Yesterday, I looked at MLB starters and the locations they usually threw to and had success in according to velocity. I also wanted to get another look, this time in the NPB (Japan), using the data supplied by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. I haven’t seen anyone seriously play with this data, and I thought the heat maps would be helpful in giving us another look at how pitchers attack the zone as a whole. So I took the top 25 pitchers in innings pitched in both the Pacific and the Central (the two leagues in the NPB Ichi-Gun, sort of like the AL and NL in the MLB) and broke down their most recent 10 starts.

I used the average velocity for that start, their FIP for that specific start (I prefer using kwERA when looking at Japanese Pitching Statistics because of the offensive environment, but the stat line on the game logs on NPB Tracker doesn’t include batters faced, which makes calculating FIP easier than kwERA), and broke down their pitch locations (again, only looking at pitches thrown in the strike zone) using Newman’s very simple heat maps (you can’t break it down by pitch or result by pitch, that is why we use FIP for the start, not for each pitch, but comparing the locations and velocities to FIP should be useful). Here is the spreadsheet if you want to look at the results:

NameVelocityFIP (of start)Upper LeftUpper MiddleUpper RightMiddle LeftMiddle MiddleMiddle RightLower LeftLower MiddleLower Right
Toshiya Sugiuchi85.110.25473112210
Masahiro Tanaka90.540.31631110411717
Toshiya Sugiuchi87.290.3354110282115
Shinya Nakayama83.960.37736531326
Masahiro Tanaka90.270.3710117556925
Takayuki Kishi86.170.53514410373
Mitsuo Yoshikawa91.210.6311361218727
Mitsuo Yoshikawa88.780.64631042114314
Shinya Nakayama84.050.7921859755
Masanori Ishikawa83.30.772107515333
Mitsuo Yoshikawa89.190.8845491112556
Kazuhisa Makita75.530.919614724563
Kenji Otonari83.450.9543741411614
Tadashi Settsu86.510.95347678669
Takahiro Fujioka84.5913513553817
Masahiro Tanaka90.34168844104410
Atsushi Nohmi86.71.0075610128712845
Atsushi Nohmi89.251.03995763342
Kenta Maeda91.541.064851549938
Hayato Terahara87.181.116951186743
Soma Yamauchi85.391.12379611144
Takayuki Kishi87.931.2262816525
Randy Messenger91.251.2186111326724
Kenichi Nakata90.051.2243662714
Sho Iwasaki90.071.2222743513
Kelvin Jimenez90.121.211671124562
Byran Bullington88.61.234155922
Shohei Tateyama88.271.313411011131034
Tadashi Settsu87.241.3411471337157
Shinya Nakayama86.181.3922321432
Hirokazu Sawamura91.371.44610753992
Tadashi Settsu87.31.4245510315618
Mitsuo Yoshikawa91.391.42771314417365
Masanori Ishikawa83.931.4382381910511
Tetsuya Utsumi85.481.45423112411149
Sho Iwasaki90.591.496531239616
Shinji Iwata851.493553861044
Brian Wolfe90.471.49513643773
Toshiya Sugiuchi87.051.5104911251047
Brian Wolfe90.11.53436142237
Mitsuo Yoshikawa91.271.5388165214454
Byran Bullington89.441.5365103610552
Yuki Nishi87.481.5312891148822
Kazuhisa Makita79.331.56421017671077
Masahiro Tanaka91.241.5873124212624
Atsushi Nohmi88.641.589431055243
Masahiro Tanaka91.051.6329768548
Takahiro Shiomi86.21.6611664344
Kenichi Nakata89.561.614266783
Kazuki Yoshimi87.541.633431167910
Yasutomo Kubo86.051.63137848818
Atsushi Nohmi87.931.637378111047
Seth Greisinger84.741.723766167615
Randy Messenger89.541.7739545737
Kan Otake86.321.74267491026
Shohei Tateyama89.541.74725661693
Atsushi Nohmi87.241.7663919610835
Brian Wolfe91.341.775284546513
Kenta Maeda91.471.779431547938
Minoru Iwata86.881.7735612315824
Tetsuya Utsumi85.291.777381455822
Seth Greisinger85.141.7797685775
Atsushi Nohmi89.21.796714756364
Masahiro Tanaka91.711.898754732
Takayuki Kishi87.181.818499310675
Kenta Maeda911.837768561113
