Brach’s changeup generated a lot more contact in 2019 especially on pitches out of the zone. He got batters swinging out of the zone at above a 50% rate but if they can still get the bat on the ball that can cause trouble. His BABIP was much higher the last two seasons despite a decrease in ground-ball rate so we may see some improvement from him.
Brach’s fastball used to have another tick of velocity on it and had been an excellent pitch. The last couple of years it is a fine pitch but has suffered due to a high BABIP. He’s generated more ground balls with the pitch but his plate discipline numbers have remained about the same.
Brach moved away from a sinker and started implementing a cutter in 2019. This was one of his better pitches striking out nearly 30% of hitters while walking none. With that success I can see him increase this pitch’s usage in 2020.
Brach struggled with the slider more in 2019 due to control. Batters swung less and it resulted in a walk rate of 18.4%, where it had not been more than 5% the last two seasons. He got less contact with the pitch but if batters are laying off out of the zone that could continue to cause problems.
Brach’s fastball performed fine as his main pitch. Opposing hitters slashed .280/.354/.402, numbers that are not spectacular but certainly do not make the pitch a liability. It did regress from a dominant pitch in years past though.
The changeup was masterful for Brach from a plate discipline view in 2018. 19.9% swinging strikes with a 46.4% chase rate is something to drool over. Its contact numbers were not so pretty, though. The .357 wOBA allowed prevented it from being a beautiful pitch. It did suffer from a .404 BABIP though.
Brach’s slider was a great third option, producing chases at a 36.8% clip and whiffs at a 14.2% rate. It was incredible on balls in play, allowing just a .163 average against.