Chris Martin fires a fastball off more than 61% of the time, leading with his four-seamer that sits just a tick under 96 mph. He gets good ride on it, allowing him to miss more bats than most.
The pitch that turned Martin into a legit reliever this year, his splitter is about as perfect a strikeout pitch as you could want. It attacked the bottom of the zone while having an 80% ground ball rate, 21.2% swinging-strike rate, and got a TON of swings outside the zone while only being in the zone 18.3% of the time. Just a beautiful pitch.
Martin’s slider was used less than 10% in 2019, down from 25%, probably because it’s pretty average across the board. It sits at 86 mph and gets some nice depth, but doesn’t have a ton of run. It’s mostly buried glove-side as a putaway pitch.
With an average velocity of 95.3 mph (up 0.4 mph from 2017), Martin’s four-seamer was clocked at times as high as 97.8 mph. It was an effective weapon in 2018 (4.9 pVal in 354 pitches). While it didn’t generate nearly as many swinging strikes (6.5 SwStr%) as you would expect for a fastball with that kind of speed, it did a great job of generating ground balls (49.2 GB%).
Martin’s curveball gained 1.4 mph in velocity, which may have contributed to the eight-point leap in swinging-strike percentage from 2017’s 10.3% to 18.1% in 2018. As this pitch also sports sports a great O-swing% of 49.5, the only thing that really hurt it in 2018 is what appears to be some extremely bad BABIP luck (.400, which is 70 points higher than any other year).
Trading about 2.2 degrees of overall movement for 1.3 mph of velocity, Martin’s cutter had a tough 2018 (-3.1 pVal and a 151 wRC+). This is despite gaining five percentage points in swinging-strike rate and doubling the pitch’s K rate, which is likely due to giving up a .361 average.
Martin’s changeup was worth -3.4 pVal/C in 2018 over 39 pitches. It did a nice job of generating poor fly-ball contact (55.6 FB%, 40.0 IFFB%) but unfortunately also left the yard with a 20.0 HR/FB%. The pitch appears to have good vertical drop with slight action to the arm side, which would perhaps explain a lot of the poor fly-ball contact.