Shohei Tateyama88.781.83156410612331
Soma Yamauchi85.541.8785862865
Manabu Mima86.631.8966911910621
Kazuhisa Ishii84.761.9184174108114
Randy Messenger90.031.91134117410574
Hayato Terahara91.261.943636103531
Mitsuo Yoshikawa91.031.9824136514238
Yoshinao Kamata89.971.98510101088716
Wataru Karashima84.2324148483712
Minoru Iwata87.35232128626
Masuru Takeda80.812.03435739466
Orlando Roman87.142.03666413335
Kentaro Takasaki87.872.0335114210133
Hirokazu Sawamura91.532.0661110978266
Kazuki Yoshimi86.242.061410410953
Hiroshi Kisanuki86.922.0626133788112
Randy Messenger89.612.06994715521
Atsushi Nohmi86.392.084339215675
Kenichi Nakata88.412.08107814109211
Seth Greisinger86.062.0911710225101010
Kenta Maeda90.732.095514818758
Kazuki Yoshimi86.562.09236132151017
Masahiro Tanaka90.412.094891157135
Atsushi Nohmi85.432.1110127313453
Kentaro Takasaki88.732.262312585815
Kentaro Takasaki89.282.244574105512
Kazuhisa Makita79.352.254396115911
Diasuke Miura85.592.2212125108811
Soma Yamauchi84.682.236843615611
Kenta Maeda91.272.23377234310
Randy Messenger90.642.2234686448
Katsuki Akagawa82.452.22321812387
Diasuke Miura86.632.231513810847
Yuki Nishi88.442.2766459837
Byran Bullington87.862.21657511517
Byran Bullington87.542.2445667346
Kan Otake88.892.25487511536
Kyohei Muranaka87.842.254814381155
Hirokazu Sawamura89.892.271113659684
Wataru Karashima85.372.2861110411654
Toshiya Sugiuchi85.682.2114422461134
Kentaro Takasaki88.982.29226114942
Seth Greisinger85.42.21121214512321
Yoshinao Kamata87.732.2451126102
Kyohei Muranaka88.552.36361729694
Diasuke Miura85.012.33449951412810
Atsushi Nohmi86.82.33289313868
Kazuki Yoshimi86.032.34123127153311
Tadashi Settsu86.932.3468521010410
Tetsuya Utsumi85.762.345336911448
Byran Bullington89.32.34478465535
Kentaro Takasaki87.522.346351144815
Yuki Kuniyoshi88.632.3458514911623
Seth Greisinger85.552.3783153712558
D.J. Houlton86.742.3710881274731
Yusuke Nomura87.632.44311061210610
Katsuki Akagawa84.112.48358272310
Yuki Nishi87.052.4742527887
Hayato Terahara90.662.4136710410637
Katsuki Akagawa82.922.41315927637
Manabu Mima87.482.428993611526
Kazuhisa Makita78.882.4235316451575
Kenji Otonari86.042.426297481255
Kan Otake90.582.424841289274
Brian Wolfe86.952.456632435910
Yuki Nishi85.952.45425959629
Manabu Mima88.662.4561015254526
Byran Bullington88.892.455814953644
Masahiro Tanaka90.612.4564894647
Soma Yamauchi84.682.48158949443
Wataru Karashima85.62.49368928517
Shohei Tateyama88.382.494126712665
Wataru Karashima82.552.493336410365
Yuki Kuniyoshi90.172.497455129214
Shinji Iwata85.252.493169515533
Kenji Otonari87.042.524245377610
Soma Yamauchi84.352.53143813425
Hirokazu Sawamura90.962.53324626414
Yoshinao Kamata88.752.53751094853
Randy Messenger90.652.536939414551
Ryoma Nogami84.992.557479613669
Jason Standridge87.932.5566812711338
Yusuke Nomura83.332.62341171337
Jason Standridge91.032.6345874159212
Manabu Mima86.512.631364834938
Orlando Roman89.632.6312104611666
Randy Messenger90.62.63575977464
Takayuki Kishi87.462.638573617243
Yuki Nishi87.662.632389917213
Hiroshi Kisanuki86.082.6416154385211
Orlando Roman87.832.6447759105105
Hayato Terahara90.542.6444813391225
Ryoma Nogami85.092.65222932121
Tetsuya Utsumi84.612.7158371047
Tadashi Settsu85.672.761101066627
Kelvin Jimenez89.072.77861043956
Yasutomo Kubo87.332.776310671554
Masahiro Tanaka90.532.7781014210433
Yuki Saito84.12.733185716211
Ryoma Nogami85.752.7344216761122
Diasuke Miura84.222.76898107211076
Masahiro Tanaka912.7676583101016
Randy Messenger92.172.761171213612745
Yoshihisa Naruse82.232.77363117115612
Hiroshi Kisanuki86.962.77146541541311
Diasuke Miura85.872.7747874412510
Toshiya Sugiuchi85.492.77233444225
Hayato Terahara90.82.773666106373
