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).
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.
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.
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.
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.