Historically a decent offering from Brooks, the changeup was no good last season: He issued more walks than strikeouts and saw hitters maintain a .353 wOBA, about 20 points higher than his career average.
Having thrown the curveball only about 100 times over the course of his career, Brooks hasn’t shown much confidence in the pitch, and with good reason. A comical .691 wOBA against is not ideal.
Brooks throws a fairly even split of a traditional four-seamer and a sinker. The sinker carried a 41% GB rate last season, but both pitches had inflated wOBAs against, due to Brooks’ inability to keep the ball in the yard (15 dingers on fastballs alone).
The slider was easily Brooks’ best pitch last year; it varies from high 70s to high 80s in velo, and he rang up 35 batters last season with it, while holding them to a .215 BAA.
The lone pitch to return positive value for Brooks thus far has been his changeup. In 2018, Brooks was able to entice hitters into a 75.0% ground-ball rate, and opponents generated no line drives despite a 100% contact rate. These unsustainable outcomes don’t benefit Brooks long term, and neither does his .250 career BABIP when using this pitch.
Brooks’ two-seamer may have been reworked over the course of his career, as the numbers overall represent an ineffective offering. Opponents have been coaxed into just a 2.3% swinging-strike rate while creating contact on 94.3% of their hacks.
The fastest pitch in Brooks’ arsenal is also one of his least-effective at the major league level. With a -8.9 pVal across 472 career offerings and 12.5% HR/FB rate, it makes sense that he has relied on his offspeed stuff more and more over the course of his career.
Brooks works in a 78 mph curveball on occasion, keeping hitters off balance in theory. In reality, major league batters were not fooled. The five hitters who have faced the offering recorded a 6.8% swinging-strike rate before reaching back and crushing the ball with a 75.0% line-drive rate and 1.800 OPS
Brooks has a small sample size to work with, throwing just five sliders upon his return to MLB in late 2018. Including his entire career does not paint a pretty picture as opposing hitters have pounced for a .471/.500/.706 slash line against the pitch. A career 53.6 % ground-ball rate and a .556 BABIP implies opposing numbers will regress, but how much remains to be seen.