Taillon has struggled with his changeup since he entered the league, only generating positive pitch value with it during his rookie season. He’s also threw it less often than before with a minuscule 5.41% usage rate.
Taillon threw his curveball less often than ever, only using it 15.9% of the time compared to a career-high 26.2% his rookie season, and was throwing it more than 2 mph harder than then as well, with an average velocity of 82.17 mph compared to 80.6 mph.
Taillon cut back on using his fastball during his time on the mound in 2019, only throwing it 47.21% of the time compared to 57% of the time in 2018, and a career-high 64.1% of the time in 2017.
After introducing a slider to his arsenal in 2018, Taillon significantly ramped up his usage of it before losing his 2019 season to injury, up to 31.71% of the time from 18.2% of the time.
Taillon increased his four-seam usage to 35.3% in 2018 (29% in 2017). Compared to 2017, it was much better at getting swings and misses with a 10.8% swinging-K rate and 25.1% whiff rate (6% swinging-K and 15.9% whiff rates in 2017). Overall, it was an above-average pitch with a 3.6 pVal.
Taillon also cut down on his sinker usage in 2018 to 21.8% (35.1% in 2017). As with most sinkers, it had a modest whiff rate of 15.3%. It was otherwise effective as it limited opposing hitters to a .256 batting average and .287 wOBA. Overall, it was good for a 10 pVal.
Taillon cut his curveball usage from 26% in 2017 to 19.7% in 2018. It showed an improved whiff rate at 37.6% (32.4% in 2018). Overall, it was an effective pitch with a 34.3% chase rate, 34.9% zone rate and a .236 wOBA allowed.
Taillon’s new toy, the slider was an added weapon in 2018. While it wasn’t an eye-popping swing-and-miss pitch (23.8% whiff and 13.7% swinging-K rate) it was great at getting hitters to expand the zone with a 49.8% chase rate. And he showed superb command of the pitch with a 47.1% zone rate. It did a very good job of limiting hitters to a .237 batting average and .289 wOBA. Overall, it was good for a 6.4 pVal.
Taillon threw the changeup just 4.6% of the time (9.9% in 2017) and almost exclusively to lefties (123/137). The batted-ball results with it were ugly, as it coughed up a .447 wOBA and .346 batting average to opposing hitters. It was his only pitch that recorded a negative pVal in 2018 at -4.4.