Sanchez’s changeup averaged 88 mph and worked as a nice complement to his sinker. With a good amount of arm side sink and run, Sanchez obtained a 61.1% GB% off the pitch, which is signifcantly more than the 33% obtained on his sinker. However, Sanchez’s changeup racked up only 11 strikeouts in 2019 and isn’t classified as a putaway pitch.
When on, Sanchez features one of the best curveballs in the game but unfortunately it was hit-hard in 2019. While it seemed awful with a -5.4 pVAL, it was a tad unlucky according to statcast, with a .050 different between his wOBA and xwOBA.
Sanchez threw his fastball well over 57% of the time in 2019 but opponents slashed .262/.440/.514 off of the pitch. A heavy sinker with good movement, Sanchez sometimes struggled to control the pitch, leading to a BB% of 23.4%.
For Sanchez, the two-seamer is a workhorse pitch. He doesn’t get many whiffs off it, but as his most thrown offering, Sanchez uses it to pound the strike zone (52.1% zone rate) and work counts. With more than half of contact leading to grounders or pop-ups, it was a solid but not great offering last year.
Sanchez struggled with his four-seamer as a putaway pitch last year, with an ugly walk-to-strikeout ratio of 1.93. It’s never been a stellar offering for the young righty, but losing 1.5 mph in velocity and some vertical drop last year let batters take a casual approach to a pitch thrown almost a third of the time.
Sanchez relied on his changeup in 2018 more than in any other season, but results were mixed. It was his best pitch in terms of batting average against (.215), strikeouts (33), and whiff rate (16.6%). But while it was effective at inducing ground balls and missing bats, it also led to a 30% home run-to-fly-ball rate. If it can stay in the yard, it should be a positive offering in 2019.
For a pitch that doesn’t stand out in most conventional metrics, Sanchez’s curve sure gets a ton of strikeouts. A whopping 40% of batters who saw the curve went to the pine because of it. What’s perplexing is that the pitch has just good but not great swinging-strike (14%) and zone (31.2%) rates. Sanchez clearly knows when to use it.