Manabu Mima87.882.778111110104663
Yasutomo Kubo86.222.8637398414
Yuki Nishi882.823573737
Jason Standridge89.372.8113123388410
Minoru Iwata86.062.814954810355
Masanori Ishikawa83.752.82652628616
Seth Greisinger85.22.833814384247
Kazuhisa Makita79.092.836561378786
Shohei Tateyama88.172.831029884856
Kan Otake89.582.83331088104105
Hiroki Yamada85.142.831262143975
Kazuki Yoshimi85.342.8711612114978
Kazuki Yoshimi85.132.87624747337
Masanori Ishikawa83.172.87338251646
Hirokazu Sawamura89.242.876381147622
Takahiro Fujioka87.542.87765679161
Kyohei Muranaka88.22.917371016768
Manabu Mima88.892.916410726566
Yuki Nishi87.672.911057747852
Hiroshi Kisanuki88.622.93141197128
Takahiro Shiomi86.382.93511571010103
Takahiro Fujioka86.052.95857101043107
Shinji Iwata84.552.9566411613565
Hiroki Yamada83.322.958357514415
Sho Iwasaki90.062.9531221474
Toshiya Sugiuchi85.592.9675376104713
Kenji Otonari84.082.98641141118411
Masuru Takeda80.372.981076877357
Takayuki Kishi86.582.984269491095
Yuki Kuniyoshi87.133268454926
Kenichi Nakata87.463445755225
Yuki Kuniyoshi91.323.0249626151410
Toshiya Sugiuchi86.263.036414343614
Shinya Nakayama84.423.03491556759
Seth Greisinger85.273.035443812316
Masuru Takeda79.593.03644375745
Yoshinao Kamata89.333.037717322244
Kelvin Jimenez91.523.035471068221
Soma Yamauchi85.453.0441012836376
Yuki Kuniyoshi89.433.042579811164
Kenji Otonari85.013.056337281097
Kan Otake89.653.06352768469
Yuki Kuniyoshi87.573.066986129448
Wataru Karashima85.333.06469649245
Masanori Ishikawa82.23.0665410571444
Tetsuya Utsumi84.63.063368812752
Wataru Karashima86.163.0733597175512
Yusuke Nomura85.83.2465125611512
Brian Wolfe90.843.224571321010
Toshiya Sugiuchi85.083.2536447699
Hiroshi Kisanuki87.353.234657359
Shohei Tateyama88.893.24251596768
Yoshihisa Naruse81.633.26551178618
Kenta Maeda90.693.284219611747
Yuki Nishi87.083.275881012517
Kazuhisa Makita80.113.291157361186
Manabu Mima87.573.28831148766
Hayato Terahara90.13.25317648366
Shinji Iwata85.893.2566746926
Ryoma Nogami84.983.2188453485
Takahiro Fujioka85.723.27943810255
Shohei Tateyama88.843.243104313735
Kyohei Muranaka86.613.2742955335
Jason Standridge88.683.2545428525
Hiroki Yamada83.663.213131373124
Katsuki Akagawa83.253.2459111210284
Yusuke Nomura86.13.23519541023
D.J. Houlton85.533.2737943413
Sho Iwasaki89.713.224325213
Ryoma Nogami85.963.210111716772
D.J. Houlton85.153.2923133514
Jason Standridge89.73.2569961161
Yuki Kuniyoshi89.463.3197486524
Seth Greisinger85.333.3149812101231
Yasutomo Kubo86.953.33114511651247
Takahiro Shiomi86.563.3359491010386
Yoshinao Kamata87.973.33211991310832
Kazuki Yoshimi87.283.347359497115
Yasutomo Kubo90.133.348657441029
Yasutomo Kubo88.663.344614910957
Kazuki Yoshimi89.373.3445410113717
Diasuke Miura86.013.341210312710766
Kelvin Jimenez89.463.3471065313355
Jason Standridge90.513.34432712664
Minoru Iwata85.573.34657839734
Diasuke Miura85.533.3487913617423
Mitsuo Yoshikawa90.233.3627696111311
Tetsuya Utsumi84.443.37645453910
Masuru Takeda80.143.3813481011335
Brian Wolfe90.393.39437637338
Orlando Roman88.43.39836455557
Kazuhisa Makita77.733.394568310535
Takahiro Fujioka87.413.4746318128
D.J. Houlton85.613.4558745545
Orlando Roman88.23.443635614
Hiroshi Kisanuki86.863.426867162410
Hiroki Yamada85.173.4343474123512
Brian Wolfe91.963.43634543415
Mitsuo Yoshikawa89.913.45546228433
Soma Yamauchi85.043.46855961151011
D.J. Houlton84.933.48853926562
Kenji Otonari85.223.4922486132510
Hayato Terahara89.823.4927497158118
Tadashi Settsu87.233.49535836618
Kazuhisa Ishii84.393.531926724
Takahiro Shiomi83.43.52754846854
Hiroshi Kisanuki87.683.532564456910
Yusuke Nomura87.453.53827125311210
Tadashi Settsu873.5381431144536
Kan Otake90.023.53147954284
