VerHagen threw his changeup just twice in 2019 (0.2%). It has been a pitch he has used seldomly in his career (79 pitches in 199 IP over six seasons). It averaged 88.4 mph and its one whiff can be seen in this GIF.
Though it was his third most thrown pitch, the curveball was an effective strikeout pitch (16 of his 51 strikeouts came on his curveball). He did not allow a walk to any hitters with a curveball, though (unsurprisingly, he rarely threw it in three-ball counts). The curveball limited hitters to just a .167/.189/.250 slash. It had an 11% SwStr% in 2019, but that was down from 19.2% in 2018.
Drew VerHagen features two fastball according to Statcast: a four-seamer and a two-seamer. The four-seam fastball was hit to a 1.325 OPS and the two-seamer to an .863 OPS. Topping out at 97.4 mph, VerHagen leans heavily on his fastball, but neither his four-seam nor his two-seam have an impressive SwStr% (5.9% and 3.4%, respectively). Fortunately, he was able to induce 60.8% ground balls on his two-seamer (with just an 18.6 FB%), but his four-seam fastball was hit in the air 40% of the time but with only surrendered a 12.5% HR/FB (his two-seam fastball allowed a 5.6% HR/FB).
The slider was VerHagen’s primary secondary pitch (30.6% usage) and netted 23 of his 51 strikeouts, but also was responsible for six of his nine home runs allowed. With an 41.1 O-Swing%, a 41.7 Zone%, and an 18.1 SwStr%, the slider was a money pitch. Still, the pitch allowed a .965 OPS and a 156 wRC+ indicating that when he has a feel for the slider it can be effective, but can also be hit hard when he doesn’t. It also is proof that a money pitch does not make a pitcher great.
VerHagen’s two-seamer got knocked around in 2018 as opposing batters hit for a .309 Avg. and a .186 ISO against the pitch. His two-seamer did produce an above-average 55% ground-ball rate but suffered from a 7.1% swinging-strike rate and did not get batters to chase it out of the zone.
VerHagen’s main offspeed pitch, the slider performed very well in 2018 (5.3 pVal). The pitch had some really good rates, sporting a 17.6 SwStr%, and 31.8 IFFB% to go along with a .162 wOBA.
VerHagen increased his curveball usage from 13.84% in April to 23.13% in September. Overall, the pitch performed well with a 1.4 pVal, and he increased the SwStr% from 11.5 to 19.2 and O-swing% from 29.9 to 40.0, both career highs.
VerHagen faded his four-seam usage from 6.29% in April to 1.25% in September. With only throwing 43 all season, it appears that this pitch isn’t going to play a major part in VerHagen’s arsenal.