In 2019, Alex Wood allowed eleven home runs with three of them coming on his changeup. His change averaged 83.7 mph, and used it mainly as a chase pitch throwing it outside of the zone 68% of the time, mainly down and armside. It was hit hard in the zone to a .292 BAA and was whiffed on just 4 times in the 47 thrown inside the zone. Of the 100 changeups he threw out-of-the-zone, Wood had 14 whiffs, but the pitch wasn’t a strikeout getter in 2019; just two of his thirty strikeouts came on his changeup.
Alex Wood threw his knuckle curve 24.9% of the time, but because of an abbreviated season due to injury, the pitch total was just 144. Of those, 69 induced batters to swing (47.9%) and just 17 were whiffs (24.6%). By way of comparison, in his 2017 All-Star season, Wood had a similar usage (24.1%), but had a 54 Sw% and 35% whiff rate. In 2017, his curve had just a .203 BAA and did not allow a home run in 544 thrown, but last season it had a .314 BAA and he surrendered four home runs.
Sitting below 90 mph, Alex Wood’s fastball was his most thrown pitch at 50.3%. He works it all around the zone with an even mix inside (48.8%) and outside (51.2%) of the zone, but he might look to decrease his zone%. When his fastball was thrown inside the zone, he had just 10 strikeouts and his BAA was .319 with four home runs allowed (68.8 Sw%), and when he threw his fastball outside the zone he had six strikeouts, but had just a .158 BAA.
Wood has long been known for his two-seam fastball, and it continued to be his main weapon in 2018 as he threw it about 43% of the time. It was highly effective too as evidenced by a 5.6 pVal. While averaging 90 mph, it doesn’t miss many bats, but opposing hitters struggle to square it up as evidenced by a .252 batting average against as well as a .388 slugging percentage.
Wood threw his curveball more often this past year, and that’s a good thing as it was a quality pitch for him. With an 18.7% swinging-strike rate, it is his best swing-and-miss offering, and that contributed to him allowing just a .243 batting average against. Overall it was worth a 4.0 pVal.
Wood’s third-most used pitch in 2018, the changeup was an effective one, giving up a .245 batting average and .374 slugging percentage to opposing hitters while managing a 78.4% contact rate against with a very good 57.9% ground-ball rate. Overall it was worth a 3.9 pVal.