One of Smith’s two main pitches, his sinker gets noticeably more drop than the average offering of its type. This is straight-up a ground-ball pitch and carries a 67.6% career mark in that department. However, it dropped to a 56.0% rate in ’18, which no doubt helped drag it down to a -4.9 pVal.
The righty’s other main offering is a fantastic wipeout slider. It carried a 40.9% zone rate, a 38.2% O-swing mark, and a 15.7% swinging-strike rate. That’s dangerously close to Money Pitch territory. It probably helped that it got a ridiculously high amount of break for a pitch of its type. If he needs a whiff, this is where Smith gets it.
Smith’s changeup only peeked its head out 17 times last year, as the sinker-slider combo proved effective enough in a short stint amid another injury-marred season. Shape-wise, the pitch got more movement on both planes than the average changeup but puzzlingly only sat a few miles per hour lower than his fastball.
This pitch saw the light of day so little (seven times) that it’s tough to judge its value. The movement numbers suggest that the pitch-tracking systems could simply have misclassified a few sinkers. If not, it gets significantly more arm-side run than your typical four-seamer. Either way, don’t expect to see a ton of these from Smith in ’19.