Jesse Chavez

Age 36 RP
  • Born 08/20/1983
  • Bats R
  • Team: Texas Rangers
2019 Statistics
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9.6% Thrown 85.2 MPH 21.6 CSW%
44.7% Thrown 91.1 MPH 27.9 CSW%
37.2% Thrown 88.1 MPH 29 CSW%
8.6% Thrown 85.9 MPH 29.5 CSW%

The veteran bullpen arm didn’t get as many opposing batters fishing for his changeup as he did in 2018 (a 47.5% chase rate was always going to be tough to match), but Chavez’s 36.5% chase rate last season was still better than league average. Chavez didn’t yield a single walk with his changeup, and also did well to keep the ball in the park (0.0% HR/FB rate) and on the ground (51.7% ground-ball rate).

GIF made by Rich Holman. Blurb written by Erik van Rheenen

Chavez’s sinking fastball isn’t a particularly blazing offering, sitting around 91 mph on average, good for 12th-percentile velocity on Statcast. The heater is a little closer to league average in terms of spin rate, but still falls only in the 40th percentile in that category.

GIF made by Rich Holman. Blurb written by Erik van Rheenen

Worth a robust 13.1 pVAL in 2018, Chavez’s cutter tumbled to a -5.8 mark in the 2019 season. The juiced ball was not particularly friendly to a pitch that accrued a 42.9% fly-ball rate: The cutter’s HR/FB rate hopped from a manageable 10.5% in 2018 to an inflated 25.9% last year.

GIF made by Rich Holman. Blurb written by Erik van Rheenen

Chavez’s slider built on a 20% K-BB rate in 2018, pushing the percentage up to 24.6% for the breaking ball last season. Despite a dip in swinging-strike rate (from 14.9% to 10.2%) and chase rate (37% to 27.7%), Chavez achieved an above average 30.8% strikeout rate with his slide piece.

GIF made by Rich Holman. Blurb written by Erik van Rheenen
29.2% Thrown 91.4 MPH
27.6% Thrown 93.1 MPH
22.2% Thrown 92.3 MPH
12.4% Thrown 85.0 MPH
6.4% Thrown 86.7 MPH
2.3% Thrown 77.3 MPH

The cutter was Chavez’s friend in 2018, with a pVal of 13.1 in 425 pitches. Boasting a K-BB% of 29%, this pitch gave up a miniscule .152 AVG along with a .120 ISO and 30 wRC+.

Chavez’s two-seamer gained two mph in velocity, and that may explain its leap from a -5.5 pVal in 2017 to a solid 6.3 mark in 2018. A contact pitch (only 5.5 SwStr%), it gave up a .245 average with a grounder rate of 51.1%.

Chavez struggled mightily with this pitch, giving up a .361 AVG with a .278 ISO for 182 wRC+. It accumulated a -2.8 pVal, which was actually an improvement over the -11.7 pVal the pitch earned in 2017.

Essentially a neutral-value pitch in 2018, Chavez’s slider had a spectacular K-BB% (20.0 K%, 0.0 BB%) as he didn’t walk a single batter with it. While the pitch didn’t quite have the hallmarks of a Money Pitch, it came close, with a 37 O-swing%, 47.4 Contact%, and a 14.9 SwStr%.

Chavez’s changeup had most of the hallmarks of a Money Pitch with a 47.5 O-swing% and 37.9 zone%. It also sported a 0.0 BB% and 15.8 SwStr%, but the results didn’t match the underlying stats, as when hit, it gave up a .367 BAA, .200 ISO and 163 wRC+—although an unusually high .429 BABIP may explain the results.

Only thrown 33 times, Chavez’s curve blew by all the thresholds for a Money Pitch with a 41.7 O-swing%, 41.5 zone%, and a fantastic 22.0 SwStr%. It also sported a 66.7% K rate while walking no one. It will be interesting to see how this pitch performs in a larger sample.

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