Richard’s changeup nearly dropped entirely off the radar in 2019, and there’s not a whole lot of data to be mined from such a minor sample size. The change’s velo dropped two ticks from 2018’s radar gun readings (from 84.6 mph to 82.3) and Richard used the offering to reliably coax grounders at a 100% rate.
Richard’s fastball is below average in both velocity (16th percentile on Statcast) and spin rate (37th percentile), and his four-seamer has never returned a positive pVAL. His sinker, though, held batters to a 62.8% ground-ball rate and encouraged opponents out of the zone for a 36.2% chase rate.
Richard’s slider was victimized by the long ball in 2019, as a fairly ordinary 37.5% fly-ball rate was blistered for a 66.7% HR/FB percentage. The slide piece still punched out batters at a 32.4% strikeout rate, but a rough .466 wOBA and .464 ISO against the pitch helped return a -7.8 pVAL last season.
Following a four-year trend, Richard’s sinker has gotten hit well (.294 BAA, .177 ISO, 132 wRC+, 26.1 HR/FB%), yet over a large volume has also managed to avoid giving up too many runs and was good for a pVal of 2.9. Perhaps due to its extreme horizontal and vertical movement for a sinker, this pitch was great at inducing ground balls (60.8 GB%) and limiting fly balls (14.0 FB%) but gave up way too many line drives (25.2 LD%), which is likely what led to the high offensive output against it.
Pretty much a new pitch for Richard, his slider was valuable (1,5 pVal) in 2018. It sacrificed horizontal movement for extreme vertical drop—almost resembling a faster 12-6 curveball. In fact, this pitch checked two out of three of the Money Pitch boxes with a 42.1 O-swing% and a 17.3 SwStr%. It held hitters to a .201 BAA, .113 ISO, and 81 wRC+.
Richard’s four-seamer lost 0.9 mph in average velocity and quite a bit of movement in 2018, which help explain its disastrous year. Its chase and swinging-strike rates both were cut in half from 2017, and it gave up way too many well-hit fly balls (48.1 FB%, 30.8 HR/FB%), so despite holding hitters to a .154 average, it also gave up a .353 ISO.
Richard’s changeup was a poor pitch in 2018 (-3.1 pVal). Despite gaining 0.6 mph in velocity, the change was whacked all over the ballpark to the tune of .300 BAA, .122 ISO and 122 wRC+. A big part of the problem was its -3.2 K-BB% and 27.6 LD%.