Cotton’s fastball saw a slight improvement in velocity, movement and swinging strike rate in 2017, with swinging strike % rising to 9.3%. Even with these improvements, opponent average climbed to .321 and OPS was up to .980, resulting in a pVAL of -7.8
Cotton’s slider generated a 13.2% swinging strike rate in 2017, thanks primarily to a 30.8% OSwing rate. It did not have the putaway success it had in 2016, with K rate falling 9% to 14.5%. Average velocity fell a mile per hour to 88.3 year over year, and opponent AVG climbed to .295 in 2017.
Cotton’s changeup has averaged 77.7mph in his first two seasons, and has seen a bit of an improvement in movement. Cotton posted an impressive 18.2% swinging strike rate in his rookie campaign, followed up by 14.2% in 2017. OSwing rate fell 6% to a still impressive 36% in 2017 and opponent average climbed to .216 from .032 in 2016 resulting in a pVAL of -2.4.
Cotton’s curveball saw reductions in movement in 2017, causing swinging strike rate to fall over 10% to 4.3% – primarily due to his inability to get opponents to chase, posting just an 18% OSwing rate. Opponents AVG climbed 80 points on the pitch, up to .280 in his sophomore season.