A while back Adam Foster of Project Prospect sent out a tweet wondering how height impacts success and longevity as a pitcher. Adam is focused on minor league baseball prospects and thus was curious how height impacts a pitchers chances of “making it” and how long they last in the major leagues.
My first instinct was to look at average career innings by height but found the total innings pitched by height to be very interesting.
6’2″ pitchers have combined to throw more innings than pitchers of any other height. I looked at average career innings pitched by height, but didn’t see any staggering data that would dispute the above graph. Since it can be hard to distinguish relativity in the above graph, I also looked at % of total innings pitched by height.
The percentage chart seems to put things in perspective. 92.2% of the innings pitched since 1960 have come from pitchers 6’0″ or above. 92.2%! It is even more interesting when considering that the average male height is 5 foot 9 1/2 inches. 99.3% of total innings pitched have come from pitchers 5’10” or taller.
What do you think of the results? Why are taller pitchers responsible for more innings in Major League Baseball? Taller pitchers throw with more velocity? Are more physically intimidating on the mound? Let me know what you think in the comments!