Lauer didn’t utilize his changeup much in 2019—and with a mere 6.2 mph average velocity difference between it and his fastball, you can understand why. He’ll need to re-tool the pitch to make it a weapon.
The curveball was statistically Lauer’s poorest pitch in 2019, with a -2.8 pVAL, and weak swinging-strike numbers—this despite a hardly-catastrophic .275 average against.
Lauer’s fastball isn’t particularly fast—it clocked in at 92.1 average velocity in 2019 – but it benefitted in 2019 from his diverse arsenal. The pitch had a 27.4% K rate and his lowest wOBA, wRC+ and opponent AVG numbers on a staggering 1325 individual uses.
The cutter was Lauer’s second-most utilized pitch in 2019, and yielded lukewarm results. A 14.6% K rate and .334 opponent WOBA suggest the pitch was poor, though he suffered from an unlucky .331 BABIP against it.
Lauer’s slider suffered from hard contact, a high opponent wOBA (.344), and a general lack of deceptiveness in 2019 (just a 2.8 MOV rating). This despite his lowest BABIP numbers, suggesting that it might be time to re-tool or abandon the pitch.
Lauer threw his four-seamer a lot in his first season in the bigs, to mixed results. His lackluster .294 BAA on the pitch may be because of some bad luck (.349 BABIP), but the pitch is nothing special.
A below-average secondary pitch, Lauer’s cutter gets decent albeit underwhelming lateral movement. The pitch serves primarily to offset the overwhelming amount of four-seamers he throws.
Lauer’s curveball is a slow, sweeping hook with plenty of movement, but a 3.1 SwStr% shows that the pitch isn’t fooling many batters. Lauer hit the zone with the pitch just over 50% and only managed a 12 O-swing%, so no one’s chasing it either.
The slider was Lauer’s highest-rated pitch according to scouts, and he showed effectiveness with it in 2018. He varies the speed from high-70s to low-90s and shows an ability to keep hitters off balance. It’s also the pitch with which he demonstrates the most control, so look for him to throw it more often.
Lauer’s changeup got destroyed in 2018, to the tune of a .500 BAA. By far his least-thrown — and least-effective — pitch, he’s far better using the slider as a change of pace.