It is shocking to see that Treinen’s fastball had a slash line of .100/.194/.100 in 2018 and a .250/.471/.472 in 2019. Despite almost the same number of fastballs thrown in both seasons, his BB% rose 19.2% and his SwStr% dropped from 15.6% to 9.4%. Batters just spat on the offering, swinging outside the zone just 18.7% of the time and reducing their swing rate from 56.1% to 39.9%. His K-BB% was 23.8% in 2018 and -7.6% in 2019.
Treinen introduced his cutter in 2018 and it had a .107 BAA. In 2019, the pitch had a .265 BAA. The story of the pitch is the 34.5 K% and 3.4 BB% in 2018 versus the 14.3 K% and 10.2 BB% in 2019. Hitters had a lower whiff rate (from 19.6% to 11.4%) with a higher contact percentage (64.4% to 79.2%), leading to an unsurprising drop in pVAL from 4.0 to 0.8.
The sinker was, by far, Treinen’s most thrown pitch (47.9%). Like his slider, the average velocity dropped (in this case 1.3 mph from 2018) and he reduced his LD% and GB% and raised his FB% (from 15% to 23.8%) with his HR/FB rising from 6.7% to 20%. Like the slider, his sinker’s Z-Contact rose (to 92.1%), but fortunately, in the case of the sinker, his zone rate dropped to 39.1%. It was a great pitch in 2018 with a .526 OPS, but that was his career outlier, with an .887 OPS in 2017 and an .825 OPS last year (with OPS marks in the .790s in his first three seasons). Clearly, the 12.1 pVAL sinker from 2018 was gone, with the pitch earning a -0.5 pVAL in 2019.
The Z-Contact on Treinen’s slider jumped to 92.3% last year. The average velocity dropped a full tick and his LD% and GB% both dropped, with the difference dramatically raising his FB% from 20% to 47.1%. The biggest problem with the 27.1% rise in fly balls allowed comes with his 25% HR/FB on the pitch. Luckily, he threw his slider much less frequently (just 13.5%) in 2019, likely out of necessity.
The sinker is the most infamous of Treinen’s pitches. It’s wizard-like movement makes it one of the most incredible pitches to watch in the league. Its 14.9% swinging-strike rate and 40.6% chase rate are both ridiculous for a fastball. Toss in the .246 wOBA allowed, and this might be the most dangerous fastball in the league.
Even in his otherwise incredible repertoire, the slider stands out for Treinen. Despite a 27.5% zone rate, the pitch still earned a chase over half the time. The slider’s whiff rate was even higher than its zone rate, coming in at 28.7%. With incredible drop, opposing hitters can only wave at the pitch as it dives blow their bats.
This four-seam fastball topped 15% in whiff rate. That figure is good for offspeed pitches, but it is completely ridiculous for a fastball. Opposing hitters did nothing when they did put the pitch in play, slugging just .100 off the pitch.
Treinen’s cutter falls right in with the rest of his pitches—absolutely dominant. With a chase rate of 46.2%, a zone rate of 51.1%, and a whiff rate of 19.6%, it qualifies as a Money Pitch. Treinen allowed just three hits in 133 uses of his cutter. With it’s movement at 94 mph, it’s easy to see why it gave hitters such headaches.