Kintzler nearly doubled his reliance on his 87.48 mph changeup this past season, jumping to 16.96% from 8.6% the season before. However, he still threw it just about 5 mph slower than his fastball, one of the smallest differences in the majors.
Kintzler threw his 92.6mph fastball – primarily a sinker with a few four-seamers thrown in here and there – 72.98% of the time in 2019. While this is an incredibly high usage rate, it’s more than 10% lower than 2018 and nearly 16% lower than his career high of 88% in 2016.
Kintzler entered the league in 2010 heavily relying on his slider – a 31.1% usage rate – and now throws it just 10.06% of the time. He also throws it a fair hit harder, up from 84 mph to 86.9 mph in 2019.
The ground-ball rate generated by Kintzler’s sinker plummeted for the fourth straight year in 2018 to a pedestrian 52.4%. This was likely due to a loss of several inches of drop compared to 2017. Those problems were compounded by a .329 BABIP against the pitch, which led to opponents accumulating a .296 average and .447 slugging percentage against it.
Though he threw it fewer than 100 times, Kintzler’s change had some good arm-side run. Opponents mustered weak contact against it, hitting just .154 with a .308 slugging percentage.
As a sinkerballer, Kintzler generally pitched to contact. But when he needed a punchout in 2018, he turned to his slider, and it didn’t let him down. It had a solid 17.5% whiff rate and allowed contact just 57.6% of the time.