Cubs Quick Hits: Jon Lester Might be MLB’s Most Difficult Pitcher to Read
The people at Baseball Prospectus behind the statistical concept of “Tunnels” seem to have been inspired by Cubs and Braves great Greg Maddux.
“[My] main goal was to make all of my pitches look like a column of milk coming toward home plate,” the Hall of Famer said. “Every pitch should look as close to every other as possible, all part of that ‘column of milk.'”
That said, one of the Tunnels stats that I’m especially excited about is “Release:Tunnel,” desribed as the “…ratio of a pitcher’s release differential to their tunnel differential. Pitchers with smaller Release:Tunnel ratios have smaller differentiation between pitches through the tunnel point, making it more difficult for opposing hitters to distinguish them in theory.”
Jon Lester led MLB with a 13.6% ratio, nearly half that of the MLB average 23.7%. This suggests that no other pitcher in MLB is harder to pick up at the plate.