Santiago threw his changeup over 18% of the time, generating a K% of 19.2%. The pitch averaged 84 mph but was not successful in 2019 as hitters slashed .348/.423/.565 for a wRC+ of 173. The pitch hasn’t had a wRC+ under 100 since 2017, so there is little hope Santiago will be able to replicate his previous success with his changeup.
Thrown just over 16% of the time, Santiago’s slider averaged 85 mph and was often used to get in on the hands of right-handed batters. The pitch was extremely effective in 2019, as hitters hit only .133/.133/.233 off the pitch and Santiago had a K% of 30%. Look for Santiago to increase his usage of the pitch in 2020.
Santiago’s sinker lost movement on both planes in 2018, and while he hit the zone a solid 55% of the time, it continued to give up double-digit home runs for the fourth year in a row and drew only 32.7% ground balls. Even though he bumped his swinging-strike rate to a career-high 9.3%, that won’t support its 28.3 K rate and will likely regress in 2019.
Santiago’s changeup sat roughly nine mph off his fastball but lost movement right along with the heater—including a significant amount of drop. That likely led to a near-six-point fall in an already poor chase rate, and its 7.2% swinging-strike rate was putrid for a pitch of its kind. Hence, its walk percentage spiked to 8.8, and the pVal took a dive to -6.3. Sure, a .333 BABIP didn’t help, but this was a trash pitch in 2018.
Even though it picked up some drop in 2018, the curve wasn’t working. With horrid swinging-strike and chase rates for a breaker, it also carried a 92.5 contact percentage and only grabbed a 19% ground-ball rate. Essentially, it did nothing well in 2018. Luckily he only threw 145 of them.
Another pitch, more lost movement and effectiveness. Santiago didn’t hit the zone enough with his slider to steal strikes, and his swinging-strike and chase rates didn’t support whiff ability. Hitters bashed it for a .333 ISO over 74 pitches. It had nothing going for it.
He threw only 36 of them, so there wasn’t much to go on for Santiago’s screwball in 2018. Notably, it lost significant drop alongside the rest of the lefty’s arsenal and doesn’t figure to be a big weapon for him in 2019.