Plutko’s changeup is not the out pitch he may want it to be. He gets batters to swing out of the zone at over 30%, yet they make contact on those pitches 84.2% of the time. The pitch does not have a large differential in speed or movement from the fastball which he may need to improve in order to succeed with this pitch.
Plutko’s curve improved greatly from 2018 to 2019 going from a 329 wRC+ against to a 56. The main thing he changed was throwing in the zone more often. Players were less selective when this pitch was thrown, resulting in worse contact and barely any good outcomes. He may want to keep throwing his curve like that more often.
Plutko got 20 starts in 2019, plenty of innings to show his stuff. He kept his 91 mph fastball as his main weapon, which has been consistently meh since joining the bigs. It’s mostly a contact pitch but it gets relatively good contact too. He was able to reduce his fly-ball rate and home run rate from 2018, so that may be a good sign moving forward.
The slider is Plutko’s primary offspeed breaking pitch, getting batters to chase over 30% of the time. He does not get many whiffs with an 11.5% swinging strike rate, but he did allow less than 30% fly balls off this pitch.
Plutko threw his four-seamer just about 60% of the time. It didn’t show much in the way of swing-and-miss ability with a paltry 6.6% swinging-strike rate. The batted-ball results were ugly, too. It was tagged for a .379 wOBA while also allowing a whopping 14 home runs across 76.2 innings. All told, it was charged with a -7.2 pVal.
This was Plutko’s primary breaking pitch, which he threw mostly to right-handers (201/262). He showed superlative command of the slider with a 51% zone rate—in addition to a 39.1% chase rate and 14.6% swinging-strike rate. Pretty close to a Money Pitch.
His secondary breaking pitch that he threw at just under 10% of the time, the curveball was tagged for a .641 wOBA , .414 batting average and four home runs across just a 125-pitch sample. Though there may have been a fair amount of bad batted-ball luck here (.273 xwOBA). It also showed below-average swing-and-miss ability with just a 9.5% swinging-strike rate.
Plutko threw his changeup mostly to lefties (110/123). Though he had excellent command of the change (49.6% zone rate), Plutko showed little swing-and-miss ability with it, evidenced by a meager 6.5% swinging-strike rate.