Pitcher List on Rotographs: The Real Alex Wood

Nick Pollack dives into how Alex Wood is excelling despite lower fastball velocity.

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

I’m writing about starting pitching for Rotographs and didn’t want the Pitcher List community to miss out on one of our signature GIF Breakdowns.

I did not have high expectations for Alex Wood heading into this season. His early 2017 success was fueled by an uptick in velocity that dwindled through the year, he hadn’t eclipsed 153 innings since 2015, and the Dodgers are, ahem, interesting with their starting rotations. I didn’t expect the shiny new-out-of-the-box 2017 edition Alex Wood to be the real Alex Wood.

And as expected, Wood’s velocity has been dramatically low in 2018, boasting a 90mph sinker after last season’s 92mph average (and averaging 93mph in the opening months), but you wouldn’t have known it if you compared his numbers:

Year ERA WHIP K-BB% Whiff % Fastball Velocity
2017 2.72 1.06 18.4% 11.7% 91.8mph
2018 3.32 1.02 18.3% 11.1% 89.9mph

I love this. The end result is the same, though Wood’s lower velocity should tell you that he can’t be holding the same approach for the same results. It’s not out of the question, but seeing his dip in heat has to make you believe there is something else going on under the hood.

And there is.

Read the rest of this article on RotoGraphs.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Dennis says:

    Started reading your articles on Fantasy Rundown. Now they are among the few that I ensure I read daily. Thank you.

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