Johnson only threw his changeup seven times in 2019, a measly 0.91% of the time. Despite this, it still managed to generate -0.4 pitch value over the season.
With Johnson’s fastball avering around 88 mph, he leaned on his curveball more in 2019 but that didn’t seem to help with his results. A .434 wOBA was a tad unlucky as his xwOBA was .352 but the pitch still was not very effective.
Out of the 742 pitchers who threw a fastball in 2019, Johnson threw the 28th slowest at just 88.85 mph. He also threw it less often than ever last season, down to just 37.7% from 48.9% of the time the season before.
Johnson’s 77.74 mph slider was his only pitch to generate positive value in 2019, earning a tepid 0.7 pitch value over the season.
Johnson’s four-seamer was his worst pitch by pVal, at -7.1. It average 88.5 mph and opponents slugged a devastating .546 against it.
As with his slider, Johnson’s curveball flashed great movement last year but didn’t deceive hitters enough to rack up the swinging strikes. It did produce a 52.9% ground-ball rate, though, holding opponents to a .241 average.
Johnson’s slider displayed excellent cutting action, though that didn’t contribute to a great whiff or chase rate for the pitch. Hitters seemed to pick the ball up easily, batting .280 against it with a .373 slugging percentage.
One of Johnson’s least-used offerings, the changeup featured a terrible 9.5% chase rate and 3.0% whiff rate, albeit over just 31 pitches. It flashed decent drop but poor horizontal run.
Johnson only threw his two-seamer 26 times last year, and by movement it was perfectly average. It didn’t generate many ground balls though, and hitters rarely chased it out of the zone or failed to make contact.