Martinez likes to run his sinker in on the hands against righties, and he does so at 94 mph. He gets good run and sink on the pitch, which helps him miss bats much more often than the average sinker.
Martinez gets a ton of drop on his changeup, which helps it be quite effective and part of the reason he still throws it in a relief role. A 72.2% ground ball rate, .197 xwOBA against, and 16.7% swinging-strike rate will all help CarMart continue to have success with this pitch.
Carlos “Tsunami” Martinez brings the heat with his four-seamer out of the pen, sitting at a blazing 96-plus mph. While he only generates average swing-and-miss with the pitch, he does manage to get an abnormal number of ground balls.
Once in a while, Martinez will mix in a cutter (3%) that sits just under 94 mph. Frankly, given the similarity to his four-seamer and the irregularity in which he throws it, this pitch is probably just a four-seamer that he cuts accidentally. It backs up more than it runs to the glove side.
While Martinez lost a bit of horizontal movement on his slider from 2018, it didn’t show in the results, as he saw an increase in swinging-strike rate, chase rate, zone percentage, a ton of popups, and allowed just an 80.4 mph average exit velocity against it. His success in the future relies on this pitch, and boy, it’s a dandy.
Like its speedier counterpart, the more frequently used of Martinez’s two fastballs lost some arm-side run in ’18. The sinker carried pedestrian swinging-strike and chase rates, though he clearly used it as a ground-ball getter, inducing such batted balls 63.2% of the time batters made contact with it.
Martinez’s cartoonish slide piece gained bend and drop in ’18—making it even more above-average in the horizontal-movement department than it already was. Its zone and swinging-strike rates were in line with an elite strikeout pitch, though his out-of-zone chase rate fell a tad shy of that level. Still, this is an effective swing-inducer and fun to watch.
While Martinez improved his swinging-strike and chase rates from poor to standard on his 95 mph four-seamer, the pitch also lost some horizontal movement but dropped more. He held batters to a .048 ISO on the offering and upped his strikeout rate to a (likely unsustainable, based on his 9.4% whiff rate) 30%. It all added up to almost identical results, as it went from a 1.6 to a 1.7 pVal.
A new pitch for Martinez in ’18, the cutter carried standard swinging-strike and chase rates, but it effectively played off his slider as a secondary strike-getter to garner a 2.1 pVal over 303 thrown.
Martinez’s changeup lost some arm-side run last year, though it was still above-average in that area (it also drops much more than the standard major league change). It was still a go-to whiff inducer at a 16.7% swinging-strike rate, though he did lose five percentage points off his fantastic out-of-zone swing numbers. To make up for that, it saw a jump in ground-ball rate of nearly seven percentage points. The change did its job as a put-away pitch.
The curve doesn’t play much of a role in Martinez’s arsenal, as he threw it just 3.1% of the time. That’s probably a good thing, as it gets significantly less drop than average, carries poor swinging-strike and chase numbers, and doesn’t hit the zone often enough. This strictly serves to catch an opponent napping.