Gonzalez’s best pitch in 2019 was his changeup. Among pitchers that through at least 80 innings, Gio’s changeup had the 8th highest pVAL. While the pitch only had a Zone% of 26.2%, it also had an O-Swing% of 41.0%.
Gonzalez’s curveball completes the trio of pitches that failed to find to zone at a rate of at least 50%, which gives minimal hope to improving his 10% walk rate or his ability to go deeper into games. When batters did swing at the pitch, they usually beat the pitch into the ground at a 58% clip.
Gonzalez’s fastball hit a career low 46% Zone%, the first time in his career that that number dipped below 50%. He also saw the average velocity dip below 90 mph. Gonzalez also struggled with the long ball, allowing the highest HR/FB rate since his rookie year.
Gonzalez used this 90 mph four-seamer as his primary pitch in 2018, and it was very effective. He generated a 22% K rate, allowed a low .110 ISO, and limited hard contact with the fastball, generating a high 32% infield fly-ball rate with the pitch.
This 89 mph sinker was a below-average pitch in 2018. While Gio was able to generate a 51% ground-ball rate with it, he also allowed a .162 ISO and a 16% HR/FB rate. He also struggled to miss bats with the sinker, amassing a 4% swinging-strike rate and allowing contact 89% of the time.
Gonzalez only threw his changeup in the strike zone 32% of the time, hoping batters would chase pitches in the dirt. He was somewhat successful there and was able to generate a 55% ground-ball rate. This 83 mph change was not a strikeout pitch for him, as he only amassed a 13% K rate, but he did generate a good 14% swinging-strike rate.
Gio used his curveball as his strikeout pitch in 2018. He generated a 35% K rate with this 12-6 hook. Because of the downward action, he also generated a 55% ground-ball rate. Gonzalez did allow a 12% walk rate and a 22% HR/FB rate. He also only threw the pitch for a strike only 29% of the time.