SPECULATOR: Change scores, 2023

A core tenet of player evaluation here at BaseballHQ is to ignore the surface-level stats and focus on skills instead. But at this early stage of the season, how do we know which changes in SKILLS might be more likely to stick around all year, and which ones are just variance after a handful of starts?

Tracking pitch-level data (usage, velocity, whiff rates) with Statcast is increasingly becoming a go-to in our quest to jump on breakout seasons, as someone showing a change in skill AND a change in approach has a better chance to stick all season. So this week, we'll revisit Change Score, which is the total change in pitch usage from 2022 to 2023 across a pitcher's entire arsenal.

A quick example of how Change Score works: if Joe Ryan...

Almost!

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