Monday, April 27, 2009

Are Taller Pitchers Better?

6'9 Jeff NiemannJake Russ of Around The Majors takes a statistical look at height and pitching success in his article Does Height Matter?:
What that leaves one with is still this question of whether or not height influences pitching performance. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests it does. Conventional wisdom would say taller guy, steeper arm action, harder to hit. The physics explanation is very attractive. And a cherry-picked-example would be the sheer dominance of some tall lefty years ago. I'm not sure if I've ever made it through an MLB broadcast without some announcer gushing about pitcher so-and-so's height advantage. From the chart I posted previously, historically, there is a persistent lack of even average-height individuals (5'9") pitching in the Major Leagues. To my knowledge we don't know a whole lot about this question, yet we seem convinced of the answer already. What gives?
See the article for his conclusions.

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