April 19, 2021

The Most Important Bangs of the Astros’ Scheme (FanGraphs)


Just when you thought every angle of the Astros sign-stealing scandal had been covered, a new wrinkle emerges. Previous attempts to discern the true impact of the banging scheme were always limited by the lack of granular data. Without going through the effort of scanning all of the available audio and video, we had very little idea how often the Astros banged on their trash can. Were they using their scheme in every plate appearance? Only in high-leverage situations? Without answers to these questions, we were using incomplete data that included a ton of noise.

Enter Tony Adams. He scanned through 58 Astros home games with available video and audio and logged every single instance of a bang using a custom application he built. He ended up logging over 8,200 pitches and over 1,100 bangs. Last Wednesday, he made his data public on his site.

With Adams’ data in hand, we have answers to some of the questions that thwarted earlier attempts at analysis. The data still isn’t comprehensive. The 23 home games with missing video are still shrouded in mist, and we can’t assume the banging scheme was in effect during plate appearances where the batter only saw fastballs. We…

Read “The Most Important Bangs of the Astros’ Scheme” at FanGraphs