Clayton Richard

Age 37
  • Born 09/12/1983
  • Bats L
  • Team: Free Agents
2019 Statistics
2020 Prediction
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2.8% Thrown 81.8 MPH 25 CSW%
72.3% Thrown 90.4 MPH 23 CSW%
25.0% Thrown 79.6 MPH 21.4 CSW%

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.

GIF made by Rich Holman. Blurb written by Erik van Rheenen

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.

GIF made by Rich Holman. Blurb written by Erik van Rheenen

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.

GIF made by Rich Holman. Blurb written by Erik van Rheenen
55.9% Thrown 90.0 MPH
28.4% Thrown 80.8 MPH
10.2% Thrown 90.3 MPH
5.6% Thrown 84.3 MPH

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%.

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