It’s a real shame Rodon has not been able to stay healthy, because his stuff is nasty. This changeup had a 48.5% (!) whiff rate last season, greater than that of his slider. It also surrendered zero barrels, along with a whopping 72.7% weak-hit rate. Rodon still has a long road to recovery, but this pitch has a chance to bring his entire arsenal together.
Rodon’s fastball is nothing to write home about. Below-average velocity and spin (29th and 25th percentiles, respectively) would make one question why he throws it more than 50% of the time.
This pitch is gross. Rodon’s slider has never struck out less than 45% of opposing batters in any of his five big league seasons. It seemed like he turned a corner in terms of pitch selection, throwing it a career high 37.2%, before subsequently blowing out his arm.
Rodon lost a little rise off his fastball, its swinging-strike rate dropped roughly three percentage points, and its strikeout percentage tumbled. Still, he began to work up-and-in to right-handed batters more effectively to help induce weaker contact on fly balls, which seemingly gives him room to grow here if he can discover a balance between finding whiffs and inducing more feeble contact.
This pitch put in work as the out-getter of Rodon’s arsenal. It has significantly more bend than the average lefty’s slider, and though it carried standard swinging-strike and chase rates (down slightly from ’17), he induced grounders with it 55.4% of the time. He allowed just a .054 ISO on the pitch and mustered an impressive 9.0 pVal.
Rodon’s changeup shows a lot more drop than is standard, and it carries an impressive 60.3% grounder rate. Though its swinging-strike rate fell down in step with the rest of his arsenal, he managed to increase its out-of-zone chase rate 7.2 percentage points to 27.2. Still, that’s not a strikeout pitch—it’s ground ball-or-bust here.
The 26-year-old’s two-seamer shows less arm-side run and drop than a typical pitch of its ilk, but it sported an impressive 30.3% chase rate. It’s not a spectacular swinging-strike-inducer at just 6.7%, nor does it get a ton of ground balls (45.5%). Still, he pounded the zone at a 57.2% rate and used it as a secondary strike-getter.