over the past decade, then you've probably visited Baseball Savant at least once. Statcast has been around since 2015, bringing a whole new way for fans and front office personnel alike to analyze players. This includes public data on a pitcher's spin rate, spin direction, spin efficiency, extension, and pitch movement, and a batter's sprint speed and arm strength. Both batters and pitchers also have data listed on Baseball Savant for their swing-and-miss data, including whiff rate and chase rate, as well as their ability to hit the ball hard/prevent hard contact (hard-hit rate, exit velocity, and barrel rate). There are plenty of other metrics to show how effective a pitch was/how good a player was against a certain pitch.

There are also a handful of different defensive statistics. The primary one is outs above average (OAA). However, there are also reaction time stats like catcher pop time and outfield jump. Along with catcher pop time, Savant also tracks catcher framing stats. They also measure arm strength.

On top of that, they've also been able to create metrics such as xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, and xOBP, along with xERA and xwOBACON (expected weighted on-base average on contact). The 'x' in each statistic means 'expected', so xERA is expected ERA, and xBA is expected batting average, so on and so forth. These expected metrics are based on launch angle and exit velocity and attempt to create more accurate predictive measurements of how a player could perform in the future. 

One thing Baseball Savant includes is player comparisons. Player pages include five comparisons. For batters, they compare their batted ball profile, and for pitchers, they compare them based on their pitch movement and velocity and their batted ball profile. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a handful of favorable player comparisons by Baseball Savant, and today, I want to look at the most optimistic ones.