2016 Catcher Back-Pick Data

If you had the unfortunate honor of following me on Twitter during the 2016 season, you were subjected to several dozen versions of this tweet:

I undertook a yearlong effort to catalog and analyze every instance in which a catcher threw behind a runner at first base and the product of that endeavor was an essay in the 2017 Hardball Times Annual. That essay contains answers to questions including, but certainly not limited to:

  • Which catcher threw to first most often? (Salvador Perez.)
  • The average success rate on back-pick attempts? (About 10%.)
  • Which catcher was most accurate when throwing to first? (Yadier Molina.)
  • Do base-stealers draw more throws? (They seem to.)

If said essay failed to quench your thirst for back-pick factoids, you will likely have interest in getting your hands on the raw data which you can download here. If you use the data for any sort of published work, all I ask is that you cite me and send me a link on Twitter (@NeilWeinberg44).

Neil Weinberg is the Site Educator at FanGraphs and can be found writing enthusiastically about the Detroit Tigers at New English D. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @NeilWeinberg44.

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some guy
7 years ago

Good stuff. Interesting that of the 8 pitchers that were involved in back-picks, 3 were BoSox – Buchholz (6), Price (9), Porcello (6).