Hardy’s changeup-first approach allowed him to face more than twice as many righties than lefties in 2019, and the pitch that fueled it was a money pitch for the fourth time in the last five years. In 2019, its 16.6 SwStr% and 44.5 O-swing% yielded a career-best 8.0 pVAL, albeit fueled by a .176 BABIP.
Averaging 76.5 mph with 4 more inches of drop than average but only 1952 rpm, Hardy’s curveball does not get many whiffs, with just a 5.0% SwStr. But Hardy has not walked a batter on the pitch since 2015, and has a career .070 ISO on the pitch. Limited damage meant that a 100% Z-contact rate still turned into a 58 wRC+ on the pitch in 2019.
2019 was the worst year for Hardy’s fastball both by pVAL (-5.2) and wRC+ (270). It averaged just 88.7 mph and took on a larger role against fellow lefties, and managed a 27.4 called strike rate in the zone. But when batters did swing, they took it for a ride to the tune of four home runs on 146 thrown.
Hardy’s cutter was fantastic, limiting batters to a .273 wOBA. He utilized it as the main pitch in his repertoire, producing solid overall results on the season.
The four-seam fastball was a liability for Hardy. Opposing hitters slugged .533 on the pitch, and it produced very few whiffs.
Hardy’s changeup was a great pitch in 2018. It was incredible by the plate-discipline metrics, throwing it in the zone 43.3% of the time and earning swings out of the zone at a 42.8% rate. On top of that, it held a whiff rate of 16.1%. It was great from a contact perspective as well, allowing only a .212 batting average.
With just a 5.3% whiff rate, Hardy’s curveball did not give him many swings and misses. It did allow only a .680 OPS though.