Masuru Takeda81.283.5344110815264
Yasutomo Kubo84.583.531345731212
Kelvin Jimenez90.283.53629644441
Shohei Tateyama88.843.53245567831
Shinya Nakayama86.173.55732944742
Masanori Ishikawa84.683.5582972545
Yuki Nishi87.793.575248213513
Diasuke Miura85.893.5822313761087
Kazuhisa Makita78.513.587779129847
Jason Standridge90.013.5832312157625
Kyohei Muranaka87.583.58686839134
Randy Messenger91.633.589891038232
Takahiro Shiomi86.433.59746857835
Minoru Iwata88.513.614487484416
Yusuke Nomura86.463.6341513877511
Kenta Maeda88.893.6357710511527
Wataru Karashima86.23.63384185376
Takahiro Fujioka88.443.635361353656
Kelvin Jimenez90.073.6313109815446
Shinya Nakayama83.53.631038836216
D.J. Houlton84.573.6371011958265
Kentaro Takasaki88.473.636164114845
Masuru Takeda80.273.6366411531243
Sho Iwasaki89.383.63526427133
Shohei Tateyama89.293.6334665482
Kazuki Yoshimi86.833.645369718667
Wataru Karashima85.513.65653759245
Hirokazu Sawamura89.423.7868286498
Jason Standridge88.913.764153410458
D.J. Houlton85.083.794515510644
Kenji Otonari86.293.75422623624
Kyohei Muranaka88.263.7664295261813
Kazuki Yoshimi85.783.7642815117111
Yasutomo Kubo85.633.76777735453
Takayuki Kishi86.383.76656868792
Sho Iwasaki89.723.7662416351142
Kentaro Takasaki88.173.876493129212
Shinya Nakayama86.673.85351436611
Yoshinao Kamata88.983.8377910610724
Hiroki Yamada83.953.831247461065
Takahiro Shiomi84.323.8566747134410
Orlando Roman87.053.8576495462
Yoshinao Kamata88.453.8688101148536
Tadashi Settsu87.183.874281581110310
Tetsuya Utsumi85.13.89542975347
Masuru Takeda77.443.951362710611
Diasuke Miura84.673.9126107861069
Yuki Nishi88.013.912277510629
Kenichi Nakata88.623.9142433111236
Ryoma Nogami86.333.91837145111062
Manabu Mima88.343.918911948212
Sho Iwasaki88.863.92610410731172
Yuki Saito85.253.95681122129
Takayuki Kishi87.393.954885610958
Toshiya Sugiuchi86.753.9568610813577
Takayuki Kishi85.443.9591051269827
Kyohei Muranaka88.15436114137645
Orlando Roman88.48410478211145
Yoshinao Kamata88.344584738273
Kentaro Takasaki89.1444351616213
Hirokazu Sawamura89.034353763442
D.J. Houlton85.234.06663847887
Kenichi Nakata88.654.0629118610124
Yuki Saito84.164.068776711433
Yasutomo Kubo89.234.06106127883
Kenichi Nakata89.414.067446812612
Takayuki Kishi86.94.12551647576
Hayato Terahara89.024.1243396895
Kazuhisa Ishii85.484.12247124468
Tetsuya Utsumi85.864.123341236464
Kelvin Jimenez90.064.141691244325
Masuru Takeda77.884.15586614228
Yuki Saito84.524.253310117399
Kenta Maeda90.174.22136581439
Tetsuya Utsumi85.654.233543398
Kenichi Nakata90.884.2247633347
Minoru Iwata87.614.2831231310594
Seth Greisinger85.284.2417679433
Kazuhisa Makita79.624.25456864735
Brian Wolfe92.354.31168327444
Masanori Ishikawa85.444.3136715118104
Masanori Ishikawa83.424.331366312977
D.J. Houlton85.144.331456277965
Yusuke Nomura86.264.332681138835
Soma Yamauchi85.754.34746524775
Kelvin Jimenez90.644.34359283565
Atsushi Nohmi86.774.3456156910542
Shinya Nakayama85.44.373493210689
Mitsuo Yoshikawa89.834.371199356229
Yoshihisa Naruse80.614.37631105111178
Orlando Roman88.144.37455546245
Takahiro Fujioka86.954.37317524723
Katsuki Akagawa83.934.376238491721
Brian Wolfe90.734.4424755867
Yuki Saito81.564.424113215256
Minoru Iwata84.064.411646833
Hiroshi Kisanuki86.124.42118151310915
Soma Yamauchi86.154.4595211411537
Tadashi Settsu88.254.451377610516
Kan Otake88.564.47349897636
Hiroki Yamada84.554.4974412710965
Katsuki Akagawa83.834.53381134848
Sho Iwasaki91.034.5353674342
Hiroshi Kisanuki87.914.591464611325
Kenichi Nakata90.594.6749545237
Wataru Karashima84.524.610457311456
Yoshihisa Naruse82.364.62715126141338
Orlando Roman89.864.631151049421
Yuki Saito84.474.648215103128210
Ryoma Nogami85.674.7159265812
