It doesn't take a baseballing genius to work out that Tim Hudson is doing something a bit different this year. I'm not scout but it looks like he is leaving less up in the zone, which directly translates into some good worm burners.
In the spirit of analysis I thought it worthwhile to see what the data say.
First he is throwing marginally more first pitch strikes this year. Though I'm not sure what this means:
- 2005: 59%
- 2006: 60%
- 2007: 63%
He is inducing a lot more swinging strikes:
- 2005: 13%
- 2006: 15%
- 2007: 18%
And getting more strikes looking -- his stuff has gotten a bit nastier:
- 2005: 27%
- 2006: 27%
- 2007: 30%
As a result contact rate has gone down -- it is actually at a career low point right now:
- 2005: 82%
- 2006: 79%
- 2007: 74%
Hudson looks a lot sharper, both analysing data and using the eyes. Interestingly his 2006 season doesn't look much worse than his 2005 season. It goes to show the role that luck plays in ERA.
2007 looks like being a watershed year in Hudson's Atlanta career. Let's hope he can keep up the good work.