Seth Greisinger83.54.732328731210
Takahiro Shiomi86.14.7241021115510
Byran Bullington88.064.7435434457
Shinya Nakayama84.974.74248211456
Orlando Roman87.924.7744535644
Shinji Iwata85.894.75281127723
Kentaro Takasaki88.484.7793118391144
Yuki Kuniyoshi90.824.776911788653
Masanori Ishikawa83.124.77333243122
Yuki Saito86.944.8339357347
Ryoma Nogami85.584.87295410317
Hirokazu Sawamura92.694.8541376159232
Tetsuya Utsumi84.944.874356191179
Kazuhisa Ishii83.114.87347616237
Shinji Iwata82.094.875451287752
Minoru Iwata88.334.89263291346
Yuki Kuniyoshi87.164.914784611599
Takahiro Shiomi87.124.91575969536
Takayuki Kishi86.525.03514455567
Manabu Mima86.565.1684111449238
Yoshihisa Naruse81.045.29773421086
Byran Bullington86.495.211063810466
Tadashi Settsu86.435.2234429526
Yusuke Nomura85.465.2214114855
Hayato Terahara91.095.212351411674
Masuru Takeda80.385.225146121033
Byran Bullington88.175.255757510236
Toshiya Sugiuchi85.565.32652837545
Takahiro Shiomi84.175.37373778736
Kan Otake89.885.49364136118109
Katsuki Akagawa82.495.493513612544
Manabu Mima89.465.5758624157
Yoshinao Kamata88.415.575893127627
Kenta Maeda90.025.583511698497
Kentaro Takasaki88.435.6622355855
Kenji Otonari84.635.633149910248
Kazuhisa Ishii83.665.64332431537
Shinya Nakayama84.475.6621328764
Yuki Saito83.825.67625458216
Minoru Iwata85.615.77246462813
Kyohei Muranaka87.455.7577152111179
Yuki Saito85.775.7951322658
Shinji Iwata83.955.7171135513
Minoru Iwata86.915.75254571112214
Kenji Otonari85.455.8110736258
Yusuke Nomura86.435.88381134657
Randy Messenger91.345.8335449563
Kazuhisa Makita79.065.833327462911
Yasutomo Kubo89.095.8311171857517
Kazuhisa Ishii82.865.832167912226
Shinji Iwata85.665.87422479666
Kenta Maeda89.795.87355121112934
Sho Iwasaki895.89158366469
Hiroki Yamada85.25.919718651177
Shinji Iwata83.595.95364811325
Kazuhisa Ishii83.456.233862628
Yoshihisa Naruse83.626.24426109557
Katsuki Akagawa83.196.2234924986
Byran Bullington87.596.23421037116
Hiroki Yamada84.246.2634311235
Shinji Iwata85.366.2534215453
Yuki Kuniyoshi87.876.2465157333
Sho Iwasaki90.456.22617742
Hirokazu Sawamura91.146.3777106531136
Jason Standridge91.516.3775511461013
Soma Yamauchi85.396.43331466611
Kenji Otonari85.096.42427638545
Yoshinao Kamata86.976.4336510811322
Kazuhisa Ishii82.996.46533679335
Yoshihisa Naruse81.446.474641068757
Kan Otake89.686.4731653922
Yoshihisa Naruse82.996.58622488968
Kan Otake89.536.61633899343
Takahiro Fujioka85.116.632224245
Kyohei Muranaka86.126.6653483810311
Kenichi Nakata87.286.7423424317
Kazuhisa Ishii83.246.76462318656
Kelvin Jimenez90.16.8255113625
Ryoma Nogami86.036.9424334545
Takahiro Fujioka84.876.95259528123
Hiroshi Kisanuki86.357.0112747125511
Yoshihisa Naruse81.417.03631586678
Masuru Takeda79.817.2517739336
Brian Wolfe90.417.2483518615
Ryoma Nogami85.837.28278847231
Diasuke Miura86.227.37215918885
Wataru Karashima82.927.4931384824
Yoshihisa Naruse81.617.53433966788
Hiroki Yamada84.227.859491181057
Yusuke Nomura84.947.87221223313
Kazuhisa Ishii84.177.92252365987
Hiroki Yamada85.358.41289410826
Katsuki Akagawa82.648.43491085453
Katsuki Akagawa85.278.675655252
Jason Standridge89.288.8712634441
Hayato Terahara89.039.2594783321
Mitsuo Yoshikawa90.389.22724413553
Kelvin Jimenez89.399.95699321222
Takahiro Fujioka84.5910.21148111216
Masanori Ishikawa82.9710.23231118834
Takahiro Shiomi86.310.2367610223
Shohei Tateyama88.410.45415627324
D.J. Houlton87.0610.72638323822
Hirokazu Sawamura90.3810.8164646621
Yuki Saito85.79113543265310
Kyohei Muranaka85.6512.551112262
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First, let’s break down starts by velocity and FIP. The Average FIP of all 500 starts was 3.63 (NPB Central League average was 3.46).

Top 100 Velocity starts: 3.24 FIP

Next 100: 3.49 FIP

Next 100: 3.42 FIP

Next 100: 3.82 FIP

Last 100: 4.17 FIP

This breaks down about how you would expect using the somewhat large sample sizes, as does the locations. The (50) hardest throwers also kept the ball up (about 6.62 pitches per upper zone per outing) more than the (50)softest throwers (4.5 pitchers per upper zone per outing), just like we saw in the Majors. Let’s look at some zone breakdowns:

Top 50 starts in pitches in the Upper Left: 2.9 FIP

Bottom 50 starts in pitches in the Upper Left: 4.27 FIP

Top 50 in Upper Middle: 3.12

Bottom 50: 4.34

Top 50 in Upper Right: 2.87

Bottom 50: 4

Top 50 in Middle Left: 3.18

Bottom 50: 4.19

Top 50 in Middle Middle: 3.68

Bottom 50: 4.56

Top 50 in Middle Right: 2.86

Bottom 50: 3.92

Top 50 in Lower Left: 3.24

Bottom 50: 4

Top 50 in Lower Middle: 3.6

Bottom 50: 4.35

Top 50 in Lower Right: 3.16

Bottom 50: 4.2

It is hard to neutralize the FIP, so there is a bias when looking at high pitches, because that is where the harder, and better, pitchers tend to throw. It seems that it is better to have a plan, even if the plan is horrible, than avoid one part of the zone altogether. One quick note, because we are using raw totals, there may be a bias here. I only looked at starts, but there may be some kind of a bias if a pitcher is performing horribly, as he will most likely throw less pitches than a pitcher that is performing well. So a pitcher may not have many pitches in one part of the zone because he only threw 50 or so pitches anyway, while another pitcher (especially in Japan) may have thrown anywhere from 130-140 pitches.Hopefully our large sample sizes zeroed this out, at least somewhat.

Tomorrow, I will look at MLB Draft prospect Tommy Burns, employing some of the data I have used in the last two posts.